She was one of India’s youngest parliamentarians ever, she served as the union railway minister for two terms, and founded the All India Trinamool Congress. But, Mamata Banerjee’s political career reached its peak when she defied all odds to become West Bengal’s first woman chief minister, bringing an end to the 34-year-long Left regime in the state. Banerjee’s eventful life and political career is the subject of a new book “Decoding Didi”. Penned by journalist Dola Mitra, the book explores the the various facets of the chief minister — sometimes being eulogized as a leader of the masses, and at other times being pilloried as a mad, whimsical dictator.
“Very few politicians in India today generate as much interest as does the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee — popularly known as ‘Didi’. “Diminutive yet defiant; unassuming yet arrogant; always volatile, though now increasingly erratic, Didi remains a puzzle. The book is an essential guide to understanding one of the most significant forces in contemporary Indian politics,” publishers Rupa Publications said in a statement.
The book documents the heady days of the elections which toppled the Left regime — raising hopes for a political renaissance in West Bengal — and the crushing disappointment at Mamata Banerjee’s failure to bring about any meaningful change. A clear-sighted account, “Decoding Didi” digs deep into her success, while also shedding light on a politician who has been scathingly criticized and ridiculed for “failing to deliver on the dream she once promised her constituents”.