A Prisoner’s Scrap-Book is a fascinating account of the unfolding of events of the Emergency (1975-77) as seen from a prison house. Written in a simple and straightforward style embellished with anecdotes, this is not just one more prison diary. Nor does it attempt to theorize. In words that speak from the heart, the author—then the president of a major Indian political party and how the country’s. Home Minister—has recorded his thoughts and the events that took place on a day-to-day basis during his nineteen-month sojourn in the country’s jails. In his foreword to the book, former Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai writes, “...The diary reveals a person of singular honesty and dedication, culture and equanimity. It depicts the burning faith with which he withstood the consequences of governmental trickery and his passion, as an editor for the freedom of the Press and the mass-media....”
The book also includes a collection of pro-democracy literature written by the author under a pseudonym and circulated in the underground conduits. The author’s uncompromising commitment to democratic norms and values is reflected here, as well as his abiding faith in an open society and the unfettered right of the people to pursue its ideals. A book which deserves to be read by all who value such ideals.
L.K. Advani (b.1927) had his early education in Karachi and Hyderabad (Sind). He later took a degree in Law from the University of Bombay.
Associated with the R.S.S. since his childhood, he was drawn to active politics in the year 1951 when Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerji founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
Advani held a succession of party posts both at the state and at the central level and was elected President of the Jana Sangh in 1973. He held this post for three consecutive terms till in 1977 the Jana Sangh merged itself in the Janata Party, in which he was named General Secretary. He was also elected President of Bharatiya Janata Party from ’86 to ’91 and then again from ’93 to ’98.
From 1967 to 1970 Advani was Chairman of the Delhi Metropolitan Council. In 1970, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He was again elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1976 even while he was in detention during the emergency. He returned in April 82 & April 88. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in Nov. 89, June 91, March 98 and October 99 respectively.
A seasoned parliamentarian, deeply interested in issues concerning constitutional law and electoral reforms, he has travelled widely abroad as a member of various parliamentary delegations.
A journalist by profession, Advani is a keen connoisseur of books, theatre and cinema.
He is at present the Union Minister for Home Affairs.