A subplot in this political novel echoes the unseemly entwining of politics and cricket, rendered credible now because of the raging ipl controversy. In it the Indian prime minister’s son employs money, muscle and political clout to get himself elected as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. And the PM is a Yadav heading a coalition government, his caste indicating the change sweeping the country. To have the PM’s son wrest the BCCI presidentship is consequently symbolic of the depth of this change—the administration of the popular sport which unites India passing from traditional elites to the Mandalites.
As this socio-political change sweeps India, there’s a counter-movement headed by the president, a former army chief who’s trying to depose the prime minister. Readers are bound to remember the confrontation between a former president (Zail Singh) and PM (Rajiv Gandhi) and second-guess the ending.
Delhi Durbar is Singh’s second novel in the “Raisina Series” trilogy. A banker by profession, Singh takes the reader through the murky world of politics. Through his protagonist Jasjit Singh Siddhu, a wheeler-dealer, Singh provides a ringside view on how business and big money take over all crucial issues—from political to economic to social to cricket.
The fast-paced narrative and the scary scenario it conjures make up a very good read, especially for those who love conspiracy theories.