19th December 2010
Recent books by friends
In this post I'll introduce you to three recent books by friends.
If you recall, a few months ago Harsh Vora introduced me to Dr K C Mahendru's book Baba Ramdev – Resurgence of New India (Freedom Movement-2). I did think at that time that Dr Mahendru's name sounded very familiar but I thought this must be someone else since he was writing not about Dayanand but about Baba Ramdev. It turns out that Professor Mahendru and I know each other very well indeed, a relationship that goes back a long time. He and my father were classmates in Doaba College, Jullundur where they both took their masters degree in political science. My father joined the civil service, Prof. Mahendru became an academic (and prolific writer, I find).
When I was a student living in the DAV College Hostel in 1978-79, Prof. Mahendru was my direct neighbour and chief warden of the hostel. His home was one door away from my room, and periodically he would emerge from that door to inspect the hostel and stop by to have a chat with me. I also wrote an article for the golden jubilee celebration souvenir of DAV college – an issue that Prof. Mahendru edited. It turns out that Prof. Mahendru not only became the Principal of DAV Jullundur (a very important academic position indeed, in Panjab), but also occupied other senior roles in the DAV institutions.
It will be my privilege to read Dr. Mahendru's books as soon as I can lay my hands on them. If Professor Mahendru supports Baba Ramdev then there must surely be some substance in this young man, Ramdev.
(In the meanwhile Prof. Mahendru and I have connected on Facebook. Such are the ways of the modern world.)
I'm providing low-resolution scans from the Diamond Jubilee souvenir of DAV Jullundur – for old time's sake (!) But read on, below. There are two other friends I'm covering in this post.
I've only very recently come across the publication of Rakesh Wadhwa's book, The Deal Maker. Rakesh is a friend who was actively involved in the Swatantra Bharat Party effort of 2004 that I supported through the India Policy Institute. Indeed, he provided a not insignificant financial contribution to SBP, as well – something that was surely pivotal in getting Sharaj Joshi a Rajya Sabha seat.
Rakesh had conceptualised, even in 2004, a novel that would talk about the story of (future) political change in India brought about by a freedom-loving protagonist. His book, that finishes this story, has been recently published and has received positive reviews in the media, I gather. I encourage you to rush out and buy it! Let me know what you think about it.
Rakesh is a brilliant writer, being an editor of the Boss magazine published in Nepal of which his wife Shalini is the boss (CEO). Rakesh has won the Bastiat award in the past for his outstanding writings on liberty.
Pictured Rakesh Wadhwa, Gurcharan Das, Sharad Joshi and I in January 2004 (I had sprained my ankle at the public seminar and was in crutches).
Before I forget I must not forget to mention that Sharad Joshi recently published his book Down to Earth (details here). It is based on the 300 plus “Down to Earth” columns he has written for Business Line since 1998. This must surely be a book of great wisdom – particularly on agricultural policy. I strongly encourage you to buy and read it.