For the month of March, my non-fiction read was My Date With History by Suman Chattopadhyay. A memoir of Suman’s life as a journalist covering key developments across the subcontinent will be a valuable document on the contemporary history of India.
Through this memoir, one thing was absolutely clear to me that being a political journalist is not easy at all. You need to maintain connection and balance with leaders of various political groups, the editorials that need to be perfectly balanced, the constant coverage of every small thing happening that may become a big thing in next few days. Suman Chattopadhyay takes the reader through nearly three major events that the country went through since 1983. These events were not just confined to Delhi and Calcutta, but also managed to create a tsunami that swamped over till Jaffna and Moscow.
His extensive coverage of militancy and Punjab, Rajiv Gandhi’s rise in power and his frequent trips to Bengal to snatch away power from CPI(M), his brief encounter with LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran after he managed to gain entry in Jaffna posing as Bengali Red Cross Official, the blow by blow account of Babri Masjid Demolition that changed politics in India forever made Suman a journalist of iron and wit.
What I loved about the book My Date With History was the inside out details shared by Suman on incidents that made India what it is today. From the growth of home terrorism to Green Revolution in Punjab, Suman’s detailing of each case and within explaining the good and bad circumstances is what makes this book one of the best reads of 2018 for me.
However, being a reviewer I need to consider the fact that this book is not everybody’s cup of tea. Being of a non-fiction genre, My Date With History will attract only those readers who have a genuine interest in this country’s ever-changing political scenario, reforms, and scams that keeps the public on their toes.
All in all, My Date With History is a must read for all.