Jaswant book cover grants hill state wish

The Telegraph
AVIJIT SINHA

Siliguri, Aug. 26: Jaswant Singh’s book has repaid his debt to Darjeeling for sending him to Parliament: the hill district has been granted the status of a “state” in the rear flap of the tome.

Darjeeling is referred to as “the hill state” in the introduction to the author in the extended cover of the book, Jinnah, India-Partition-Independence, that gave the BJP the excuse to expel him.

The introduction, printed with a picture of Jaswant, reads: “He is a Member of Parliament, in the Lok Sabha, having successfully contested the 2009 elections from the hill state of Darjeeling.”

Rupa & Co, the publisher of the book, said the reference to Darjeeling as a state was a “mistake”. “This is the first time we have come to know of it and we feel it was a mistake. We often refer to places like Darjeeling and Siliguri as hill cities. It seems that things somehow got intermingled and the mistake was committed,” said Raju Burman, a Rupa partner based in Calcutta.

Asked whether Jaswant had provided the content for the introduction, Burman said: “Usually, we get the bio-data from authors and it is the people in our editorial who write the content. We had overlooked it but now that it has been brought to our attention, we will definitely look into it.”

The bloomer has come as music to the ears of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. “Sometimes, it is nice to hear of pleasant mistakes,” said Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the publicity secretary of the Morcha, which ensured Jaswant’s poll victory from Darjeeling. “We are happy to hear it (the reference to the hill state) and if it is a mistake, we must say the mistake is a prophecy,” Chhetri added.

Jaswant could not be contacted at his residence in Delhi.

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