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My Years with Indira Gandhi
P.C. Alexander My Years with Indira Gandhi : P.C. Alexander : Vision Books : Book (ISBN: 8170944422)
Pages: 168
Price: Rs. 250
Format: Paperback
ISBN13/10: 9788170944423 / 8170944422
Availability: Yes
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P.C. Alexander’s was a vantage view of Indira Gandhi’s prime ministership from 1981 till her assassination and Rajiv Gandhi’s taking over as Prime Minister in October 1984. During this period he served as Mrs Gandhi’s Principal Secretary, involved by her own wishes, not only in government affairs but also in her party, political, and sometimes, personal matters. It is thus an important and honest insider’s account of much of what happened during that period, including:

  • The rocky shoals through which her relations had to pass with two successive Presidents

  • New insights into Mrs Gandhi’s role in the dismissals of the first communist government in Kerala in 1957, and N.T.Rama Rao’s government in Andhra Pradesh in 1984

  • The background on various cabinet reshuffles

  • Her assessment of key party and government colleagues

  • Her attitude towards those who had deserted her in her years out of power (1977-1980)

  • How Mrs Gandhi seriously considered the possibility of contesting the Presidential election of 1982 and how she struck up an enduring political alliance with the hugely popular Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MG Ramachandran

  • The major thrust Mrs Gandhi made in improving India’s international relations

  • Indira Gandhi’s death and the drama behind Rajiv’s succession as Prime Minister.

Here, then, is a book which gives an insider’s account of Indira Gandhi’s second innings as India’s Prime Minister.

It is rare for Indian civil servants to write about the events they have observed during their career. To quote Dr Alexander, he has chosen to depart from this tradition because "I have been greatly impelled by sense of history and of duty to record the events relating to the most critical years of Indira Gandhi’s life. I happened to have been the only witness to some of them…."


"...like the man himself—dignified, decent and diplomatic ... an insider's account about sensitive matters in the corridors of power.  —Subashree Krishnaswamy in Indian Review of Books

"A serious book dealing with momentous and sensitive matters at the highest political levels."  —Natwar Singh in Sunday

"P.C.Alexander's account . . . is extremely fascinating . . . studded with revelations."  —M J Akbar in Telegraph

P.C. Alexander

Dr. Padinjarethalakal Cherian (P.C.) Alexander was born in Kerala and studied History and Economics at the Travancore and Annamalai Universities. He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1948 and rose to be Secretary, Foreign Trade and Commerce Secretary, after holding several important positions. He was trained at the Board of Trade, U.K. under a Nuffield Foundation Fellowship and was a research fellow at the Stanford Research Institute, California under a Ford Foundation Fellowship.

Dr. Alexander was serving the International Trade Center (UNCTAD-GATT) at Geneva when he was invited by Indira Gandhi in 1981 to join her Secretariat as her Principal Secretary. After Indira Gandhi’s death, he continued to work with Rajiv Gandhi in the same capacity. He later served as High Commissioner for India in the U.K. (1985-88) and as Governor to Tamil Nadu during 1988-90.

Dr. Alexander is the author of three other books-The Dutch in Malabar, Buddhism in Kerala and Industrial Estates in India.

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