26 December 2010

We Can Pull It Off by Suresh Taneja

Superpower India
This is the story of how India got rid of all its problems.
A group of youngsters rooted out corruption – and that changed everything. Starting with a small movement, and with a mixture of shrewd thinking and luck, it spun out to cover the country. A new energy pervaded the land, education became widespread, and in 2030, India was the ruling superpower in the world. Indians from our time looked back, feeling choked with emotion and bursting with pride in country.
The best thing I liked about this book was the strategy described here to achieve this miracle. It’s plausible and, within the parameters of our lives in India today, could even work.
I also liked the very strong positive values it portrays.
Deep and enduring friendship, and love and tolerance for family members are universally considered to be admirable qualities.

Patriotism, however, is not rated so easily. The feeling of high emotion associated with thoughts of country is generally restricted to exiled patriots. For us Indians, the tendency to be emotional about our nationhood and value it as a precious asset arises from the feeling passed on by the thousands who gave their lives for our freedom from British rule.
Sadly, such virtues are considered unsophisticated in the modern materialistic world. They tend to get lumped with other habits such as rising early, working with even-tempered discipline, abstaining from substance abuse and preferring sex only within marriage. Or in other words, maturity is often mistaken for lack of sophistication.
It’s perhaps for this reason that I found the presentation of this book rather rustic, and more suited to the vernacular than English. Or perhaps it was just the language it was presented in. Because, as a work of literary fiction, it has far too many grammatical and idiomatic errors.
This book is not likely to attain mainstream readership – but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t make an excellent plot for a superhit Bollywood film which might well turn out – who knows – to be the starting point for the change it describes.

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