Sunday, March 21, 2010

REVIEW: A Window on the Wall

A Window On The Wall: Quit India Prison Diary Of A 19-Year-Old
H.Y. Sharada Prasad
Edited By Sugata Srinivasaraju
Rs 190
Pp 130

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A History man Outlook

Sharada Prasad briefed the press in the packed Shastri Bhavan hall as Delhi began to dissolve into chaos, hours after Indira Gandhi was shot dead. Despite his personal grief, it was a virtuoso performance: calm, controlled and thoroughly professional in a charged atmosphere in which one wrong word would have further inflamed passions.

The intellectual and moral makings of the man who spent years at the vortex of national affairs as the understated and legendary information advisor to two prime ministers are revealed in this prison diary he kept as a student leader in Mysore during the Quit India movement. The diary, discovered by his wife after his death, is edited with dedication and sympathy and includes contemporary narratives that give it a historical context.

A Mysorean's views from a jail window DNA
Where is India’s GenNext headed? A function held in the city on Sunday to mark the release of the prison diary of a 19-year-old provided an occasion for eminent individuals to mull over the state of today’s youth in the country.

That the 19-year-old’s diary was penned over six decades back only accentuated the sea change in the values of today’s youth. Besides, the diarist was none other than HY Sharada Prasad, the Mysorean who turned out to be a man of eminence and
became the press advisor for prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai and Rajiv Gandhi.

Former chief justice of India, MN Venkatachalaiah, read out from the book, titled A Window on the Wall, Quit India Prison Diary of a 19-year-old and edited by journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju.

A teenager's prison diary comes alive Hindu
“This is his first original work and I am immensely happy that it has been published,” said an emotional Kamalamma, the late H.Y. Sharada Prasad's companion of six decades.

The erudite Kannadiga was adviser and speech writer to three Prime Ministers of India. Speaking in the city on Sunday at the launch of his prison diary written in 1942 as a 19-year-old, Ms. Kamalamma said: “He was a good man, but was very hard on himself. Periodically, he kept reminding himself of his vows of honesty and modesty, and even in tough moments never got swayed.” The book is published both in English ( A Window on the Wall) and Kannada ( Arivina Aadambola) by Navakarnataka Publications as part of its golden jubilee celebrations. It got a warm reception.

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