Ullekh NP is an author, journalist and political commentator based in New Delhi. He has over two decades of experience working with India’s biggest news publications such as The Economic Times, Mint and India Today. He writes on international and domestic politics, economy, governance, public health and corporate affairs. He is currently executive editor at OPEN magazine.
Ullekh’s latest book Kannur: Inside India’s Bloodiest Revenge Politics was published by Penguin Viking in June 2018. It was an Amazon number one bestseller for four weeks after its launch, and has been widely covered in the media. The book explores why the Kannur region of north Kerala is so susceptible to vendetta politics and deadly violence. How is it an anomaly in Kerala, the state with the highest social development parameters in India? Born in Kannur and brought up amidst some of the tallest political leaders of the state, Ullekh delves into his personal experiences while constructing a modern-day graph that charts out the reasons, motivations and local lore behind it. Buy it on Amazon.
His previous book The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox (Penguin Viking) hit the stands in December 2016. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of India’s shrewdest politicians, is known for negotiating multiple contradictions: from militant nationalism to his secret family life; his stint as a communist; his food indulgence; influence of Gandhi and Nehru; Narendra Modi and Gujarat issues; foreign policies; and his attempt to project himself as a moderate face, if not liberal, among others. Exploring crucial milestones of Vajpayee’s career and his traits as a seasoned politician, the book looks at his love-hate association with RSS and its feeder organizations. Thoroughly researched, supported by hard facts and accompanied by inside stories and anecdotes, the book opens a window to life and times of a poet politician. You can buy The Untold Vajpayee on Amazon. (It is also available in Hindi and Marathi).
War Room: The People, Tactics and Technology Behind Narendra Modi’s 2014 Win (Roli Books) was Ullekh’s first book. He covered the 2014 national elections extensively, from the badlands of Uttar Pradesh to the Orissa hinterland, from Modi’s hometown Vadnagar to the capital city’s corridors of power. This book takes you behind the scenes into how a political brand was built in a country as multi-dimensional as India. You can buy War Room on Flipkart and Amazon.
In the past, Ullekh has done extensive interviews with luminaries from various professional backgrounds such as the late Gary S. Becker, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, Jagdish Bhagwati, Liugi Zingales, Dani Rodrik, Angus Deaton, Salman Rushdie, Thomas Zeltner, Daron Acemoglu, Gita Gopinath, AK Antony, Raghuram Rajan, Akhilesh Yadav, Arun Jaitley, Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, Prakash Karat, Mira Nair, Arvind Panagariya, Jean Dreze, Simon Kuper, Faisal Devji, Masha Gessen, Ed Glaeser, Robert Kaplan, Tom Enders, Neena L. Khruscheva, Dan Ariely, Thomas Blom Hansen, Edward Luttwak, Michael Axworthy, Shashi Tharoor, Pinarayi Vijayan, BC Khanduri, Amitabh Kant, Shivraj Chouhan, Yogi Adityanath, Raman Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Oommen Chandy.
He has also interviewed ND Tiwari, C Christine Fair, Imran Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Parvathy Thiruvoth, Captain Krishnan Nair, Walter Isaacson, Germaine Greer, Benny Tai, Bruno Maçães, Rudolf Elmer, Arvind Subramanian, Ricken Patel, Tulsi Tanti, Jeffrey S. Wigand, Robin Jeffrey, Pranab Bardhan, Esther Duflo, Liaquat Ahamed, Alice Albania, Adrian Levy, Mohammed Hanif, Diana Henriques, Shehan Karunatilaka, Vivek Ranadive, S Ramadorai, Neil Irwin, Paul Danahar, Nicolas Henin, Brandy Schillace, Yogendra Yadav, John Echeverri-Gent, Samantha Shannon and Allan J Lichtman.
Contact: ullekh (at) gmail (dot) com