New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI), 2018: Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit released her autobiography, “Citizen Delhi: My Times, My Life”, publishers Bloomsbury India . The memoir was unveiled on January 27 at the 11th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival. The book will take readers through the lifelong journey of Delhi’s longest serving chief minister. “When I look back, I see an Indian woman, with what many may call a modern attitude even today, choosing to take the important decisions of her life and be accountable for them,” Dikshit said.
The memoir documents how a girl who loved cycling along the tree-lined avenues of a brand new Lutyens’ Delhi, five decades later, went on to govern, and transform, Delhi as its chief minister – not once, but thrice consecutively – from 1998 to 2013.
Dikshit made her debut in electoral politics in 1984 as a member of the Indian National Congress, contesting and winning from the Kannaauj parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
“When a politician like Sheila Dikshit, with a career spanning over three decades, chooses to let the reader get a glimpse of her life’s journey, the opportunity brings along an element of surprise.
“In a fascinating account of her life, contoured along the life of the nation and her political party at critical junctures, she creates a richly patterned universe with deft touches, seamlessly moving between the home and the world, the past and the present,” publishers said.
The book also sheds light on how Dikshit never wanted to be in politics.
She credits the turn of events to destiny shaped by her liberal upbringing in a Punjabi household.
As the wife of an IAS officer and daughter-in- law of well-known freedom fighter and politician, Uma Shankar Dikshit, with his long association with the Nehru-Gandhi family, she saw governance from both ends.
When she began assisting her father-in- law from 1969, her up-close view of politics eventually became a springboard for her own entry into the arena in December 1984, inaugurating a 30-year-long career in politics.
“The narrative foregrounds a question that the author considers crucial for democracy – how does one deal with the constant tussle between the dictates of governance and the here-and-now preoccupations of party politics?” Bloomsbury India said.
In her new autobiography, Dikshit also reveals how Delhiites support to Aam Aadmi Party was one of the key factors that led to the Congress being voted out in Delhi elections
The support the Aam Aadmi Party received from first-time voters, who took Delhi’s infrastructure and growth for granted, was one of the key factors that led to the Congress being voted out in 2013, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit has said in her soon-to-be-released autobiography.
The young people could not acknowledge the changes that her government had brought, unaware of what Delhi was like before she took over.
“A considerable chunk of voters, who were casting their ballot for the first time, had not seen the Delhi of 15 years ago. To them a Delhi with regular power, flyovers and Metro rail, as well as several new universities, was their ‘natural right’ and therefore taken for granted. They could not be expected to feel ecstatic about it,” said Dixit who ruled Delhi from 1998 to 2013.