Chanakya (c. 270-380 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 Arthashastra, arguably the world's first comprehensive treatise on statecraft and governance, was written approximately 2000 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 Arthashastra, 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 listened to by everybody with a stake in India's future.
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