Watch the full video of author Jairam Ramesh in conversation about his new book, ‘Intertwined Lives: P N Haskar and Indira Gandhi' with Srinath Raghavan.
The book is the first full-length biography of arguably India’s most influential and powerful civil servant who was Indira Gandhi’s alter ego during her period of glory. Educated in the sciences and trained in law, P N Haksar was a diplomat by experience and a communist-turned-democratic socialist by conviction. He knew Indira Gandhi from their London days in the late 1930s and in May 1967 she appointed him as the secretary in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. He then emerged as her ideological beacon and moral compass, playing a pivotal role in her signature achievements including the nationalisation of banks, abolition of privy purses and princely privileges, the creation of an independent Bangladesh, the signing of the Indo-Soviet Treaty and the emergence of India as an agricultural, space and nuclear power, to name a few.
Drawing on Haksar’s extensive archives of official papers, memos, notes, and letters and using his unique personal knowledge of people and politics, Jairam Ramesh presents a compelling chronicle of the life and times of a remarkable Indian who decisively shaped India’s political and economic history in the 1960s and 1970s.
Jairam Ramesh is an Indian economist and politician belonging to the Indian National Congress. Srinath Raghavan is a Senior Fellow at CPR.
The question and answer session that followed can be accessed here.