Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chankya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi




my rating: 4/5
finsihed on :10/17/2013


Chankya's chant is the second novel of Ashwin Sanghi after Rozabal Line.
Chankya's chant has two stories going simultaneously. One has occurred in 2300 hundred years ago and one is taking place in the present time. Both are the stories of political mentors who helped their protegee to rise to the zenith of power.

Chankaya is a young brahmin whose father is killed by the lecherous and unjust ruler, Dhananda of the Magadha Kingdom. Chanakya then vows to defeat the Dhananda and unite the whole bharat. He is jailed by Dhananda. He escapes from prison with help of his father's friends and the senapati Maurya. It was during his stay he meet Chandragupta ,son of Maurya. He's impressed by Chandragupta's precocious wisdom and decides to teach him and make him the ruler of Bharat. The Chanakya part of the story is about the way Chanakya fulfills his pledge and makes Chandragupta the ruler of Bharat.
Chanakya is shrewd man who believes that ends justifies the means.

'My dharma tells me that i need to unify Bharat under Chandragupta. If i need to use religious differences to create unity, so be it. The end justifies the means.'

He is shown as a man who would achieve his ends either by hook or crook. He advises his pupils to use deceit and secrecy to achieve their goal and not using open warfare methods as were considered honorable at that time for example when Mehir asks him why Sasigupta and Chandragupta shouldn't attack Ambhi instead of causing religious troubles in his state
Chanakya Replies, 

'Because attacking him openly isn't an option. We must continue to officialy maintain that we're friends even though we're not. He must feel comfortable enough to allow us to stay behind him'.
'Why?',asked Mehir
'Because you can only stab someone in the back if you're standing behind him, Mehir that's why.'


He feels that killing few people for the good of thousand is not bad.
His aim in life is to have a unified Bharat and for it he sacrifices the only woman he ever loved.

Meanwhile in the present time there is Gangasagar Mishra. Gangasagar starts working under tutelage of Agarwalji, a prominent businessman of Kanpur,who was know to his father. Agarwalji is a prominent businessman of Kanpur and under his wing Gangasagar learns a lot about dealing with people and making money. He also learns the importance of political power and the symbiotic relation that exists between politicians and the rich businessman. Gangasagar is shown to be a good judge of character with no moral scruples. He sees the evilest person and instead of getting disgusted, he find how that person would be useful for him and his cause. He's the modern day Chanakya and his protegee is Chandini Gupta, modern day Chandragupta. The present part of story deals with how Gangasagar turns a daughter of humble shop vendor into the Prime Minister of India.

The both characters are drawn in such a way that although their heartless decisions make you hate them but still you can't help admiring them. And the book surely has made me curious about real Chanakya. 


There were only one or two things that i find slightly off putting in the book like:
Although both Chandragupta and Chandini are charming and shown to be intellectually sharp, most of the times they were just puppets in hands of their respective mentors.
The other thing that was bugging me during reading the story was the reasons for Gangasagar favoring Chandini when he could have picked any one. And the reason provided in the book was not satisfactory. Although I'd not be telling that reason, here.
I loved the book. Both the stories in the book are engaging and fast paced.  I'd say go for it.

4 comments:

  1. wowww mind blowing review.i'm surely going to read this book and credit goes to your review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks ...give it a go dude........and tell me how you feel about it.....

    ReplyDelete
  3. you dont hv poublic domain for this book?

    ReplyDelete
  4. na yaar......public domains books are those whose copyright have expired.this is fairly recent........

    ReplyDelete

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