The Insider is an account of the political scenario of India during the time of the former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who is the author of the book. The novel is based on a fictional state called Afrozabad, which is modelled on the actual state of Hyderabad.
In the story, the author talks about the shocking but true political happenings in the country that he witnessed during his tenure. The plot centers around a character called Anand, a young man who gives up a lucrative career in the hopes of bringing about political reformation. He begins his political career by contesting against the oppressive ruling party. Next, he reaches a spot where he has to choose between the current Chief Minister and his rival. His rival soon wins the post of CM, and he is made to serve under him. Anand then moves to Delhi, at a time when Indira Gandhi takes over the reigns of power. Under her governance, the tables turn, for Anand now replaces his rival Chaudhary and becomes the Chief Minister of Afrozabad. He then has to run the political show under her regime.
The book discusses the state of events and the political scenario in India under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, delving into areas like her rise to power, second coming, assassination, followed by her son Rajiv Gandhi's entry into the world of politics. The Insider reveals to the reader the state of affairs in a political scenario, narrated by a man who has had first-hand experience of it all.
The 2nd revised edition of the book was published by Penguin India in the year 2000, and is available in paperback.