HarperCollins presents ‘THE DISRUPTOR: How Vishwanath Pratap Singh Shook India’ by Debashish Mukerji

An engaging account of the life of a former Prime Minister who struck Indian politics with the force of a tornado

NEW DELHI, Nov. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — HarperCollins India presents A richly detailed narrative of Vishwanath Pratap Singh’s extraordinarily eventful life, told in the context of his times, releasing on 8th December, 2021.

The Disruptor book cover

Order Now: bit.ly/VPSinghBook

‘An extremely impressive work … Impossible to put this book down’


‘An admiring and admirable account of the life of a very complex public personality’



Part 4, Chapter 3: The rivalry with Amitabh Bachchan, pp. 248 to 250

Part 4, Chapter 2: As Finance Minister, V.P. Singh’s ‘raid raj’ against corporate corruption, pp. 222 to 230; Taking on Reliance, pp. 230 to 238; pp. 250 to 252

Part 5, Chapter 1: V.P. Singh–Rajiv Gandhi fallout and his dramatic resignation as Defence Minister, pp. 237 to 260; pp. 265 to 268; pp. 276 to 279

Part 5, Chapter 3: Defamatory campaign against V.P. Singh by the Congress, pp. 253 to 256; pp. 265 to 266; pp. 276 to 279; pp. 301 to 303

Part 6, Chapter 2: V.P. Singh curtailing his own security cover, accused of reducing Rajiv Gandhi’s, pp. 350 to 352; pp. 430 to 431

India could have gone nuclear but V.P. Singh chose not to, pp. 357-358

Biggest airlift evacuation in world history, pp. 358-360

Steps initiated by V.P. Singh’s government, but completed and claimed by later governments: RTI Act, Lok Pal Act, OROP, MNREGA, pp. 360 to 363

Part 7, Chapter 1, Implementing the Mandal Commission Report, pp. 386 to 405

Author Debashish Mukerji says, “By bringing together a divided Opposition to usher in an era of coalition governments at the Centre, as also by implementing the Mandal Commission report which provided job reservations for the Other Backward Classes, Vishwanath Pratap Singh permanently altered India’s political landscape. A politician ambivalent about pursuing power, and obsessed with financial integrity, he was also an extremely complex human being. The main issues he confronted – caste disparities, communal tensions and corruption – continue to bedevil the country even today. All these reasons prompted me to attempt this biography, which sets V.P. Singh against the context of his turbulent times.”

Siddhesh Inamdar, Executive Editor, HarperCollins India, says, “V.P. Singh was Prime Minister of India for just about eleven months, and yet his short time in office proved immensely consequential in shaping the country. As a leader who took on a party with an overwhelming majority in Parliament, his career is also relevant in the context of the politics of today. For all his achievements, V.P. Singh remains an understudied former Prime Minister. November marks the anniversary both of his death (in 2008) as well as of the fall of his government (in 1990), and this meticulously researched biography by a seasoned journalist will throw much-needed light on Singh’s extraordinary life and times.”


Vishwanath Pratap Singh, India’s seventh Prime Minister, struck Indian politics with the force of a tornado. Primarily remembered for implementing the recommendations of the Mandal Commission report, which provided reservations in Central government services for the first time to the Other Backward Classes, he deserves a place in history for much more—from conducting raids on the biggest business houses of his time when he was finance minister to investigating murky defence deals as defence minister (which cost him his job); from bringing together a divided Opposition to form an unlikely coalition government at the Centre comprising the BJP and the communist parties to spearheading the biggest airlift evacuation in Indian history—of Indians stranded in Kuwait during the first Gulf War.

V.P. Singh weathered repeated crises during his eleven-month prime ministerial tenure: the rise of insurgency in Kashmir, starting with the kidnapping of his home minister’s daughter by terrorists; L.K. Advani’s rath yatra in support of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which led to communal riots; and, above all, the backlash that followed the Mandal Commission report’s implementation.

Known for his integrity and honesty, V.P. Singh ended up antagonizing both the Congress and the BJP—perhaps one of the reasons he has not been given the posthumous attention he deserves. The Disruptor is a richly detailed account of his extraordinarily eventful life, told in the context of his times.


DEBASHISH MUKERJI was a journalist for nearly forty years, working with numerous publications, including Hindustan Times, The Week and Business Today. He has written extensively on Uttar Pradesh and on national politics.


‘The Disruptor is an extremely impressive work. It brings together all the important but often-forgotten facts about V.P. Singh’s life and career, and fits them into a convincing and comprehensive argument and analysis, which is then presented in an engaging and readable style. Once you start reading, it’s almost impossible to put this book down. This is not simply a biography—it is a serious work of history.’

Karan Thapar

Journalist, Television Anchor and Author

‘This is an admiring and admirable account of the life of a very complex public personality. V.P. Singh commands our attention because he became a pivotal figure in Indian politics between 1987 and 1990; his brief tenure as Prime Minister was both consequential and controversial; and because he played an important role in the formation of the United Front and UPA governments.’

Jairam Ramesh

Member of Parliament, Author and Former Union Minister

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1687602/HarperCollins_The_Disruptor.jpg

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1249409/HarperCollins_Publishers_India_Logo.jpg

HarperCollins Publishers India Logo

Disclaimer: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with PR Newswire. Mango Bunch takes no editorial responsibility for the same.