A New Chapter

The discussion held at UT Guest House was both intense and absorbing.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: April 1, 2013 9:47:43 pm

The discussion held at UT Guest House was both intense and absorbing. It dealt with the idea of everyone contributing to change India for better. The backdrop was Pavan Varma’s latest book,Chanakya’s New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis Within India. The author of 17 books,Varma was in the city on Saturday evening on the invitation of Chandigarh Literary Society (CLS).

After a premature retirement from the Indian Foreign Service,Varma is best known for his books such as The Great Indian Middle Class,Being Indian: The Truth about Why the 21st Century will be India’s and Becoming Indian: The Unfinished Revolution of Culture and Identity. Chanakya’s New Manifesto: To Resolve the Crisis Within India,published by Aleph Book Company,is modelled on Chanakya’s seminal fourth century treatise — the Arthashashtra. The author has worked out a practical and detailed plan 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 decriminalising politics and successfully weeding out the corrupt,Varma said the solutions he proposes are substantive,well within the constitutional framework,and can make all the difference between intent and action.

Speaking on the occasion,Varma remarked that as a civilization,India has shown a remarkable talent in reinventing itself. That is the secret of its survival through an incredible 5,000-year-long journey. He added that we have been known as a civilization in which moulik soch or the power of original thought was cultivated. This is a legacy that we can,and must,revive. The author said that we are fortunate that our founding fathers bequeathed a framework of a functioning democratic order through a farsighted Constitution. “We do not need to throw this aside,or to transplant,borrow or mimic what others have done. But what we do need to do is to make the system work. It is obvious to anyone except to those who deliberately choose to be blind,that the current manner of functioning of our nation is unacceptable. Our future is at stake. There is no time to be lost,” asserts Varma.

Sumita Misra,President of CLS,said,“A call to action as well as an insightful account of the challenges facing the country today,Chanakya is a book that should be attentively read by everybody with a stake in India’s future,” said

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