Parliamental — by Meghnad S.
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Price: Rs. 299 INR(Paperback), Rs. 177 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2T6vtBX
Raghav Marathe, cynical millennial turned reluctant policy analyst, arrives in Delhi with his boss, Prabhu Srikar of the RJM party, and a first-time MP with a tendency to throw up. As they navigate their way around Parliament, handling backroom deals, nepotistic party heads, and laws that seem to be tailor-made to benefit the ruling party, they learn that politics and idealism don’t always go together. While Srikar tries to adapt to his new avatar and lie low, Raghav uses his Twitter alter ego, @Arnavinator, to vent his frustration and spread chaos.
But when a new bill that threatens freedom of expression is bulldozed through with impunity, Srikar and Raghav must make a choice — to compromise on their values or to stand up for what is right. But at what cost? And can they and their unlikely allies — a jaded lawyer, an ambitious journalist and a rising YouTube star — really make a difference?
A heady mix of politics, satire and current events, Parliamental is a roller-coaster ride through the corridors of power.
About the author:
Meghnad is a columnist, public policy professional and podcaster. He has his own show, Consti-tution, on the Newslaundry and is an influencer on Twitter with the handle @memeghnad. He also travels all over the country to conduct civics classes under the banner Democracy IRL. His articles have appeared and gone viral on BuzzFeed and other content websites.
My take on the book:
Prabhu Srikar has unexpectedly won as the MP from Nagpur, representing the RJM party, being first timer and without any prior political experience. Raghav a young neighbor whose education Srikar sponsored for the sake of old time rapport with Raghav’s family, helps Srikar with his winning speeches during the election campaigning. Srikar as well as Raghav’s mother insist that Raghav tags along Srikar for his Parliament sessions and continue assisting Srikar for his speeches and other work. Raghav along with Jeetu, Srikar’s trusted aide, cook and driver, land in Lok Sabha, thus embarking on a roller coaster journey none of them ever dreamt of.
Srikar faces the ugly side of politics and shocking manipulation from his own party people. Raghav is constantly reminded of the nasty truth of his father’s death and the circumstances that forced it. There is a nosy journalist Nikita who is always prying for some inside gossip from Srikar and Raghav. What lies ahead for Raghav resulting from lack of maturity and political experience forms the rest of the story.
Starting from the title, the cover and from page one, the book is filled with subtle humor and sarcasm about current political scenario in the country especially in the digital world with the youth having their own opinions. Even the footnotes on most pages explaining some of the catchy and desi words are hilarious. The author keeps the number of characters minimal to avoid unnecessary cluttering of narration. The characters are pretty intriguing from the start with the author unveiling different unexpected sides to each of them as the story progresses. The book also gives some intricate details of how parliament sessions take place, and how the elected representatives and parties work as per their own agendas.
However, after an excellent first half, the story gradually fizzles in the second part and the narration loses direction, as the actions of the main characters gets illogical in parts. Some scenes feel rushed and dramatic straying away from the tone of the story so far. If these sequences in the second half can be ignored, then this book is a must read for those looking for a different genre amidst all the love stories or startup stories filling Indian market.
This review is part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.