Tuesday, February 19

Chanakya's New Manifesto - Book Review

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TITLE :  Chanakya's New Manifesto To Resolve The Crisis Within India
AUTHOR :  Pavan . K .Varma
PUBLISHER :  Aleph Book Company 
LABEL :  Non - Fiction
YEAR :  2013
ISBN :  978-93-8227-09-5
PAGES :  242
PRICE :  Rs.295

The Essence :

           It would not be a tad bit ornamental if i say in affirmative that by authoring his latest book ' Chanakya's New Manifesto ' , Pavan . K . Varma has added one more golden feather to his already sparkling plumage . To brief the book in one word - Sensational ! . Let me explain the reason in detail . 

          The blurb highlights the pulp of the content using simple yet striking array of words , which inturn engraves the motive behind the book deep in the minds of readers . India is gasping in the clutches of malice which , shocking enough , has succeeded more or less in conquering every which lane of our country with its egregious act and the blurb acts to blow the trumpet as a wake up call to snap awake the people of our country from their long dreary slumber . The book starts off with a prologue where the author painstakingly explains in detail the impetus behind the specific title of the book and the reader is enlightened on the life and principles of Chanakya who went on to pen his seminal masterpiece ' Arthashasthra ' later in his life . Chanakya was one visionary who , roughly 2300 years ago , revamped the realm of downtrodden governance with his astuteness and acumen . The author intends to step into Chanakya's shoes and review the magnitude of problems carving our society and by doing so , brilliantly comes up with a manifesto which if utilised in its prescribed manner would see the inception of a much needed change to revive our country . 

My Take

1 ) The Cover :  The reader is welcomed by a modest cover design which hints about the gravity of the content and the brief note on the author speaks volumes about his glorious past , be it his academic history , his professional legacy or his highly acclaimed literary life . The reader's interest is sure to be piqued by the charming welcome the book offers . 

2 ) The Content :  The author has dissected the issues by segregating them into chapters for more detailed assessment which , intentional or not , makes the book easier to grasp . The chapters are headed as the following :

·       The crisis
·       1947 and After
·       Governance
·       Democracy
·       Corruption
·       Security
·       The creation of an inclusive society

      Each chapter begins with a brief albeit profound message , rather tactics , adapted from Arthashasthra which enlightens the reader on how the author's new manifesto is based primarily on Chanakya's principles . The author , with remarkable prowess delves into each section , at first speaking in length and breadth about the intensity of the issue plaguing the particular division and thereafter unveiling his manifesto to undo the damage and to reconstruct a more promising scenario . It is laudable the effort taken by the author to dig deeper into the country’s past so that he could arrive at a convincing and conclusive report on the facts leading to the bigger issues . However , the portions where the author deals with the vagaries concerning the judicial machinery did seem a bit cloudy for me and I suppose it would so for the common man otherwise unexposed to the subtleties of judiciary as well .  But then I am sure those contents were knitted there in the first place aiming at the concerned people who would imbibe the assertions in the right sense and debate further on it  . So no complaints .

 The chapter on Corruption is something to look forward to for the author highlights the emotional aspect consolidating the same . Take for instance the following lines  :

A business man looks upon the payment of bribe as part of the fixed cost he needs to incur to get over asphyxiating regulatory controls . Those accepting bribes consider the additional income a legitimate perk of the job . In this sense , the issue of corruption is entirely removed from the moral domain .  

Likewise the author has strewn together meaningful nuggets throughout the book which serves to open the minds of the readers to the stark realties in its utter rawness . Certain numbers detailed are of alarming amounts that one cant help but sit back and wonder about the gravity of the crisis . According to him , the crux of the whole crisis lies on a redundancy dominating our machinery which inturn restricts the further expanse of our glory even when the truth remains that India is one among those few countries blessed with abundant resource . 

 Truly speaking , I find it impossible to pick out any particular portion or idea illustrated to declare it the best . Every single bit of thought included in the blueprint deserves to studied in depth . Humble enough , the author himself considers his set of ideas a mere rough draft which needs to be evaluated under the microscope shred by shred , such that a polished blueprint for change is eventually created .

 At one place , to tackle the political hooliganism the author prescribes a measure in which the political parties are mandated to disclose their monetary funds and criminal records of candidates if any , prior to the election . The voters should be empowered such that they are given an opportunity to evaluate the skills and prowess of the candidate based on meaningful debates between the opposing candidates . He stresses the urgency for encouraging the moulding of an inclusive society by incorporating the service of  NGO into the state machinery such that the process keeps up  its steadfastness . He also speaks in depth about the insensitiveness shadowing our society , the result of which is the reluctance of the privileged to support the poor and the upper caste to acknowledge the backward . The inconsideration shown to farmers by neglecting the field of agriculture is also dealt strongly .

They say , when the book is enriched with content few would dissect the literary quality with criticizing eyes . The author is sure to satisfy the scanning eyes of the critics too with his commendable hold on language . The writing is lucid and every bit engaging . Typos hide at a couple of places which are almost unnoticeable . My suggestion is that this book ought to be distributed among the civil servants , politicians and bureaucrats at the helm such that they are offered the much longed for correction of their myopic vision . Perhaps inclusion of parts of this manifesto in the high school syllabus would even prove fruitful . All in all a riveting read . 
My Rating : 4.5 / 5
To know more about the author visit his website Pavankvarma.com

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Programme for Indian bloggers by Blogadda.com .Participate now to get free books .

Many thanks to Blogadda for having let me review the book !

This review has been shared by Aleph Book Company . Find Here . 


  1. Very nicely reviewed! Couldn't have been better!

  2. Before going up to something spectacular it's said...it's always advisable to get a review of things...as i am going to review this book very soon...and your take on this mesmerizing my views...!!!

    thanks for this wonderful review and now i am much more eager to get hold of this book!

    1. You have every reason to be excited about reading the book Anjan ! I myself had a fulfilling time reading the book . You will too i am sure . Happy reading . Looking forward to your review :)

  3. Your review is a reason enuf to read Malini.

    1. Thanks Neo ! Nice to hear such a comment from you :)

  4. I agree with so much in here... I am about to wind up the book and there is so much to absorb in here that I do not know how to review... Nicely done by you...There's actually so much to take from the book and very rightly suggested it much be sent to the people who need it asap... Including it in the curriculum is another good option.


    1. I felt the same too manjulika . There is so much said in the book that i was confused atfirst how to come up a decent review . The book per se is so much more than what i have summarised in the review ! Glad to know that you agree with my views :)

  5. Had not thought of reading it. But now, perhaps, I may.

    1. you wouldnt regret the decision sir i feel :)

  6. You are lavish in your praise of the book but you have not spared the author when he gets cloudy. that was a just and floral walk through of 'Chanakya's New Manifesto.'

    1. Reviews shouldnt be just stating the good things about the book right . I am never a harsh critic , more towards the diplomatic side . I balance my opinions somehow or the other . From my heart though whatever my views are :) Thankyou for the opinion ji :)

  7. seems an intriguing read, I am curious knoe how the author has applied chanaky's philosophy to modern politics and is there any legitimate solution to the peoblems inflicting India

    1. You should definitley try the book out meenakshi . He has done a great job knitting together facts , conclusions and solutions in the right balance . Let me know how it goes :)


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