We live in a world of 140 characters; where twitter is the new conversation, where attention spans are often reduced to a nano-second, where a 15 second soundbite is seen to be a substitute for a profound observation, where ‘Hell Yeah’ trends for days! In this age, is there space for a 135,000 word, 350 page book? I do strongly believe there is: 20 years from now, we are unlikely to remember this age of the soundbite, but there is a fair chance that a book will remain a recorded history of the exciting times in which we live. While researching for my book, ‘2014: the election that changed India’, I tried to find out how many reporter-led, narrative driven books had been written on Indian elections. I couldn’t honestly find any, except Janardhan Thakur’s All the Prime Minister’s Men that exposed the characters in Indira Gandhi’s 1977 Emergency election debacle. In the west, I found several such books, including a recent one called Game Change on the Obama campaign.
My book is not just on Narendra Modi’s campaign: it traces a period in our politics which I believe has had a seminal impact on the country. There are several individuals who make up the star cast of this book: elections are won, but they are also lost. My book is an attempt to trace the key moments when the 2014 elections were won and lost. Ok, I know a book is a longer read than a tweet: so starting tomorrow, I will tweet little teasers and videos of what the book contains. Hopefully, they will excite you enough to go and pick up a copy when the book hits the stores next weekend.