India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in our Time | ISBN 978-9384067281
This has been a time of unprecedented change in the country. The transformation of India’s politics, economy, foreign policy, media, civil rights, governance and a myriad other aspects of our society and government has been swift and disruptive, sometimes brutally so. Narendra Modi, the nation’s new Prime Minister, and his Bharatiya Janata Party, dominate the political scene, as the Congress once did, and are attempting to change the way we work, think, pray and conduct ourselves as citizens of the planet’s most populous democracy. There are signs that the nation is moving in directions that will benefit its people—the economy has begun to revive, its foreign policy appears to be purposefully pursuing a visible place in the world, polls show that a significant percentage of the nation’s youth are optimistic about the future; at the same time, there are serious concerns about the rise of majoritarianism and religious fundamentalism (often, this is one and the same thing), a disquieting intolerance of free speech, dissent and religious freedom; moreover, there appears to be no end to corruption, hate speech, criminals in politics, terrorism, violence against women, bureaucratic lethargy, governmental incompetence, endemic poverty, environmental degradation, and a host of other problems that India has been struggling to overcome for decades. What does the future hold? Is the promise of good times a mere illusion? Have we forgotten the democratic, humane, secular and liberal values that our founding fathers endowed us with? Are high-speed trains and missions to Mars eclipsing the vital need to achieve universal literacy, eradicate poverty, and provide food, shelter and health-care for all? Shashi Tharoor, one of our most distinguished and insightful writers, attempts to answer these and other important questions and demystify the complex issues that have been thrown up by the ongoing transformation of the nation. After chronicling India’s transformation over the years in several previous books, he brings his insights into Indian society, economics and politics up to date in wide-ranging short essays that extend the narrative right up to the present time. Lucid, brilliantly argued, balanced and illuminating, India Shastra is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand today’s India. .
About the Author
Shashi Tharoor is the bestselling author of fourteen previous books, both fiction and nonfiction, besides being a noted critic and columnist, a former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. He served 29 years at the United Nations, culminating as Under-Secretary General Kofi Annan’s leadership. As India’s official candidate to succeed Annan as UN Secretary-General, he emerged a strong second out of seven contenders. On returning to India he contested the 2009 elections on behalf of the Indian National Congress, and was elected to Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram. Reelected in 2014, he chairs Parliament’s External Affairs Committee. Shashi Tharoor’s books include the path-breaking satire The Great Indian Novel (1989), the classic India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997) and most recently, the visionary Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century (2012). He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, was honoured as New Age Politician of the Year (2010) by NDTV, and pioneered among Indian politicians the use of Twitter, where he has over two and a half million followers, as of 2014. Dr Tharoor earned his Ph.D. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the age of 22, and was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a Global Leader of Tomorrow. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India’s highest honour for overseas Indians.
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