He wrote, “We have had many outstanding prime ministers – Nehru, Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, many others, and now Narendra Modi who comes from a modest background and has achieved the highest level with his political acumen and yogic will. And have been successful in two general elections.
Bond used to study in school at the time of independence
Bond attended school at the time of India’s independence and he remembers the unfurling of the tricolor and the unfurling of the Union Jack (British flag) at his boarding school in Shimla. He also refers to Nehru’s world famous speech and says that the speech “reflects his knowledge of global affairs and his proficiency in the English language”.
Nehru an Indian influenced by the West but a person connected to the people
Nehru was a ‘sweetheart’ man for Bond, who almost always had red roses on his achkan. He attended English Public School and University and spoke and wrote English fluently. He was an Indian influenced by the West, but at the same time connected to the people. He loved the crowd and addressed them with enthusiasm.
Bond also says that Nehru often dodged his bodyguards. In a book published by Penguin Random House India, he wrote that he met a former bodyguard of Nehru around 1960. He said that he found it difficult to live with Nehru. Nehru suddenly moved in some other direction and had to run after Pandit Nehru. The bodyguard jokingly said that he had lost weight while running after Nehru.
What was written about Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi
He describes Indira Gandhi as a strong leader who had no hesitation in sending Indian forces to East Pakistan and helping in the creation of Bangladesh. Bond writes, “But his prime ministerial period also saw many upheavals—including a nearly two-year period of emergency, during which most political opponents, including his outspoken critics, were imprisoned.”
He wrote of Rajiv Gandhi that he “did not have a political background, but did his best with the help of his well-wishers and his wife – his attempt to find a solution to the civil war in Sri Lanka resulted in tragic results”.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee how person
According to Bond, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a humble and thoughtful person. He wrote, “A few years before becoming the Prime Minister, I saw him walking in a market in Mussoorie, with only one or two people with him, he was talking to shopkeepers and other people without any pretense.” ’ He writes, “When the BJP came to power, it was this humility, courtesy and deliberation that made him a very different Prime Minister from his predecessors; a man who understood the aspirations of the people in many ways.”
In the book, Bond also talks about the diverse elements of India – its rivers and forests, literature and culture, sights, sounds and colours. He says, “While I have looked at the highlights of the past 75 years of India’s progress as a nation, this short book does not claim to be a political or historical analysis of events.”