Dec, 23 2013 at 09:12 PM
Special Arrangement PANDORA’S DAUGHTERS: Kalyani Shankar; Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd., Vishrut Building, DDA Complex, Building No. 3, Pocket C-6&7, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070. Rs. 499. In Greek mythology, Pyrrha,...
In an introductory chapter that is endlessly repetitive — we learn no less than five times in one chapter about the importance of Ms. Mufti’s father in her ascendance — Shankar summarises the back-story and worldview of each of the women leaders she is about to profile, but ends with a rumination on dynasty and personality cults. Some of the best insights undoubtedly come from the author’s retelling of events she was witness to, and from interviews with men and women who saw it all; Natwar Singh’s retelling of Rajiv Gandhi’s funeral and former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s conversation with Ms. Gandhi, for instance. But there is little about their personal lives that we learn that is not already known, with the surprising exception of former President Pratibha Patil.
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