From Mountbatten to Manmohan Singh, Kuldip Nayar’s autobiography is also the story of modern India and its heroes through the eyes of a veteran journalist. Already creating ripples, Beyond the Lines opens with the Pakistan Resolution being passed in Lahore in 1940 and takes us through a nation as it works on foreign policy, development plans, relations with neighbouring countries, and coalition politics.
From events of historical and political relevance like the Tashkent Declaration, the 1971 war to interviews with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mujibur Rahman to his close association with Lal Bahadur Shastri and Jayaprakash Narayan, Nayar’s narrative is a detailed inside view of India’s past and present. Beyond the Lines recalls, in great detail, landmark events like Operation Bluestar and Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Nayar offers not just a glimpse into his own life but also into that of the country and its policy makers. Claims contradicting Nayar’s version are already pouring in.
As a young law graduate in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), Kuldip Nayar witnessed the collapse of trust between two communities that had lived together for generations. Like millions of others, he was forced to migrate to Delhi where he got his first job as a young journalist in an Urdu daily. From those early days in Anjam, Nayar has crossed many professional landmarks.
Now 89, Nayar has seen history unfold and watched in action those whome the present generation know only as institutions or names. “My story is really the story of modern India. Of the freedom struggle, of Partition, of Nehru’s India, of the Bangladesh war, of Emergency and more recently of liberalisation and India as a world power,” he says.
Bottomline: A detailed inside view of India’s past and present
Beyond The Lines: An Autobiography; Kuldip Nayar, Lotus Roli, Rs. 595