Witness the dream of millions of Indians come true
The book opens with the assassination of the Prime Minister of India by a highly professional assassin who vanishes mysteriously, and an attack by hit men on the owner of a grocery store in countryside who is being punished for refusing to pay bribes to a local protection racket. Both are significant threads throughout the book.
Sudesh, a humble country boy, expresses his disgust on learning about corruption in every sphere of bureaucracy. He is guided at the path of truth by his father, a small town policeman. When Sudesh is eleven years old his parents are brutally attacked by criminals and get severely injured. His mother is left temporarily disabled and his father dies. The family is left without means of support and Sudesh’s elder sister Chanda, although 13-year-old goes to work in the rug factory to support the family. Circumstances unfold in such a way that Chanda ends up attempting to enter prostitution. She is then helped to take refuge in an ashram. The family is unable to locate her.
Applying techniques invented by his father, Sudesh wins an anti-crime competition and he is able to help support his mother and himself and continues to study informally.
At the age of seventeen Sudesh boldly addresses a rally held to protest the activities of a multinational corporation. The owner of the corporation invites him to work in the head office in the USA. Although Sudesh at first declines a superficially attractive offer because it might entail compromising his principles, he eventually accepts the offer, but on his own terms.
Sudesh travels to the US and works on investment strategies for the Upton Corporation. Ray Upton introduces him to libertarian and free-market thinking which conflict with his socialistic inclinations, yet he finds the logic hard to fault. During his eleven-year stay in New York City, Sudesh meets Vaneshri. They develop a friendship that turns into a romance. Ray Upton sends Sudesh to India to convince the government to accept the Upton Corporation tender for business. After his return, Sudesh is shattered to find that Upton has fired most of the employees in order to automate the business. He considers leaving the Upton Corporation but decides to follow his reason rather than his emotions.
Sudesh returns to India to pursue a political career with advice from Upton, and financial help from his Indian investments. There are pitfalls and setbacks, but ultimately, he is successful. His first break is to get elected in East Delhi. His second is when he creates an unlikely coalition with communist parties to become part of a ruling coalition, with him as Deputy Prime Minister.
Meantime, crime bosses continue to be assassinated by mysterious killers. In due course, it turns out the Prime Minister who was assassinated in the first scene was the head of the coalition, the Communist PM, put in power by Sudesh’s deal with them. Since this plays directly into Sudesh’s hands by making him PM despite being the junior partner in the coalition, he is suspected of being behind the murder.
Sudesh’s political party gets a landslide victory in 2023 elections. India booms as investment pours in and crime goes down.
One of the top criminal syndicate heads, Vasu, is presumed mistakenly to have died in a plane crash, so is not suspected of various crimes, including the world’s worst terrorist attack, a bombing with napalm of the World Cup cricket final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Inder is a national hero because he hits the winning runs against the odds, and saves many lives.
Sudesh resolves the Kashmir problem by offering Pakistan one-sided free trade, migration and financial access to India. Vasu who had escalated Kashmir conflict is killed by Madhu on his houseboat.
Sudesh is shot while intervening in a protest. Whilst he is in hospital recovering, his sister Chanda learns about the assassination attempt from media coverage. She visits him, and they are reunited. Sudesh recognises and declares his love for Shakti.
Madhu commits her last assassination after admitting to her victim all her killings and ingenious techniques and disguises. The conversation is relayed to his remote recording centre. She vanishes after the assassination leaving readers to speculate on what has happened to her and her relationship with her incorruptible husband, Singh.
Whilst visiting his original village and addressing the community in an old brick quarry, Sudesh is arrested for abetment to Madhu’s assassinations.
The final scene is a dramatic speech to the biggest crowd ever by the nation’s hero, Sudesh, about what happens to India being more important than what happens to him and the importance of the rule of law, even if it works against him.