You don’t have to be a student of political science to have heard of Chanakya. Revered as the greatest political strategist known to Indian history, Chanakya’s political acumen was second to none and in his second book Ashwin Sanghi brings alive the legend that was Chanakya through his modern-day avatar, Pandit Gangasagar Mishra.
The book flows freely between the lives of Chanakya, a Brilliant Brahmin boy and the greatest kingmaker who changed the face of Indian history 2500 years ago and Pandit Gangasagar Mishra who is intent on changing the fate of his protege and the country in modern day India.
Cold and ruthlessly calculating, Chanakya let nothing stand in the way of his vision of a united India. Like pawns in a game of chess he arranges the friendships and deaths and even the love affairs of all those around him so he could install Chandragupta on the throne of a united India. And in that process, lies the secret of why India did not fall to the might of Alexander’s marauding army. It was almost as though fate had no choice but to obey and Chandragupta had no choice but to fulfiil his destiny as chosen by his master.
Millenia later comes Pandit Gangasagar Mishra, another brilliant mind whose schemes barely tread the line as he sets about transforming the political landscape of the country. His mission? To train and then install Chandni on the ultimate seat of power in the country. And nothing stands in his way, not political rivalry and not the 4th estate. Anybody who dares to try is simply eliminated.
Maybe because I’m a history buff but I was completely hooked to Chanakya’s story, not that the modern day political drama wasn’t interesting. Though the book does read unbelievably slick in parts, there is no taking away from the fact that it’s well written and an engrossing read. I’d give the book a 4/5.