By Krishan Pratap Singh.#3 in The Raisina Hill Series. Grade A
How do you escape the Literary Threequel Curse? How do you meet the expectations of those readers who want to read something better than what already is a masterpiece? The War Ministry of Krishan Pratap Singh takes all these questions, buries them under the Raisina Hill, and kills them forever. EPIC! is an understatement for this trilogy.
Bharat News Ticker: Prime Minister Azim Khan takes office, becomes first Muslim to lead India… Pakistan rejects peace talks after hostilities end in Indo-Pak war… Unconfirmed reports suggest Deputy Prime Minister Karan Nehru’s disenchantment with PMO…Tensions with China escalate, as India is accused by Beijing of ‘sheltering Tibetan extremists and abetting instability in Tibet’… Ulema leaders ask PM to cater to Muslim interests or face backlash… US presidential candidates debate South Asian crisis… Opposition parties prepare for the possible fallout from a Khan-Nehru split…
Assuming power in the messy aftermath of a war with Pakistan, and mounting hostility with a belligerent China, Azim Khan inherits an India in crisis. Heading a shaky coalition, his leadership is questioned at every turn – most visibly by Deputy PM Karan Nehru, his once-best friend and, more insidiously, by other scheming detractors hidden within his government. India’s first Muslim PM must earn the trust of the Indian people in his leadership and prove he is the man with the ability to heal the wounds of the past and chart a path to a united and bold future for the nation.
Buffeted by history, conflicted by ideology, and curbed by his own limitations, Azim and his team of idealists face the ultimate test.
Will they succeed?
The concluding volume of the bestselling Raisina Series, The War Ministry is a gripping account of the complex day-to-day functioning of a prime minister and his office.
Those who haven’t read the first two of the trilogy (Delhi Durbar and Young Turks) should rush to the bookstores. KP Singh’s accurate and in-depth description of the facts has churned out what can be deemed as India’s best political fiction series. He has made the first two parts transcend from mere books to an experience. If KP Singh hadn’t served a perfectly fitting last installment, he was going to be in serious trouble. Luckily, I have the pleasure to report that you’re not going to be disappointed.
Wipe those tears away now, it’s all going to be okay. The story starts from where Young Turks ends. A bit of a look into the last book and then the readers are introduced to the ludicrousness of the astounding events waiting to be unfolded.
The story takes a particularly self-aware approach to alternate possibilities – India has defeated Pakistan in war. India has its first Muslim Prime Minister – Azim Khan. Azim khan and Karan Nehru are old friends (and geometrically opposite). Everything is very simple and clear in the beginning. But then things begin to become complex, the mist fades and masks begin to slip off. And you are not really sure what lies next, even if a moment ago you were so confident you knew what was going to happen.
So what is this book about? I wish it were easy to tell in one smartly constructed sentence. There is no better word to describe The War Ministry than ‘politics’. Pure politics. But wait, actually add to that ‘religion’, throw in a bit of ‘media’ and wrap it up with a dash of ‘friend-turn-foe’ and once you add everything that can bend and melt in India in this book, you will arguably have awesomeness printed in your lap. The magnitude of its scope is astonishing.
There is such wild oscillation in it that swings us into multiple arenas of politics and diplomacy. It is one of those books that deserve endless essays about each chapter that need to be looked from each imaginable angle, and demands immense respect. Go buy it now.