―Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested‖
(Francis Bacon, The Essays of Francis Bacon, 1597) Just recently the entire world celebrated World Book
Day, so one can imagine the enormous value that Books hold and more so during this phase of Lockdown where books are the divine manna for all the bibliophiles like us who feast on it.
Cicero very aptly said ―A room without books is like a body without a soul‖ and every book aficionado would agree to the same even today.
Talking of books one is overwhelmed by the plethora of works dedicated to Prime Minister Modi and his policies. It deserves merit here that after Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi and after a hiatus of decades, Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the sole Premiere in India who has received encomiums both within and beyond India . One is flabbergasted when one comes across so much literature that has been spawned on the literary horizon dedicated to Prime Minister Modi and to his policies. This again fortifies his position as a great Statesman amidst the people at large.
One such exceptional book that I chanced upon is Making of New India –Transformation under Modi Government , edited by the erudite triumvirate Bibek Debroy(Chairman , EAC-PM), Anirban Ganguly ( Director , SPMRF, New Delhi) and Kishore Desai( OSD to B. Debroy, Chairman,EAC-PM). Essentially a compendium of 51 essays, this oeuvre has encapsulated the avant-garde reform initiatives under Modi Government not only deftly but with meticulous objectivity as well. The import of words strongly suggests how practical and pragmatic policies have been adopted under the Modi Government and how Modi has revolutionized governance by insisting on ―Reform, Perform and Transform‖.
An anthology of 51 essays authored by an eclectic mix of 55 domain experts like Swapan Dasgupta, Anirban
Ganguly, Minhaz Merchant, Bibek Debroy, Ashok K Lahiri,Baijayant ‗Jay‘ Panda , Harsh V. Pant ,Ashley J Tellis to name a few ,this book is a must read for one and all and is an interesting addition to the repositories of knowledge.
As far as its thematic content is concerned, the opus is broadly divided into 3 parts: Section I- Overview , Section IIThe Inside View and Section III- The Outside view. Each portion deserves serious rumination due to the grave assessment of the policies under Modi government which has even struck the world with awe. Spanning across economy, security issues to diplomacy to ideology to social investments and social inclusion endeavors to Modi‘s efforts to make India a force to reckon with on international arena , this book sagaciously recounts and critically appraises all the policies both ‗Inside‘ and Outside‘ India.
The First part of the book gives us a perspective on the workings of the government under Modi through its well scripted eight articles and how India is witnessing a ―Second Renaissance‖ with NaMo effect which shows a definitive penchant for delivery, innovation and transparency and has its visibility felt in the form of DeMo, GST, Jan Dhan accounts, Ujjawala scheme and Aadhar .
The Second or penultimate part captioned as ―The Inside View‖ unfolds the domestic impact of Modi‘s policies in ―New India‖ which introduces the narrative of ―Sankalp Se Siddhi‖ for ―Sabka Saath ,SabkaVikas‖ .Encapsulated in thirtythree empirically astute articles, this segment makes applaudable efforts to unfold the robust institutional framework put in place by Modi government for skilling billions ,for banking reforms ,fiscal policy, accountability in real estate , reforms in higher education , striking out obsolete laws that have turned a deadwood to name a few.
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Next the third segment titled as ―The Outside view‖ like its preceding sections offers a platter full of perceptive insights of Modi Government‘s policies in international arena unraveled through its ten skillfully crafted articles. This section contends how India transformed into a ―Hard power‖ by leveraging its age old diffident ― soft power‖ image post Modi‘s assumption as Prime Minister and how India is now projected by various rating agencies like Moody‘s , S & P and Fitch as a promising contender to spearhead the imminent Asian Century. Still further it also underscores how Modi Doctrine has been a game changer in resetting Neighborhood policies from ―Look East to Act East‖, to positioning India as a challenger to China‘s hegemonic ambitions and most importantly to redefining its relations with America as an equal partner.
Overall one can adjudge this work Making of New India –Transformation under Modi Government as one of the finest treatises on ‗New India‘ under the Modi regime. Given its objectivity and care for analytical approach, one can fathom that this very book is a prelude to many expositions that demand an unbiased approach for themselves. More so this book is in no way a panegyric that exhibits obsequiousness rather it has emerged as an indisputably authentic work that has treated the subject at hand with utmost lucidity and empiricism. To be more precise, this book is a must read not only for those within academia but for every onlooker who is voraciously following Indian affairs.
KETKI TARA KUMAIYAN
Department of Political Science
DSB Campus, Kumaon University
Nainital, Uttarakhand, INDIA