Chanakya’s New Manifesto by Pavan K.Verma-A Book Review

The Republic of India was born on 26th January 1950 after Hindustan gained independence on 15th August 1947. These two marvelous events are the important highlights of India’s history, results of a exhaustive meticulously fought revolution. Jump to modern day India. We are in the middle of a transformation, a revolution if you will. Yet, what we are missing is a concise pathway to follow. The struggle for independence, although never backed by a document, always followed a principle. The principle of non violence, ahimsa etc also cumulatively known as Gandhi’s principles. Somehow this book is exactly what we need right now.

Author of Chanakya's New ManifestoThis 247 paged novel is an excellent book by Pavan K. Verma. Before I dive into how the book is and how it deals with India’s needs perfectly, a word about the author. Mr.Verma is an ex-civil servant who took voluntary early retirement from the Indian Foreign Services and now leads an actively involved public life. I believe these credentials are enough for him to provide an accurate commentary on the topics this book covers.

Inspired by the great Vishnu Gupta or more commonly known as Chanakya’s Arthshastra, this book lays down a blueprint of systematic changes India needs to become a superpower. It clearly lays down five key areas which are down in the dumps and are in a desperate need for improvement. Mr.Verma, in a concise and precise way, first details the current situation in that sector, tells us how this problem came about and what its roots are. Thus, after establishing a firm background and working knowledge of the topic to be dealt with, Pavan elaborates on the changes he thinks are needed while backing each one of them with a sound and logical reason(s).

The only flaw which I could even possibly relate to this book is extremely remote i.e. it didn’t debate the cons of the plans laid down in the book. But in the author’s defense  he ends the book by humbly saying that these points are not perfect and should be debated. So, no harm done. This along with a grammatical error or two, the book is perfect.

Chankaya's New Manifesto

As a whole, the book is something India desperately needs right now. We are plagued by inefficient governance, archaic policies, slow judicial mechanisms, a corrupt system and a lax bureaucracy. Although we have an enraged population, anger is not what will change the system. People hate corruption but have no way to fight it. This book presents an idea, an implementable idea. Something for us to follow and do. The X factor lies in the fact that the author himself has been in the very system he is trying to change. As he is already aware of its nooks and cranny, his ideas lay out the battle plan to combat them as well. I don’t say the ideas of this book are perfect as that perception differs from person to person in a free and independent society like ours. All I am saying is that like those fancy self-improvement guides we buy, this book is a nation-improvement book. We have the blueprint, we want the change. All that’s left to do is, ironically, is to do!

Like: Clear, concise, precise, effective, well planned, well thought out, reasonable logic
Dislike: Nothing

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The Gawkadal Massacre

Look at the grief of a commonerWith nearly two-third of January gone and almost all of our new year resolutions broken, the day of 20th January 2013 dawned to the 23rd anniversary of a brutal, ghastly incident which ironically most people don’t know about. I confess that even I was among those who didn’t know about this incident until some of my Twitter friends alerted me. So to that entire generation which doesn’t even know where Gawkadal is, here’s a summarised account.

On  the night of 19thJanuary 1990, Mr. Jagmohan was appointed as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, despite wide disapproval from the populace as well as the state government. In fact, the state government led by then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, resigned in protest. The very same night, the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) carried out unwarranted raids and inspections in Srinagar and arrested thousands of innocent people. Next morning when the word of the arrests got out, thousands of protesters poured out on the streets in anti-government marches, much similar to the outrage over the recent Delhi Gang Rape incident. In the evening, the protesters reached Srinagar’s wooden bridge over the Jhelum River named Gawkadal Bridge. To control this supposed unruly crowd, the CRPF opened fire on them, resulting in the death of 51(government toll) or 281(estimated toll). Also, thousands of people died as they had jumped into the river out of fear and drowned.
CRPF arrests protesters in Srinagar
23 years later, Kashmir still awaits justice. The police buried the investigation as “untraceable” and Delhi did everything to bury it. After all which government would want to have this on their resume? But the truth of the matter remains that this incident was no less brutal than the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Anyone devoid of sympathy, here’s a food for thought. Hundreds of people died before seeing the Internet. Many kids were orphaned just because some idiots in Delhi wanted power. Women were widowed because the government lacked the balls to take on a peaceful protest headfirst. As the 21stCentury citizens of India, we have learned to show our displeasure and annoyance at the government. But our forerunners were brutally massacred and ironically, almost no one knew. All I ask for is awareness, sympathy and respect. Awareness about this disgusting use of fascist fanatic force to crush the voice of the commoners. Sympathy for the original protesters who bravely gave up their lives for something they believed was right. Respect for the entire population of Kashmir, where (and I quote), “Every prayer is to beg god for a moment of peace in his heaven on earth.
Child Kisses Memorial Stone of Gaw Kadal Massacre

The need of the hour is crystal clear. India is awakening and the iron is red hot, ready to be struck. It’s time we change. I hope we change. Soon, Fast and Now. Javascript Disabled

Puppets Of Insurgence

Puppets of InsurgenceThe Chhattisgarh government had on Sundays asked security forces to scale down ‘proactive‘ anti-Naxal operations and remain ‘low key in the region. So read a Page 13 article from the Times of Indians Mumbai Edition dated Tuesday, April 24, 2012. In wake of the Maoist led kidnapping of Alex Paul Menon(Sukma district collector),the report further points out although the hostages location has been narrowed down by the help of UAVs, the government still refuses to intimate a crackdown and instead citing Indians peaceful nature, called upon Maoists to negotiate their demands. What has me in uproar is the idiotic but still being implemented notion of carrying out negotiations and actually accepting the demands of a group that has been labelled as “Insurgents”, “Non State Actors” and a threat to internal security by the central as well as multiple state governments.
Puppets of InsurgenceHas our nation lost its passion et zeal with which we attained freedom? Are we so weak that we actually have to release prisoners who were legally guilty just because we, let’s say, “Lack the balls” to carry out a crackdown and end this once and for all? What the government doesn’t realise is that if negotiations and acceptance of demands happens, the Maoists won’t stop such covert operations. Rather, it would be the success of such operations which shall spawn several such situations in the future. India, with its immensely massive population, is in no terms in shortage of security forces (Army, Police etc.) We have the manpower, we have a specific area to target and we outmatch the insurgents in a ratio of 1:2.So why don’t we act? Upto last year, I would have answered this question by saying “The government doesn’t care for its civilians”. However, the kidnapping of a district collector and a MLA signifies an attack on an integral part of the government. Still all we do is hold meetings in plush air conditioned rooms and leather chairs, decide to co-operate with terrorists and basically do nothing.
I sincerely believe that it’s high time our government, in Barney Stinson’s words, “Suits up!” and wipe out the insurgent forces to actually give us a reason to place our hopes in them. I would like to end by citing a similar global situation in the past. In response to the Munich Massacre (Capture and eventual killing of multiple Israeli sportsmen) during the 1972 Olympics, Israel had initiated Operation Spring of Youth and Operation Wrath Of God (Both were to systematically track down and kill suspects) instead of ceding to the demands (release of 234 Palestinian prisoners). All I hope is that India takes inspiration from its second largest military partner, and responds in a fitting tit for tat.

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What A Fucking Joke=India+Politics

 NOTE: This Article Was Published On Legally India (  and too

“What a fucking joke!” Immortalized by Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger, this phrase holds true for the state of Indian politics today. Ministers fight over personal instead of patriotic differences while they fill personal instead of public coffers. Scams have become a common foothold for a politician and the “Honest, Hardworking politician” has become an evergreen character in Indian cinema which has to date, never been immortalized in flesh. Despair filled my heart, as during one of my numerous musings, I pondered the answer to the question “Who will I vote for when I turn 18?” In a search for the answer, I quantified the scenario today.
No political party is clean. A fact agreed upon by all. If Congress was responsible for the Emergency, BJP had an equally guilty hand in the Hindu-Muslim Riots over the years. If MNS campaigned against the North Indian populace in Mumbai, SP or BSP too has not done something overtly special for Maharashtrians either. Tamilnadu wants Sri Lanka to be tried for Human Rights violations while Their Own police officers feel that “Women invite rapists by warring indecent clothes”. So you get the gist, political parties that claims to be clean are rather the unclean one.
Next moving on to the media sensationalism of “Youth Leaders” or “The Emerging Young Leaders” or “Future Leaders”. Again I say, “What a fucking joke!” Congress’s so called youth leader, a certain Rahul Gandhi is at the ripe young age of 41. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in a nation where nearly 58% of the population is under 30 and can be legally elected with a minimum age of 25, 41 is classified as “YOUNG”. I still remember the indignant feeling I felt when I woke up one day to the news that “Rahul Gandhi Travels via Mumbai Local Trains to Understand the Urban Transportation Problem”. Yes, the common man’s problems can easily be seen in a non-peak hour time empty train’s first class compartment with a plethora of bodyguards.
Even the Bhartiya Janta Party is not the doodh ke dhule political party they claim to be. Two porngate incidents, numerous Hindu-Muslim riots instigation and an emerging pro-Hindu Gujarati Prime Ministerial candidate who was denied a visa to USA (Chuck USA, he is not allowed in Bihar itself) are just some of the stains they have and believe you me, Yeh daag kisi ko acchhe nahin lagte.
I have not even given full credit to scams, regional parties (the main culprits behind the veiled caste system of India) and individual MPs. Also, I would be a raving idiot if I say that our country has done nothing since Independence. On the contrary we have done numerous things including some amazing growth (one of the few countries to possess nuclear weaponry, top in grain production etc to name a few). But my point is that we could have done much much more just if our politicians would have thought of patriotism instead of party-ism, and OUR money instead of MY money. Also, the extravagance of our political bureaucracy (Ask any Indian citizen what comes to mind when he imagines a political honchos office. Nearly everyone will describe a scenario of a rich, plush office with poor people pacing about for days and weeks together while Babus drive their files from here to there) has played an extremely detrimental role in demoralising our nation.
So, to answer my question, I conclude that as of now, it’s my personal gamble to vote in the best of the worst or the lesser evil, while we bide our time, learn from our mistakes and clean up our nation. To quote the movie Rang De Basanti, “Desh kaise theek hoga? Yeh Desh ka kuch nahin hoga!” ” Hoga.Hum badlenge Desh ko. IAS join karenge, politics mein entry karenge, police aur army mein bharti honge. Koi Desh perfect nahin hota. Usse perfect banana padta hai.”
I think it’s time ki hum Desh ko perfect banaye.
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Changing Seasons; Spring Of Progress Or Autumn Of Decay?

Don’t be fooled by the lofty title, it’s the theme of a particular international diplomacy event coming up in the next few months(Namely TEIMUN found at However, the question posed was impertinent and my heart demanded it be answered. Here’s my take on it:

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”‘

Today, when the world stands at the cross roads of diplomacy and tact, I am sure that peace shall be achieved if each global citizen makes these beautiful verses their motto.
If 2011 was turbulent, 2012 promises to right the wrong. The world was threatened by nuclear weapons, but the threat is set to be nullified via peace talks at Seoul. If economic troubles were what gave us sleepless nights, financial agreements and stronger trade ties are set to fight. Today’s world, buoyed by the inspired need for peace and the young generation’s zeal for justice, has emerged on the path for a supreme civilization. The Arab Spring revolutions were not an indicator of instability. Rather, they showed the human tendency of not being suppressed. Although we have lived through an extremely incumbent period, it had its merits as well. Terrorists were nabbed or killed; Dictators overthrown and long standing issues were finally solved (and if not, were close to be resolved). Thus, as a citizen of the global community, I proudly believe that the changing seasons are not an autumn of decay but rather the spring of progress. The transition may be rough but salvation is definite because no battle was won without some pain. As technological improvements continue to bring us together, we as a civilization continue to bond together in a blanket of oneness.
To conclude, I reflect on Shakespeare’s immortal lines,
“All the world’s a stage, 

and all the men and women merely players”

If all of mankind is merely but a player in the bigger theatre, let’s not squabble over materialistic gains but instead, rejoice in the beautiful music and rhythm of peace and harmony.
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Censoring of the Internet, Right or Wrong?

For the past few days, India has been in an uproar over an outrageously bold idea by Mr.Kapil Sibal according to which the Internet should be censored. All of the NETizens have struck back tagging it from a vicious attack to the blabbering of a stupid bafoon. However I am somewhat in favour of this (Hold your guns people, let me explain). Although I am totally against the censoring of posts which affect a cause or a movement or something which is impersonal to the extent of us expressing our right to free speech, I wish to point out that the same rights protect all of us and them.Censoring of the internet to ban child pornography, virus-infested pages and sexual harrasement (fake or real naked pictures that are circulated faster than the speed of light) is viable, wanted and if implemented, is definitely appreciated. However when the government wishes to stop us from fighting for what we really believe in and has no ramifications to the morality of a proper society, outrage is expected and applauded for.Let me back up with an example.A few days ago, when I opened Youtube, the featured videos list included “School Girl Raped In the Toilet” and “Bollywood Actress Nude!”.This shocked me to no extent because that was the day when Mr.Sibal announced his censoring idea.It shames me to say that politicians are more worried about a teenager’s status update regarding his corrupt nature than a the outrageously bold manouver of destroying the image of an already victimised teenaged girl whose pain and anguish is not describable in words.

So, I just wish to sum up with an advice to all of us (not you but us because I am as much a part of the internet as you all are). Instead of fighting the idea of internet censoring,let’s fight for the censoring of things that need to be censored;and while we are at it, let’s start using the “Report as Spam” button which we are given.Now to the NETizen named Kapil Sibal, I will just say one thing.”Chill Dude! Post all your ideas on forums,discussion boards or as your own status on social networks,check the response and then start off with media interactions because you know what?WE choose you;You don’t get to choose us!” Javascript Disabled