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THE DRAMATIC DECADE : The Indira Gandhi Years

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The Dramatic Decade focuses on one of the most fascinating periods in the life of this nation—the decade of the 1970s. This was when India found herself engaging with the true meaning of democracy. The nation displayed her commitment to liberty by extending full support to East Pakistan’s struggle for independence. Later, between 1975 and 1977, during the Emergency, she fo ...more
Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published December 11th 2014 by Rupa Publications Pvt Ltd
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This is the first part of a 3 part series. The book desires to put a record to what is indeed a 'dramatic decade' in the context of politics, regional parties and constitutional activism. However, it falls far short of the promise. Part of the blame must be laid at the lack of editorial discipline and part of it is to be assigned to the author himself. A linear and contextual map of events and analysis is forsaken in favor of an all over the place approach. The result is the interesting lack of ...more
Gopal Vijayaraghavan
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nobody can deny that Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is one of the most astute political minds. As an eternal second in charge of UPA regime, he was left to manage troublesome political alliance partners and opposition parties. A book from him about the Indira Gandhi years raised expectations. But, “The Dramatic Decade – The Indira Gandhi Years” fails to throw any new light on those darkest spots of a period when so much happened. Mr Mukherjee wants to be non controversial is apparent. His sympathy for Mrs ...more
Utsav Tiwary
Jun 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
What an irony ! The book itself lacks drama. Every Indian who is interested in exploring more about the "dark days" of Emergency would instantly fall for this book going by its cover - Mr. Mukherjee himself talking about the events unfolding during the reign of Indira Gandhi.
Disappointingly, the book is just a timeline of events - most of them featuring high level meetings and the reorganization of institutions. A barrage of abbreviations and an endless stream of names of people who do not feat
Dec 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is a true reflection of the authors intellectual depth or rather the lack of it. I couldn't and shouldn't have expected this to be any better. In fact I should not waste my time writing a review on this.
Umesh Kesavan
Such a boring book considering the book is titled "dramatic" decade. What is supposed to be an insider's account becomes a protracted regurgitation of facts and persons' names with no deep insights into the psyche of that intriguing woman - Indira Gandhi.
Sajith Kumar
Shri Pranab Mukherjee is the current President of India. The first citizen of the country adds lustre to the position he holds on account of the intellectual capacity of the man behind the constitutional paraphernalia. I remember watching an interview with Pranab Mukherjee a few years ago when the anchor asked him what he intends to do after retirement. His answer still rings in my ears. His modest reply was that he’ll retire to his home and read some books which he always wanted to read, but ha ...more
Vikas Datta
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting take on a most tumultuous decade that still casts a shadow on Indian polity but the account gets a little disjointed going back in forth in relating the dramatic events and the continuity gets tangled. Also the repeated featuring of a panel of names is somewhat jarring. Also makes a couple or so on avoidable errors such as in the chapter on the Bangladesh war, we learn that Punjabis and Afghans? ran the shots in then Pakistan. But overall an instructive and informative read of high p ...more
Rajesh Desikan
I read this book with lot of expectations since I had good respect for Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, but the book didnt live upto the expectation. The author clearly has shied away from providing candid views and was more of appeasement view. Either I misunderstood Mr. Mukherjee personality that it came as a shock to me or he has written this with political views in mind.
Also the book is not very chronological. It went back and forth on the events and it made me skim through certain sections.
The book
Kinjal Shah
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
A must read to understand why our country's progress is still slow. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has vividly explained all the events with data, however, he failed to mention Indian citizens. Clearly, if those figures got time from that drama then something could have been done for the country.
Siddhartha Das
Jun 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Such sycophancy this book is. No political analysis of any kind. No insightful commentary. The editor I believe forgot to do his/her job. He plans to write two more volumes. I request Rupa Books not to publish them if the level of writing remains the same. Worst choice of book in this summer.
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the title should be "defending indira gandhi " , or " greatness of indira" , or " how indira is victimised for the error ( emergency ) "

But the writing style is fluid.
Deepak Rao
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rapid-reads
Read it only if you're interested in Congress's history.
yogesh pawar
the book is waste of time and boring. Mukherjee he is praise himself and Congress party leaders of Gandhi Family. Gandhi Family he done good thing.... that is the book is all about. About Dalit he used Harijan word, it is absurd and show lack knowledge about Indian society and history. He wrote that SC/ST community his party only is doing ..... and all the things and their upliftment is because of Congress, I am amazed at of this quote or writing. He is self proclaimed intellectual in his book. ...more
Sumit Mishra
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, non-fiction
Book gives a Congressmen's (highly one sided ) opinion by the author, who served with the longest reigning and the most powerful family in Indian politics. Indira is so much at the center of the book that sometimes it feels like a "Indira and India" for all the dramatism of the years 1970-80.
Suresh Nair
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful chronology of Indian politics which gives a good picture of about 5 decades. The reader will have a clear outlook of the formative India and can judge the present post 2014 governments' loafty claims.
Jaskaran Singh
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pranab Da is a person who is undervalued in Indian Politics. Having spanned 5 decades in politics of India, he surely is one of those leaders who are respected by all parties. This book gives a different persepective of Emergency period.
Satyajit Roy
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A well versed manuscript of a certain period in Indian politics. Full of political information but it seems more or less one sided story. The way of writing isn't that much attractive to make you turn the page.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Useless book by a great man. Don't know why they are so scared of sharing the truth. Sad
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok read. It is a diary of events. I was looking for insights but there were only a few of them. The events by themselves were quite historic though.
Souvik Khamrui
The Dramatic Decade - The Indira Gandhi Years by President Pranab Mukherjee is an insightful & vivid account of turbulent national politics of 1970s in India. Shri Mukherjee with his usual suaveness & eloquence has narrated the annals of independence of Bangladesh with India's help, emergency by Indira Gandhi, defeat of Congress, formation of Janata Party government, split of Congress & birth of Congress (I) & at last resurrection of Indira Gandhi with victory in 1980. Shri Mukhe ...more
Payal Rana
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Dramatic Decade focuses on one of the most interesting periods in the life of India, the decade of the 1970s. The book has some really good insights and gives you a good sense of the politics and politicians of the 1970s and 1980,s. In his Mr. Pranab Mukherjee deals with several important things that defined India during 1969-80 and its effect on Indian economy as refugees had to be taken care of by a government which was itself short of cash and food grains and the trouble it caused in Beng ...more
Dr Nitin Rai Vohra
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Great book if you want to know the Indira Gandhi era ... Though I am not a congress fan I loved Pranav da's narration of the "glorious times"...a true Indira loyalist. This is supposedly the first of a triology. Looking forward to the books ahead in the series.....
Oct 20, 2015 rated it liked it
An average read. If you are expecting some inside information on the happenings during emergency, then you might be disappointed. The book provides clarity (from Congress' perspective) on what led to the emergency and the events that triggered the Indira Gandhi govt's collapse and its eventual rise to power in the 1980 elections. DO NOT expect any drama in the book. It is a very plain narrative of the split and formation of Congress (I). Pranab keeps talking about the party's split and how he st ...more
Kanti Brahma
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
The dramatic decade attempts to uncover the dramatic events of 1970s in a undramatic fashion. Book this book, despite coming from a person deeply involved in the political events of the country, fails to uncover the relatively unknown aspects of the decade. Rather the author has relied on parliamentary records, articles of some renowned newspapers to substantiate his point, consequently the book appears more of an unbiased academic piece of work rather than a story by an insider.

The book also s
Amit Tiwary
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books

a) Some facets of emergency which was not covered well in Kuldip Naiyar's book and other related materials.
b) History of Congress(I) formation and later mergers of other fractions in it.
c) Stupidity of Janta Dal and Morarjii Desai/Charan Singh/Jagajivan Ram further high-lightened.
d) Pranab da lists his failures along with successes.


a) Unnecessary details on WB Congress.
b) Too many things in Appendix
c) Other than emergency and political events of
Anil Swarup
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
The author is candid in admitting that the emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi "was perhaps an avoidable event". Yet he defends Indira Gandhi and her actions otherwise as a die hard supporter would. There are some more admissions in the book," in Haryana we made a mistake by allowing Bhajan Lal to switch over to the Congress(I) with his team". He doesn't shy from appreciating his opponents: "Two of their leaders holding Cabinet rank, A.B.Vajpayee and L.K.Advani, did well for themselves, both as M ...more
Ajitabh Pandey
A good historical perspective on the 1970s, the book is biased towards Congress and specifically Indira Gandhi. Definitely this is a good read as it gives the political perspective and scenario from the other side. We have heard a lot about emergency and the aftermath but this book covers the drama as it was seen by Pranab Mukherjee himself.

What I understood from the book is that Pranab Mukherjee is a politician more than a people's leader. His political carrier also depicts the same
Hemant Kumar
The author has described events in a chronological order and has used simple language, thought he narrative is monotonous. It is a good read to get an idea of the events taking shape in the "Dramatic Decade" (70s).
This book doesn't only give the idea of the political scenario of Indian politics of those times but alos gives glimpses of the thought of though process of predominantly the author and other political figures (in general).
I would recommend it to familiarize yourself with the politic
Haran Prasanna
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
A flash back of a part our history in a congress man view! Pranab Mukherje tried a lot to prove if not the emergency was imposed by Indra Gandhi, how India might have been affected badly in so many ways with so many statistics. He describes the bravery of Indra Gandhi with so many examples and how she bounced back after so many set backs she faced. He was like a shadow of her and he proudly admits in such a way that that was his great achievement. The formation of Bangladesh has been nicely brou ...more
Gautam  Shukla
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This is first of the three books to be penned by Mr Mukherje. An account of happenings in India during 1970-80 which led to impositions of Emergency and the aftermath.

What comes out of this book is not the story of nation building the cause for which the leaders are supposed to be working . It is more of fights to be at the center of power - to manage the opposition and the junta.

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Pranab Mukherjee is an Indian politician who was the 13th President of India. A man of unparalleled experience in governance, he has the rare distinction of having served at different times as Foreign, Defence, Commerce and Finance Minister. He was elected to the Upper House of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) five times from 1969 and twice to the Lower House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha) from 2004. H ...more
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