Chanakya’s New Manifesto to resolve the crisis in India – Book Review

Chanakya’s New Manifesto to resolve the crisis in India is NOT a fiction book. There is a reason I wanted to tell it upfront. This book about the face of India is not going to give you a false hope with patriotic words or glorifying examples of how we were in the past or the cultural richness. The book from the first page stays true to what it is written for. Pavan K Varma has his facts and statistics ready for you about almost all the sections of Indian government and functionality to show you why we are here at this position and why we deserve better.


The book claims to be the New Arthasasthra that will change the paths of India in four important aspects such as Governance, Democracy, Corruption and Security. Arthasasthra was written by Chanakya 200 years prior to Machiavelli’s The Prince. Both these books talks about how to govern and tackle political situation. The main difference is Chanakya first implemented something and then documented it. But in present India we have beautiful constitution documented but hardly anyone follows it.

First of all, the book is very well researched. For the youngsters in India (15-35 years of age) the information is going to be a wealth. Particularly the economic reforms that was brought in by our now PM Manmohan Singh in 1991 and how it changed the face of the nation and how we failed to capitalize on every other aspect of the society is very well narrated in easy language with hard hitting facts. Truth to be told, some numbers that are mentioned in book regarding out educational system, hygiene and food storage will  make the heart bleed to any Indian.

After the brief history and the current situation the author carries on to deliver his manifesto addressing each of the four points mentioned there. I was expecting a bit of dramatization in this part of the book. But this is practically handled and is shown that such measures can keep the misappropriation in check. The names may be different but most of the bodies that are recommended by Mr. Pavan K Varma is already in place. But the sad thing is the process is diluted. Nobody cares whose business is to check the process of particular undertaking.

There are number of commissions appointed and numerous reports were floated in last two decades only to sleep in some bureaucrat’s office. For example the Election  Commission has requested a reform in the way the election is to be held in India. The committee suggested more than 20 changes in 2003 but it was taken into consideration only by 2008 and mere 6 changes were allowed to be implemented. The most important Right to Recall and the barring the criminals to contest were never taken into account.

Hold your breath for the facts that are going to follow. The ceiling of expenditure for a candidate who contests in state election is 10 lakh rupees and the Loksabha election is 25 lakh  rupees. Do you think that is what being spent here? And then if a person is proven guilty of spending more than this can you guess what is the punishment he is going to get? A fine of Rs. 1800. Only in India you can find such set of rules.

Why the criminals have to be barred from contesting election. A minister from Bihar who was booked in numerous cases that too in non bailable warrant was responsible for police department for five years. And there are numerous examples how slowly but surely corruption entered in all areas including the defense. The good thing about the book is it is not only complaining. But also provides practical solution addressing each and every problem in the four points mentioned above.

I am not at all saying that our country is not perfect. As said, no country is perfect. It should be perfected over a period of time. Most of the time, personal interest takes the wheel while national interest takes a back seat. Planned or unplanned all the political role models for youths are deconstructed including Mahatma Gandhi. If Anna Hazare is trying to make a change taint his character and slap him some charges on him and strategically use journalists and media houses to bring his reputation down. This is the strategy that the government is working now. This resulted in vacuum of role models to our younger generation. Politician and police is to be feared is the feeling that is imbibed. This manifesto if implemented will change all these.

If only we have followed our constitution and amended is according to our times we would have been the second largest economy in the world. But the people who rule us, irrespective of the party that comes to power is determined to make sure that it will remain a dream. To know about current India and to know about the reforms to be made and equip your national IQ this one is a MUST READ.

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  1. Destination Infinity

    The book was good, the author has a good grasp of the current situation and is able to convey it quite well to the readers. I guess we cannot expect changes overnight, but I hope such books act as a catalyst for the much needed improvement in our governance system.

    Destination Infinity

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