Veteran journalist Tavleen Singh was in the city on Tuesday to launch her new book, India’s Broken Tryst.
Veteran journalist Tavleen Singh was in the city on Tuesday to launch her new book, India’s Broken Tryst. In a conversation with fellow journalist, Jerry Rao, she pointed out that the idea germinated in her from the realisation that the famous ‘tryst with destiny speech’ of Jawaharlal Nehru had fallen apart. “We grew up on that speech and today if you take a look around, everything seems to have fallen down,” she contended, as she took aim at Nehru himself.
Telling us what led to this disillusionment in her, Tavleen adds, “It was only after I became an adult that I began to ask questions about that famous ‘tryst’. Why was the speech made in English Was Nehru just a romantic or a real leader And did he not know when he talked of the world being asleep at midnight that it was not midnight everywhere ”
To support her case, Tavleen pointed to how the National Capital and Mumbai were very different in tackling poverty. “In Mumbai, the poor and the wealthy live side-by-side, often overlooking each other. In Delhi however, the poor are driven to the other side of Yamuna, and are kept hidden.”
However, she further pointed out that till now the poor in the cities are still hopeful of a parivartan, but if things don’t change soon enough, they might not remain so. “We are sitting on powder keg,” she said, hinting at a proletarian movement.
The audience, among who were some of the most prominent dignitaries from various walks of life (including media magnate Subhash Chandra), participated freely in the conversation. When asked where the true problem lies, she pointed at the web-like world of bureaucrats.
But the need for the hour, she stated is education and healthcare. “I think our Prime Minister has wasted two long years, but I’m sure he has enough political acumen to come up with populist devices right before the election. But that will only aggravate the situation,” she said.
Tavleen Singh’s last book titled Durbar dealt with the betrayal of India by an inexperienced ruling class. She has written three other books — Kashmir: A Tragedy of Errors, Lollipop Street: Why India Will Survive Its Politicians and Political And Incorrect. She currently writes three weekly political columns in English and Hindi. India’s Broken Tryst is published by HarperCollins India.