Monday, February 25, 2013

Book review - Chanakya's New Manifesto


Just finished reading ‘Chanakya’s New Manifesto’ authored by Pavan K. Varma.
A very contemporary and relevant book on the state of affairs in India today. It is an insider’s view and opinion on the various ills that the country is facing with respect to Governance, Democracy, Corruption, Security and Building an inclusive society.
Pavan Varma 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. He has a number of books to his credit, one can expect a book that details all the problems face by India and the solutions to get out of the cesspool.



Chanakya was classical India’s greatest thinker and teacher. His seminal work, the Arthashastra, the world’s first comprehensive treatise on statecraft and governance, was written approximately two thousand years before Machiavelli’s The Prince.
In this book Pavan Varma has drawn up a practical and detailed plan, modeled on the Arthashastra, to bring about reform and change in the five key areas that need urgent attention.
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 and well within the constitutional framework. Who will bell the cat? Well, as the author in the Epilogue says, ‘Those in power, in a better position to usher in change, must see the manifesto in this light. It is an appeal to their good sense. It presents them with a plan of action to fulfill the expectations of the people, ideas that could change the future of our country. Ideally, they must be proactive in working towards this change.’
The references to the Arthashastra at the beginning of chapters are all quotable quotes that are then worked upon by Pavan Varma in expounding his solutions.
The quote from Arthashastra on Governance is ‘ In the intersts of the prosperity of the country, a King should be diligent in foreseeing the possibility of calamities, try to avert them before they arise, overcome those which happen, remove all obstructions to economic activity and prevent loss of revenue to the State.’
I only hope that it reaches those in power and hopefully we see Pavan K. Varma in public life bringing about the change that is suggested.
It has plenty of statistics that are used to substantiate the author’s views.
It is a good valuable read and should be read by all right thinking Indians who have the country’s future in their hearts and see in what way they can contribute to a better future for the country. As John F Kennedy had said ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.  
The 248 pages book is published by Aleph Book Company and promoted by Rupa Publications. Do read it.


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

23 comments:

  1. Nice review! The book seems like a good read. Personally not a classic lover though:( Well gr8 review!

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    1. Thank you Bushra. This is not a classic book but a book that relates to the present mess that our country is in, and solutions to the various problems.

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  2. His solid background of at helm of political affairs in such strong posts lends him a definite credibility to handle this matter with rare expertise. Though I chuckled at the observation that he came out with the book when he has retired and no longer able to influence decision making at any level.

    Review is compelling. Seems to be a must read.

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    1. Yes true that he voiced his opinion now but he has plans to enter the public life which shows he means business.

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  3. sounds like a great book!! a wonderful review!!

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  4. i recently read a similar review about this book on some other blog :-)

    seems like a nice book if so many readers are appreciating it.

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  5. Good review. Let me read . Thanks for sharing .

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  6. i agree with your views the topics covered were realist and compelling if we really want a country of out dreams...good review...

    here are my views on this...book
    http://anjan5.blogspot.in/2013/02/book-review-chanakyas-new-manifesto.html

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  7. Using the principles of Arthashastra to present day governance sounds quite intellectual. This does look like a thoughtful book.
    Do you agree to the opinions expressed in the book?

    Thanks for the review to this intelligent book. :)

    Regards

    Jay
    My Blog

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    1. I do agree to most of the opinions but do have a nagging doubt about 'who will bell the cat'? :)

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    2. Indeed, that is what scares away most of the people, as no one is ready to get their hands dirty.

      Regards

      Jay
      My Blog

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  8. You are diligent in writing your reviews as you are in making pictures! I love your detailed reviews. Will follow this space! Love good book reviews, hard to find nowadays! Keep reading and reviewing!

    I write here, a baby blog it is

    www.rinzurajan.blogpsot.in

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  9. Wow this is the definition of an epic review

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