Review: Tarun Gogoi – the inside story of a blunt politician

Tarun GogoiTitle: Tarun Gogoi – the inside story of a blunt politician
Author: Wasbir Hussain
Publisher: Wordweaves India, Guwahati
Published: 27th December’2010
Pages: 291
Price: Rs. 499
Language: English
ISBN: 978-81-909903-2-5

Rating: 3/5


It is the time of elections in Assam, and releasing a book like this in the market is a BIG risk, but that is Tarun Gogoi. It also justifies the title. He is known for taking risks all along his career. On reading, one finds that, the book itself is also a calculated risk. Assam in the last ten years has developed a lot. This also happens to be roughly the time period of Tarun Gogoi’s government holding power. I may sound as someone politically inclined to Congress here but even some of the members of Opposition have gone on record to admit this fact. When Tarun Gogoi came to power, it was because everyone wanted AGP out of power and they were the only option available as alternative. This fact tells the state of affairs of Assam at that time. Today, we see visible development around us. Although, I am not much interested in either politics or biographies when it comes to books, this book offered a unique mix of both that made me buy it the very next day it was released in the market.

The book is not a typical political biography. The author attempts to touch certain aspects of political history of Assam through the eyes of Tarun Gogoi. The biography chronicles the life of Tarun Gogoi, from politics to intimate personal details, laced with quotes from friends, relatives, and those who knew the straightforward Chief Minister from close. He was a surprise nomination when nominated first for fighting MP elections from Jorhat. He won that election. After that he was also appointed as Joint Secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) in a crucial time of India, i.e., post emergency. He was appointed Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC)’s President when Congress lost majority of its seats after the Assam Agitation. He became the Chief Minister of Assam when Assam was in terrible shape. In short, he was in key positions in terrible situations. Reading those parts of the book while he was in those delicate times have been very interesting.

The book has been woven very carefully and presented very interestingly. The later part of the book looks like a report card of the government. So, at times it seemed politically inclined. I would have liked if the book also addressed some of the more serious allegations made against him than those addressed here.

As I said earlier, the book is a calculated risk. The book will definitely help in the upcoming elections. Although, there is still some time to see if it happens otherwise. Whatever might be the effect, the book is a must read for people interested in Assam and a good read for others.

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