Former Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has come out with his autobiography skirting contentious subjects like the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, one of the worst terror strikes India has faced which took place under his watch.
In a pedantic account “Odyssey of My Life”, Patil provides a recount of his journey in politics besides his views on issues like education, marriage laws, energy conservation and technology.
In the chapter titled “Home Minister”, he goes on to describe the functions of the home ministry and its powers, Centre-state relations, five-year plans, state police forces, terrorism and Naxalism.
On terror attacks in the country, he merely writes, “On one pretext or the other, some forces from inside and outside the country tried to disturb some areas of the country. But they could be tackled and dealt with by using persuasion, political sagacity and the skill and might of the armed forces.”
He makes no mention of the Mumbai attacks that cost him his job.
However, he is a little expansive while writing on the Kandahar plane hijack incident of 1999 during the NDA government’s rule.
Patil says, “A terrorist was released from jail and sent to Kabul in a government aircraft, escorted by the foreign minister (Jaswant Singh). It was done to save the lives of the passengers on a plane hijacked by a terrorist group.”
He says it was not difficult for the Congress to understand the dilemma in which the government had found itself but it could not understand why it was necessary for the foreign minister to escort him, so the government was criticised for what it did.