Garg’s memoir is a narrative of dissonance and dissent
- This insider tale reads reckless in parts and may even remind readers of the ‘unreliable narrator’ genre
An effective device in fiction writing is that of the unreliable narrator. Quite unusually for a memoir, former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg ends his We Also Make Policy: An Insider’s Account of How the Finance Ministry Functions (HarperCollins India; 520 pages) with: “I hope you found the book truthful." This is an unusual book. For one, it isn’t completely unimpeachable; some of the stuff in it about the late Arun Jaitley, for instance, could be questioned for accuracy. The drama over the Economic Surveys narrated, on the other hand, seems accurate, going by a few incidents I witnessed while covering the finance ministry as a reporter.