Furrows in a Field: The Unexplored Life of H.D. Deve Gowda

by Srinivasaraju, Sugata

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Author: Srinivasaraju, Sugata

Languages: English

Number Of Pages: 600

Binding: Hardcover

Package Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 2.1 inches

Release Date: 13-12-2021

Details: Product Description H.D. Deve Gowda has been in public life for nearly seven decades. He started at the very bottom, as a member of the Holenarasipur Taluk Development Board and reached the very top as India's eleventh prime minister, in 1996. In between, he was an independent legislator, spent long years as leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, had been an effective irrigation and public works minister, and finally, chief minister in 1994 after many missed opportunities. Even twenty-five years after he stepped down as prime minister, he has remained relevant in Indian politics. Despite this long, arduous yet fascinating journey that began in a poor peasant household in the plains of Hassan, there has been no comprehensive assessment of his life and work. This biography endeavours to professionally fill the gap. The book's narrative is instructed by Gowda's rich parliamentary record, archival material and interviews conducted with people associated with him at various stages of his life. The layered narrative is further nuanced by Gowda's own voice, gargantuan memory, a close reading of the time when he made history and the currents of destiny that preceded it. Although Gowda has spent most of his years in Karnataka and has become a symbol of the federal idea, this book argues that the diverse national imagination and sincerity that he deployed as prime minister had magically lit up different corners of India. When Gowda became prime minister, many people intuitively registered that our democracy had not been rigged or captured by elites and dynasts, and there was indeed space in our system to rise for a self-made person with no godfathers. It generated hope and continues to do so. Review This meticulous and detailed account of H.D. Deve Gowda's very full life that spans nearly nine decades, provides a rich treasury of insights into the politics of India since Independence. Sugata Srinivasaraju has produced a powerful and resonant book. His writing is vigorous and expressive. This is a work of scholarly exactitude, critical sympathy and warm humanity -- Jeremy Seabrook, author and columnist A vivid and textured biography showing how Deve Gowda's agrarian roots and regional moorings shaped his brief stint at the apex of national power. Srinivasaraju illuminates a long life of struggle, with key insights into the complexities of caste, class and religion in Karnataka, and the contributions of the south to all-India politics. Furrows in a Field uncovers the green shoots of a generous federal alternative to the bigotry of religious majoritarianism and the dead end of secular uniformity -- Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University, and author of His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle against Empire H.D. Deve Gowda's short tenure as prime minister was not inconsequential. As chief minister of, and as a minister in, Karnataka, he made several contributions that have endured. As a public figure living for and breathing politics for almost six decades, he has carved out and occupied a distinctive niche. His commitment to the cause of farmers, particularly, has been legendary. It is only fitting that this remarkable man has at last found a biographer who does full justice to his life story. Through this extensively researched work, Sugata Srinivasaraju has made a major contribution to contemporary Indian history -- Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament H.D. Deve Gowda is one of the tallest leaders of India. I came in contact with him when there was extreme turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, and he was prime minister. He had the courage and dedication to save the situation from going from bad to worse. He conducted fair elections, through which I came to government . . . Gowda is a committed secularist and stands by the ideals and principles on which our founding fathers based this country -- Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister of Ja