Chanakya's New Manifesto: Book review

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Being a hard core fictional stories fan, I took a major step by selecting a non-fiction book, Chanakya's New Manifesto to review on BlogAdda. I have to say I am not disappointed at all, in fact this book increased my interests in reading non-fiction. The author Pavan K. Varma, a writer-diplomat, has published 17 books in the past, most of which revolve around India's rich heritage and present situation like "Ghalib: The Man, The Times", "Krishna: The Playful Divine", "The Great Indian Middle Class", "Being Indian: The Truth About Why the 21st Century Will be India's", "Becoming Indian: The Unfinished Revolution and Culture and Identity" and "When Loss is Gain".

This book, Chanakya's New Manifesto: To resolve the Crisis within India, re-introduces us to the era when India was considered a "Golden Bird" due to its rich and prosperous state during the time of Chandargupta Maurya's rule due to the advices and plannings of Chanakya. Chanakya, as we all know, is the author of Arthashastra which is ancient Indian treatise on statecrafteconomic policy and military strategy. The book briefly leads to the journey from that time till date about how the situation has changed, the highs and lows of our economy, the successes and failures! According to the writer, this book is meant for youth to draw them into the functioning of the country and join the refrain against rot.

The author has divided India's all problems under five major categories: Governance; Indian Democracy; Corruption; Security and Creation of an Inclusive Society. He has tried to explain that all problems we have in our these major areas are because of our short-comings only and has given inputs (based on one of the greatest thinkers and teachers in Indian history - Chanakya's ideology) of how these can be solved. For governance, he has laid emphasis on how important part we citizens play in electing a government and thus, it must be completed keeping in mind the ability of these politicians to run a complex country like India. He pointed out a very interesting thing India is the largest democracy due to its sub-continental size and we actually flaunt this fact very proudly. However, democracy is actually everything that India doesn't follow!   Our democratic system has so many flaws at each level that they must be rectified before we can flaunt it ever again! He has laid a major stress on solving corruption as he has 111 points in his manifesto for getting rid of our biggest evil in society- corruption! Another concern he has is about the security and safety in India. We all know of the cases occurring everyday in all our metros, leave apart the security in small towns. And also the latest bombings in Hyderabad show that we cannot protect ourselves from these terrorists as well as the devils in our own country.

My copy of Chanakya's New Manifesto

He has beautifully provided a solution in terms of creation of an inclusive society where each one of us takes up this initiative of solving these crisis within our country. We stop blaming others and start taking things in our own hands by forming a team of our nation. Although the problems he has mentioned are nothing new but a recap of what we already know. The USP of this book lies in the simple solutions that he has provided, what he has called as "blueprint" for resolving the crisis within India. Varma commented describing this book, 
"We have become intellectually inert. Ideas are orphans and books are destitutes till people read them. My book presents a blueprint for a possible change"

Who will enjoy this book? People who are interested in knowing the present day problems of India and being a part of solving them. It gives a different perspective to think about.

Who will not like this book? People who didn't like Social Studies in school! :P

Overall I would give this book a rating of 3/5.

Book Source : BlogAdda
Publisher : Aleph Book Company
Genre : Non-Fiction

ISBN : 978-93-82277-09-5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
So finally I got a fancy convocation! Being a DU graduate, you somehow admit in three years that you'll never get a proper convocation. At most, if you are a topper, you'll be called upon stage and handed over the degree. No gowns, no robes! And because we were such a lucky batch our degrees came even a year late. So there was no chance of even getting the degree on stage!

Anyway, the cool thing is I got my post-graduate degree before my graduation degree. Thanx to TERI University! :D And it was a proper fancy convocation, the one I always dreamt about! We were supposed to wear gowns with robe and hat and walk down the aisle with poise. Although our college authorities consider us so stupid that we were made to rehearse three times before the actual ceremony. FTW! :O

By the way, there were pretty cool and famous people present to award us the degree. It included two Nobel Laureates -  Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director General, TERI and Chancellor, TERI University, and Prof. Carlo Rubbia, Scientific Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany. Others present were Mr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Hon'ble Prime Minister (Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations);   Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President, 66th session of the UN General Assembly; Mr. Zhang Yue, Chairman, BROAD Group, China and Mr. Thomas Friedman, Journalist and Columnist, New York Times. According to me, the coolest speech was given by three times Pulitzer prize winner, Mr. Friedman. :D

Yeah, we are never organised! :P

But the weird thing was I never realised life is changing so fast. It has been only 6 months since we completed our masters but everything and everyone seemed different. Everyone had turned a bit more mature, a bit more responsible (Except me!). Three of my friends even got married during this period and one engaged! :O And for a change, everyone of us looked pretty "sincere" with girls in sarees and boys in suit! Yeah looking at most of the boys the first thought in my mind was, "they can look like humans too"! :P

Anyway, it was a refreshing change from the monotonous life of PhD scholar. I am still wondering when I get married, which will not be before 4-5 years; most of my classmates will attend it with their 2-3 kids! :O

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School chale hum!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
In the middle of a quiet afternoon with the sun shining at its brightest with pride and calm winds brushing across your face, I was about to enter the euphoric world of meditation when suddenly the bell rang. Suddenly, it felt as if a hundred earthquakes had occurred at the site together, like a tornado was approaching us at an enormous speed swirling and twisting up in the air. As I turned around anticipating to see a monstrous attack on Earth, I was astonished by what I saw. I saw hundreds of little cute four-year old angels running towards their parents outside the school gate! :D

The joy at their face of seeing their parents after a long day at school is quite remarkable. The anticipation in their eyes of seeing their mom waiting outside, the energy they possess, the detailed descriptions they give about every single new thing they saw and learned, the happiness and charisma they possess is so captivating. It just so simply eases you out that you tend to forget all your worries. One look at a child's happy face and your forehead rows tend to straighten out. They don't hold grudges, they don't hate anyone, just very adamant about what they want! :P They truly are a rejuvenating source of energy and happiness.

P.S. I had gone for some work there but the experience with these young kids was a remarkable one which I'll never forget! :)

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