Penguin Random House India announces the acquisition of film historian and author Gautam Chintamani’s first political biography. This is the first exclusive memoir of veteran politician Rajnath Singh. The book is due to release in May 2019 and is already available for pre-order on e-commerce websites.
A gripping tell-all about one of the tallest politicians in present-day India, the author chronicles Rajnath Singh’s career spanning nearly fifty years, during which he played a significant role in shaping the history of this country. Drawing from a vast amount of research and in-depth interviews, Chintamani’s engaging narrative reveals, for the first time, a politician who never shied away from doing the right thing.
Rajnath Singh rose from being a humble swayamsevak in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, and even served as a cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government. Jailed during the Emergency, Singh was the president of the BJP’s youth wing, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. A two-term president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Singh witnessed the elevation of Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate and delivered BJP’s biggest election victory in 2014. Since then, as India’s home minister, he has ushered in a new phase in the country’s security where both internal and external threats have been minimized. Under Singh, the threats from Naxalites and Maoists have significantly decreased and the state of Jammu and Kashmir saw its first local body elections in over a decade.
Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘In the current political landscape there are only a handful of politicians who have grown from the grassroots and have made their way to the top echelons of power on the basis of their hard work, grit and determination. Rajnath Singh is one of them. The son of a farmer, he has spent decades in diverse roles and is universally respected for who he is. I am delighted that we will be publishing his biography and am equally pleased that Gautam Chintamani will be writing it. In Gautam, we have found the perfect author to present a dispassionate and riveting account of one of India’s most inspiring and intriguing political leaders’.
Gautam Chintamani says, ‘Like most of India’s present political dispensation, Rajnath Singh, too, emerged post-Emergency, the twenty-one-month period between June 1975 and March 1977, often described as the darkest phase in independent India’s history. Yet Singh stands apart from many of his contemporaries as he continues to remain committed to the ideals of social justice, political equality and civil liberty. In a career spanning fifty years, Singh has come to embody a certain standard in public life where principles do not change with prevailing circumstances, and he strives to constantly mend bridges as well as find common ground across party lines. What propelled me to write this book was the desire to tell the story of a politician, who, unlike most other politicians, never shied away from doing the right thing, irrespective of the opposition. As a biographer, in Rajnath Singh’s life, I found a rare instance of a politician in contemporary India who has traversed the entire spectrum of the political journey. In this odyssey, Singh has both witnessed and played a significant role in shaping the history of India. A naturally pragmatic person who rarely dwells in the past, Singh’s life also offers the younger generations great insight into the struggles undertaken by men and women to deliver on the promise of making India a world leader’.
Gautam Chintamani is a film historian and an author of bestselling books, who hails from a literary tradition that runs deep on both sides of his family—the late Telugu poet Arudra is his maternal grandfather and the liberal thinker Sir C.Y. Chintamani is his paternal great-grandfather. Gautam’s documentary film SRI: Challenging Traditions, Transforming Lives won the Best Documentary Award at the Asia Pacific Rice Film Festival, Malaysia. His trilogy, Janam–Aagazh–Parvaaz, on the journey of children with special needs and their parents was screened at the 2011 International Film Festival of India (IFFI). His notable television credits include Siddhanth, a law series, which garnered an Emmy nomination in the ‘international drama’ category—a first for an Indian television show