I’ve already mentioned in one of the posts that I had read the book ‘The Great Indian Dream’. In my honest opinion, it was really a very illuminating and interesting read, so I thought of writing a review for the work. The book is from the author of a best-seller [Count Your Chickens before They Hatch]. Now I haven’t read that one, or I would give a review of that book too.
Dr. Malay Chaudhuri is the founder of the Indian Institute of Planning & Management, and Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri [his son] is a well-known Economist, also a dean at IIPM.This book, The Great Indian Dream [I’ll call it TGID from now on] is all about the problems, or rather challenges faced by India and how the nation can overcome them. The cover of the book describes it as a must-read for every Indian and also speaks about how it is all about restoring pride to a betrayed nation.
Any reader will recognize TGID as a work of passion and reflects on the thoughts and emotions of the two eminent authors. The facts are presented to us in a cold logical manner, which makes it easier to appreciate them. The first chapter about how India has been betrayed and by whom, enlightens us about every single problem that the citizens of India have to face in their lives. Poverty, Mafia Raj, illiteracy, economy, politics, etc. – almost all major obstacles to India’s growth has been elaborately discussed in the book. There is however, no mention of environmental degradation in India or the much needed ecological balance. There is also no mention of the discrimination with India or the human rights violations by the army [probably because the book is mostly about economic development of the country].
The authors of TGID have also shown a rather less-than-admiring notion towards the United States and its economy. The book also [naturally] condemns the Indian politicians for … well, there are so many things we all condemn them for, so I’m not going to bother mentioning them here.
Contrary to what many economists talk about, TGID talks about amalgamating capitalism and what-sounds-a-bit-like-socialism + communism along with democracy, of course. The author also vehemently states that every human is a born communist, and instead of the ‘survival of the fittest’, we should think of the ‘survival of the weakest’, just like everyone of us does in a family. The author then brings China as an example to emphasize this theory, which he calls ‘Happy Capitalism’.
The book also provides 10 ways for the Government to collect money and 10 ways on how to spend it efficiently. But of course, the planning is only part of the job and execution is another big problem, on which the book doesn’t really say much.
But most of the author’s theories seem to be based on values, which though urge the need for noble endeavors and value-based governance, seem rather impractical in today’s world, with India losing its sentimental aspects, as it keeps changing continuously with every advancing decade. He stresses on quality of life and happiness, rather than simply improving the GDP. At this point, I’m reminded of the Bhutanese leader talking about Gross Happiness Product or something of that kind. I can also recall Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies and how abysmal most of them turned out for the country. But if we go by the principle that nothing really is impractical or impossible, we’ll probably understand the author’s ideas better.
TGID is a work from which one could learn lots about the country and its present state. At the back of the book, it says that the authors believe that this book will surely restore to Indians their pride in being Indian and help them reclaim a rich India from a nation betrayed.
Lots can be said about this book, but I’d rather stop now. On a concluding note: It’s not just a book. It’s a vision.