Sunday, January 20, 2013

Accidental India - Book Review

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“A nation of a billion people cannot wait endlessly for accidents. India deserves better”

It surely does. But progress, politics and policies are beyond the scope of their knowledge as well as the will of understanding for our average countrymen. And there is where we should hope to bring in some change because unless the knowing and realization happens of what contributes to the development, of what causes the problem we cannot find out what is the solution. There is more to change than what we expect from tweets, status updates, text messages, forwards, picture shares, candle lights and peace march. The sooner we realize what makes and breaks our nation and do something about this prime matter the better.

The book ‘Accidental India’ by Shankkar Aiyyar has captured seven events of national change over the years and explained them with extreme detailing with excerpts and experiences from people involved in them, each section by itself reflects the eagle eyed research executed in writing this book. There could not have been a better time than now for reading it, I completed it today morning. It just left me more aware of the facts, and more perplexed with the idea that we are paying a ‘criminal cost of neglect’ a phrase rightly mentioned somewhere in the book. 

Change per se is a highly over rated but under executed thought. Unless there is crisis, we do not think of the situation as a problem. Revolutions happen only when we are on the verge of a break down. What makes us wait till then, is it an Indian thing? Maybe not, there are a hundred other examples to cite from the other parts of the world. But that is the last thing with which we can justify ourselves. Speaking of us Indians our failures go carefully planned more than our developments which are mere accidents for which we cannot thank our leaders enough. Read this book to know on how, when and where we went wrong and what happened in the process. Our loss has always been more than our gain. Our deepest regret would be what the author quotes here in this book, Milton Freidman, the economist’s words way back in 1963 which is nothing less than right:

“India will stretch into centuries what took other countries only decades."

Wish we prove him wrong. Amen.

P.S : This review is a part of the Book Review Programme at Participate now to get free books.

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