Captain Amarinder Singh: The People’s Maharaja – An Authorized Biography
by Khushwant Singh
An authentic, definitive and no holds barred narrative packed with fascinating incidents and anecdotes that brings alive the life and times of one of the most prominent and striking individuals (a former royal) in the sphere of Punjab politics. Beginning with a historical background of how the Patiala kingdom came to be established and ruled over the centuries, the author moves on to describe the early years of Amarinder Singh (a scion of that kingdom). He then portrays the Indo Pak war zone of 1965 (where the protagonist earned his spurs) and finally focuses on the combative arenas of Punjab politics, where numerous electoral and other battles have been (and continue to be) fought. This informative work unravels the subterfuges of politicians and others (including religious leaders) in trying to ensure their dominance. The pages reveal behind the scenes intrigues, plots and counter plots even as Punjab was in the vice like grip of terrorism in the late twentieth century. Operation Bluestar (June 1984) and its consequences have been objectively recorded. Besides tracing the career graph of Amarinder Singh, who reached his pinnacle when he became the chief minister of Punjab in February 2002, the author provides useful insights into crucial events that have made an immense impact on that state and the neighbouring areas over the past few decades. The text also throws light on Amarinder Singhs five year tenure as chief minister (marked by both positive and negative aspects) and on the following period, when Parkash Singh Badal regained that post. The contents are rounded off with an update on the Punjab situation even as all the political parties in the state are gearing up for the rough and tumble of the forthcoming assembly elections in early 2017. Through this book, Khushwant Singh highlights those factors that set apart Amarinder Singh from his adversaries, besides taking an occasional peek into his private life and idiosyncrasies. Heres a saga that records history in the making in Punjab.
About The Author
Khushwant Singh (born Khushal Singh, 2 February 1915 20 March 2014) was an Indian novelist, lawyer, journalist and politician. Born and raised in Hadali, Punjab (now in Pakistan), he studied law at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and King’s College London. After working as a lawyer in Lahore Court for eight years, he joined the Indian Foreign Service upon the Independence of India from British Empire in 1947. He was appointed journalist in the All India Radio in 1951, and then moved to the Department of Mass Communications of UNESCO at Paris in 1956. These last two careers encouraged him to pursue a literary career. As a writer, he was best known for his trenchant secularism, humour, sarcasm and an abiding love of poetry. His comparisons of social and behavioural characteristics of Westerners and Indians are laced with acid wit. He served as the editor of several literary and news magazines, as well as two newspapers, through the 1970s and 1980s. Between 1980-1986 he served as Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.