20 October, 2020

The Advantages Of A Long Nose

Who better than him to provide this thumbnail sketch of our contemporary history, gossip and all?

The Advantages Of A Long Nose
Kuldip Nayar’s is a classic case of a competent gamekeeper turning into a boisterously successful poacher. For the first 15 years of his working life, he was in the government’s Press Information Bureau, mostly as Information Officer, successively, of Govind Ballabh Pant and Lal Bahadur Shastri, the two outstanding Union home ministers after the matchless Sardar Patel. He left the pib just before Jawaharlal Nehru’s death and Shastri’s ascension to the office of prime minister to head the news agency, uni. He has since spent more than four decades to expose the official secrets he used to protect so assiduously in his pib days. No wonder he calls his book Scoop.

Nothing could have illustrated the transformation in Kuldip’s professional persona more than his candid ‘Status of Hindi’, one of the more evocative chapters in his narrative. He writes of the time when the reorganisation of states, largely along linguistic lines, was more or less complete but language remained a live and emotive issue. For, the Constitution had decreed the replacement of English by Hindi...



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