Sunday, February 24, 2013

CHANAKYA'S New Manifesto -Book Review

About the book
Title: Chanakya's- New Manifesto to resolve the crisis within India.
Author: Pavan K. Varma
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
ISBN: 978-93-82277-09-5
No. of Pages: 248
Price : 295 INR
Genre: Non-fiction

About the Author
Pavan K. Varma,studied history at St. Stephen College, New delhi and took a degree in law from Delhi  University.He has been press secretary to the president of India, official spokesman of the Foreign Office, director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and India's ambassador to Bhutan. Having taken premature retirement from the Indian Foreign Service, he now seeks to be actively involved in public life.
Pavan K. Varma has authored several acclaimed and bestselling books, among them, 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 of Culture and Identity and When Loss is Gain. He has also translated into English the poetry of Gulzar, Kaifi Azmi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Cover Speaks
The pitch metallic black cover with title embossed in chalk-white pleases the reader's eyes.
"Chanakya's New Manifesto proposes a comprehensive blueprint for change. We caanot continue as we are, and must gather the resolve to bring in effective governance, a true democracy, a corruption-free State, a security-conscious nation and an inclusive society. If we fail, India may never succeed. Our future is at stake."
The book analyzes the multiple challenges the country is facing today and proposes clear and unambiguous solutions to them.
Chanakya (c.380-270 BCE) was classical India's greatest thinker and teacher. Through his unparalleled ability to devise result-oriented military, political, and administrative strategy, he overthrew one king, crowned another and paved the way for the establishment of India's first great empire. His seminal work, the Arthashashtra, arguably the world's first comprehensive treatise on statecraft and governance, was written approximately two thousand years before Machiavelli's The Prince.
What would Chanakya do if confronted with the various crises that beset contemporary India? Using this question as the starting point for his new book, celebrated writer and thinker Pavan K. Varma has drawn up a practical and detailed plan, modelled on the Arthashashtra, to bring about reform and change in five key areas that require urgent attention governance, democracy, corruption, security, and the building of an inclusive society. Whether it is laying the foundation for an independent and effective Lokpal, or decriminalizing politics and successfully weeding out the corrupt, the solutions he proposes are substantive, well within the constitutional framework, and can make all the difference between intent and action.
Chanakya's New Manifesto is both a call to action as well as a deeply insightful account of the challenges facing the country today. It is a book that should be attentively read by everybody with a stake in India's future.

Book Review
The book has been written in an effective and clear language. Some hindi words such as 'moulik soch' (p-14), 'dharma'(p-128) etc have been used to give it an Indian touch. The book encompasses seven chapters.
Chapter 1- The Crisisdeals with the five major problems the country is facing today. Governance, Democracy, Corruption, Security, Building an inclusive society. The author has explained each of the problem at length.
Chapter 2- 1947 and After, deals with the scenario of the country after independence. Varma provides a detailed history of each and every event that led to the modern India.
Chapter 3 - Governance, deals with the problem of the inability to govern and unstable government. At the end, the author provides a fifty-point manifesto to control the aggravating situation.
Chapter 4- Democracy, looks through the real democracy and the one we are living in. Varma profoundly states how democratic we are?the trench our democracy has fallen into. An eighty-seven point manifesto is provided for feeding a democratic nation with democracy.
Chapter 5- Corruption, the much talked about topic covers hundred and eleven points in its manifesto.
Chapter 6- Security, talks of the nation's security in depth followed by a fifty-eight point manifesto.
Chapter 7- The creation of an inclusive society, states that citizens need to be more social and aware of their responsibilities and rights. A fourty-one point  detailed manifesto has been provided at the end. A typo error is noticed on p-227, the word 'states' should be used once only.
In A Nutshell
The book is worth to read to know more about our contemporary India, understand its problems discussed in detail and then look for our duty to bring forth a change in the nation we are living.Pavan Kumar has invested much of his energy in the compilation of this book which is easily noticeable when one goes through the detailed manifesto. So, I would ask all the readers to grab your copy soon, delve on the issues and bring about a change in our India.
My Rating
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi

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  1. Compact review...well i am going through this book...right now...completed 4th chapter
    pretty gripping i would be out with the review probably tomorrow...!!!

  2. Sounds like an interesting book. Lovely chapter by chapter reporting by you. :)

  3. Yeah!!! A book worth to be read. :)

  4. I'm here the first time following your visit to my Blog.
    I read a few posts in your blog of poems. And yes indeed they are more lyrical . I did notice the song of John Denver too !!!! ( "on a jet plane").
    Thanks for the suggestion of this book here. Will get hold of it when I'm in India the next week.

    When I find time sure will go through some more of your posts.

    1. Thank-you so much Sir for your visit!
      My blog is not about just poems, infact me and poem are like cheese and chalk (as Shilpa ma'am says). Perhaps you visited the section under
      'LYRICAL LAND'and there I just put down some of my favourite songs, so you can say that section is dedicated to the erudite lyricists.

      You can find my original work in all other sections(except Lyrical Land)and POST LAND will guide you through. I'm looking forward to hear more from you.


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