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44M.0. Mathai, Nehru’s Special Assistant and alter ego between 1946 and 1959, was reputed to be the most powerful man after the Prime Minister during the years that he served Jawaharlal. For over a decade that he was at the very hub of the decision-making process, Mathai was the only one to know everything about Nehru, most especially the first Prime Minister's private thoughts about Politics, Congress leaders, Bureaucrats, Money, Women, Sex, and Alcohol, along with muck else that attracted his attention off and on. The author reveals all, with candour and sincerity, and says, “Before I started writing this book I suspended from my mind’all personal loyalties of a conventional nature; only my obligation to history remained.” So we have completely new information, never before published, about Nehru’s style, Krishna Menon’s personal habits, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit's extravagance, Feroze Gandhi's ambitions, and Mountbatten’s weakness for titles and honours. In the process, new light is thrown on Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Patel, Kidwai, TTK, Maulana Azad, Rajaji, Rajendra Prasad Radhakrishnan, Churchill, Shaw, and Lady Mountbatten. “This work is a major contribution to modern Indian history as it gives an insider’s view of how the powerful often tried to manipulate Nehru for purposes that were not always conducive to nation-building. Rs 35 M.O. Maruat, Nehru’s Special ‘Assistant till 1959, when he resigned his post on account of unfounded malicious allegations by ‘Communists against him for misusing power, is eminently qualified to write a full and authentic account of the Nehru years, which he has done in this book. While he worked for the Prime Minister, the author was known for his determination to serve Nehru alone, just as he was also famous for his unquestioned personal integrity and honesty in dealing with political and financial matters. Since his resignation in 1959, Mathai has been living a quiet life, for this book. The petty ambitions which sway most men never troubled him. He has played his part in building up free India and with deep sadness watched how Nehru’s country was being weakened, But he knows that the foundations which Nehru laid will ever be safe even though his daughter administered a severe jolt to them. At present M.O. Mathai is working on a companion volume to this work in Madras where he now lives » Gacket Design: Vikas Studio 1V02M5801 ISBN 0 7069 0621 7 REMINISCENCES OF THE NEHRU AGE