While browsing through a library or a bookstore one is sure to bump into a stack of books with the title INDIA and the variety, that such collections offer, is quite astounding. You almost get the country in the book shelf. Such voluminous collections drives home the fact that almost every scholar and academician, or sometimes journalist and politician, has attempted to make sense of the phenomenon called India. A similar attempt in that direction has been made by a bunch of young MPs, who have come out with a book names India- The Future is now.
But the book in question is completely different from its contemporary relatives. Edited by MoS of HRD Ministry, DR. Shashi Tharoor this book contains a dozen articles authored by young Parliamentarians. The articles dwell on the past and present of the country and promise to give a vision, a good map for the future. The book has been brilliantly brought together and edited by Dr. Tharoor. His editorial note, which is almost a full-size article, gives the perfect prelude to the journey that is guided by his colleagues in the later part of the book. The list of contributors contains names of what Patrick French likes to call hereditary MPs, like Anurag Thakur, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Priya Dutt, Sanjay Jaiswal as well as first generation MPs like Jay Panda, MB Rajesh and others. It is indeed a rare occasion where politicians of rival camps have come together to deliberate on the country’s future.
A remarkable aspect of the book is the presence of some witty cartons that have been supplied with every article. The cartoons, sketched by Sudhir Tailang, add substantially to the overall appeal of the book.
The articles are short and specific without unnecessary facts and statistics. The language is simple, lucid and easy-to-read. The issues vary widely from youth employment to national security to policy formulation. Even hunger, corruption, agriculture and economic growth are part of the discussions. Thus, in a nutshell the book tries to address all major debates concerning the future of the country. But, the topic chosen for discussion in the book are in no sense exhaustive. Even the proposed solutions, if any, are not something very unique.
Nevertheless, the book is a refreshing dose of India in a manner which is markedly different from the academic scholarship that dominates books of this ilk. The seriousness with which the young MPs look at the country augurs well for her future.