Title: India in Slow Motion
Writers : Mark Tully and Gillian Wright
My Rating: 4 on 5
Mark Tully is a name that is often taken in my circle of readers. Considering how much I knew about the author, it was a shame I had never read his books. To set that right, I picked up the most easily available book and that turned out to be India in Slow Motion.
Tully is a British journalist who treats India his second home. This book is a collection of his essays and stories when he was in India and covers diverse topics like farmer suicides in Maharashtra to child labour in the north. The story I liked the most is the Tehelka scam that rocked the NDA government. Tully gives us detailed insight into the world of investigative journalism. It is easy for us audience to watch the Tehelka scam unfold and the recorded footage on TV. What goes on behind the scenes is an interesting story in itself. Tully interviews the key man behind the Tehelka scam and reveals us the background story behind the scam. I never realized journalists are risking their lives in earning a breaking news. The story on Indira Gandhi and the making of V.P. Singh was an engaging one for me. I had never known V.P. Singh this close! The story on child labour and farmer suicides tugged at my heart. The theme that runs across the book is that India lacks good governance. Tully picks up many stories to bring across this issue.
It is interesting to see India through Tully’s eyes. What I love about this man is his unbiased view of the country. He is not prejudiced, unlike some foreigners I know, about the pathetic public transport system or the dirty toilets. It does not mean that Tully doesn’t complain. He does complain and rants about the conditions in India, but when he does that, he comes across as one of our own people. You don’t hear a foreigner’s tone, but an Indian’s, which makes all the difference.