Making Sense of it after all

Nandan Nilenkani  posted his first entry on his blog “ Making Sense of it all”  on Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at 11:01 pm and it is filed under About the book – Imagining India. Of the 34 Responses to “Making sense of it all”, his first blog on the book, by a conspiracy of happy accidents, mine was the first response ever on his blog.  Sixteen months later, when I reflect on it today, I do not see that my comments are irrelevant any more. I hope it was. I am reproducing the comment I wrote in that blog . I am afraid that Nandan’s book will be on the shelves for at least another 16 years. It is an immortal piece of work.

1. Ranganathan Says:
November 16th, 2008 at 12:35 am


I am relieved that men like you have come forward to assuage the rising worries of the common man. I look forward to reading your book which I am sure will resonate well with the serious thoughts and fears of millions of concerned Indians.

In my blog “Campaign for a Responsible Government” I had conveyed my worries about the future of my young children who have five or more decades of life in front of them. My fear is not without any basis and this fear has understandably gripped many of my friends too. Will this country that is still called a young democracy at 61, stick together as a nation? I recall with alacrity as to how the Soviet Union disintegrated into pieces and how people suffered. Please recall that the central piece to the whole disintegration of the Soviet Union was a weak Central Government and certain coercive forces (the growing strength of provincial barons) that accelerated the collapse. And imagine we are increasingly closer to such a situation with weak central governments plus the right mixture of dangerous ingredients like unaffordable prices for basic necessities of life, joblessness, inequalities, angry youth, communal violence, diverse languages, growing intolerance, internal insurgencies, a huge and unmanageable population that has not stopped rising, growing regionalism and above all lack of bold and determined leadership

Our present prosperity and peace are as a result of the countless sufferings and sacrifices of people of yesteryears who made India a reality. Selfish and self centred pre-occupation with work, personal wealth and glory will all become meaningless if we can’t leave India as a safe place for our children to live peacefully and enjoy the fruits of our hard earned wealth.

This fragile fabric called India has shown considerable elasticity in the last several decades. If we do not immediately arrest those forces that puncture holes and try to tear it apart, we may soon become another Soviet Union. If this shall not happen to India, then ordinary mortals like us should be prepared do extraordinary things.

There is no running away from this responsibility. Take a look at the number of bold individuals who with a missionary zeal are trying to bring that positive change all alone. There are a number of very credible not-for-profit organisations run by dedicated individuals. Support them in their quest for truth and accountability. Help the good people in government do their jobs without fear of the corrupt and the powerful.

Congratulations for initiating this debate and to use your own words ” I think that the most effective answer to such politics is creating a ’safety net of ideas’ that can weather political storms and divisive rhetoric. If such ideas become popular across large numbers of voters, no government can survive by simply mining our resentments and without addressing these issues”



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