Delusional Politics by Hardeep Singh Puri – Review

Book: Delusional Politics
Author: Hardeep Singh Puri
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Pages: 270; Price: Rs 599

The book is an analysis of some of the most influential democracies (and its leaders) of the world. Critical of the leadership in UK and USA the book favours current Indian democracy as being more genuine and progressive. The contours of the world order are traced through a critical engagement with global governance, terror and trade of the mentioned three countries. Divided into seven chapters, the book is an inquiry substantiated by personal experiences and detailed empirical investigations into the future of world politics.

The chapter titled, ‘The Credibility Crisis’ discusses the unusual election results of the three countries. Tracing the histories of parties in political power, the author seems to support the widespread belief of disastrous consequences of current leadership, manipulation of news by media and misplaced judgments of people in UK and USA. In the context of India, the author alludes to how media and people’s prejudices fail to understand the crisis caused by Congress rule that has contributed to delusional politics of the country. The second chapter titled ‘Brexit’ offers author’s views on the event as an illustration of deluded politics of U.K. He imagines little impact that UK will have in international politics.

The third chapter ‘Trump and the Global Delusional Order’ explains the rise of Donald Trump to power and the failures of the democratic forces of U.S.A. Critical of the politics based on falsehood and populism, the book offers some predictions of the fate of United States politics. The fourth chapter ‘The India Story’ details the history of Congress rule, severely critical of the rule of members of Gandhi family, the author makes a case of how the current BJP rule, infact, is the closest that India has witnessed in terms of sustainable economic development.

The fifth chapter ‘Global Governance’ comments on the failure of the U.N. as it continues to participate in faulty economic and political decision making including treaties concerning climate change, nuclear security (among many). The chapters ‘The Politics of Terror’ and ‘The politics of Trade Policy’ continue to discuss UN failures as well as deluded world policies of UN and USA while also discussing important role that countries like China have been playing.

While the book seems very critical of world politics, it is biased and uncritical of current leadership and governance in India. The author strongly favours all the policies of Modi government including limited subsidies for farmers, Goods and Services Act, Make in India programme, implementation of Digital India programme (to name a few). Dismissive of crisis like farmer suicides, communal disharmony, disparities in economic growth, the author seems to believe that these challenges are “delusional”.

It clearly does not dialogue with voices of the marginalised communities as well as secular forces within Indian democracy that tirelessly continue to express their dissent and exclusion. Thus, while the book gives a convincing account of deluded politicians and politics of USA and UN, it fails to provide a fair unbiased account of current Indian politics.

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