"Pity", film Accidental Prime Minister ignores book's 80% defence of Manmohan Singh: Sanjaya Baru

Sanjaya Baru
Former media adviser to ex-PM Manmohan Singh, Sanjaya Baru, has claimed that 80 per cent of his book "The Accidental Prime Minister" constitutes "the best available defence in print, even as of now, of the Manmohan Singh prime ministership", regretting, it is a " pity" that the film based on it, starring Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna, ignores this huge portion.
In an article in "The Week" titled "Have you read the book?", Baru says, underlines, "The book would have read like a hagiography, an unrelenting paean to the former prime minister, if it had not also contained the 20 per cent of criticism." However, he says, both media and the film which bears the same name as the book, focus on its "controversial parts, rather than the totality of a complex argument".
Directly commenting on the film, Baru underlines, "Now with the book being adapted into a movie, chances are that a larger body of opinion about the book is going to be shaped by what the movie’s producers have claimed to be a ‘fictionalised’ dramatisation of the book. A pity." He adds, "Controversy may help sales, but it prevents a reasonable view being taken of a nuanced argument."
Ironically, Baru blames such a reaction to his book on the way the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) reacted to his book. He says, "I had alerted the PM and his office to the fact that while the book is, by and large, a defence of Singh’s tenure, the media would focus on the critical comments. That is what happened."
Noting that "the PMO’s knee-jerk response and the media’s focus on the book’s controversial parts, rather than the totality of a complex argument, have shaped thinking about the book both among its critics and most admirers", finding himself "at the receiving end of ill-informed public criticism, especially on social media, where the critics have clearly not read the book."

Comments

Leo Saldanha said…
But then, Baru permitted adaption of his book into a film after studying the script I hope. If not, he appears to have played into the hands of the Sangh, knowingly. And now that the film has bombed at the box office, he is probably doing his vain best to claim redemption?
Unknown said…
You want to have the cake and then eat it too !! It is not about 80% and 20%, but you wanted it all, sir!!

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