The Lotus Years
Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | English Non-fiction
The Lotus Years
When Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister in 1984 it was for him a baptism of fire. The tumultuous years that followed witnessed the beginnings of economic reform and the stemming of regional insurgency on the one hand, and the drama of the Shah Bano case and the Bofors scandal on the other - events that sent tremors through the country and its political establishment.
As a journalist covering politics from the time of Indira Gandhi's reign, Ashwini Bhatnagar observed at close quarters the consequences of the transition from iron-handed rule to one of earnest naivety, the calculations of the country's foremost political players, dramatic election campaigns and the unwieldy workings of dynastic politics.
In The Lotus Years, Ashwini draws from his field notes to weave a remarkable chronicle that brings together the life of a reluctant prime minister, the inner dynamics of his powerful family and the story of a maturing democratic nation, laying bare the intricacies and dissonances of political life in India.
Ashwini Bhatnagar is a veteran journalist who has worked with leading Indian newspapers such as Pioneer, Times of India, Sunday Mail and the Tribune in editorial leadership positions. He has published eight books so far, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a well-known documentary film-maker, columnist, travel writer, satirist and contemporary-history enthusiast. Ashwini is currently serving as Professor and Dean at the Faculty of Mass Communication and Media Technology, SGT University, Gurugram.