Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is coming out with her autobiography, “Citizen Delhi: My Times, My Life”, publishers Bloomsbury India announced today. The memoir which will be unveiled on January 27 at the 11th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, 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.