substantive solutions to each one of today’s problems. Yet, unlike Chanakya’s strategy of setting up India’s first great empire by overthrowing one king and crowning another, Verma’s Chanakya has not even remotely prescribed anything that’s outside the four walls of the Constitution.
Varma, a 1976 batch IFS officer and a serious thinker for creating a new India, argues in this book that each coalition like UPA or NDA must publicly announce a common governance agenda, with indicative time-frames for specific deliverables. “This must be worked out prior to the elections so that voters know what rival political groupings are offering.”
And what should be done after a new government is formed? Varma’s Chanakya prescribes setting up of a five-member Governance Appraisal Panel (GAP) which will independently evaluate the performance of the government and submit annual report to the President of India. According to the suggestion in the book, the GAP should comprise a leading economist or a corporate sector personality, a distinguished journalist, a respected former bureaucrat, an academic of eminence in the field of governance, and a retired chief justice of India or a retired Supreme Court judge. And they should be picked up by a selection panel comprising Prime Minister of India, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India. The Economist termed his yet another best-seller “Being Indian: Why the 21st Century Will Be India’s”, as “one of the most subtle recent attempts to analyse the continent-sized mosaic of India”.
Varma also wrote “Love and Lust: An Anthology of Erotic Literature from Ancient and Medieval India” and “Kama Sutra: The Art of Making Love to a Woman”, the second one being his witty adaptation of Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra.
10 Chanakya quotes