Chanakya’s Chant is written by Ashwin Sanghi, Indian author based in Mumbai.
The book is based on fiction however the author has used Historical characters and timelines to give life to the story. The book runs in a 2 parallel backdrop: The first one is the story of Chanakya. One of the brightest political and economic minds of ancient India, Chanakya unified India under the rule of his student Chandragupt Maurya. He is cold, calculated and manipulative . Hurt by the murder of his father, he decides to use his knowledge and application in defeating weak Kingdoms and also keep Alexander The Great at distance from invasion.
2nd story is based in modern times. Gangasagar Misra, an alter ego of Chanakya , tries his hands on Modern politics of India. Like former’s Kingmakers profile, he makes his mark by taking a small girl from the slums of Kanpur to Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi. The series of scandals, scams, cheating, ups and downs, coalitions and drama of modern politics makes it interesting read.
The pace of the book is ferocious and switch from the ancient story to the modern story is neat. You can compare it with Hindi feature Film Rang De Basanti where a historic story plays in the backdrop in Black-n-white and is making references to the current story.
Though the fun element is evident in book, but the author has left many questions unanswered. For example, Chanakya had a moral good behind his deeds and sins whereas no such connect was there in Gangasagar’s story. Secondly, Gangasagar was portrait as bright kid when he was young but no reference was made of his political and economic learnings. Like few random communication from his former teacher was not digestible enough. Also likes of Chandragupt Maurya, one of the most important figure of Indian history was shown as mere sidekick of Chanakya with no original contribution to his campaign to become great Indian Samrat.
However if we cut corners of few literary sides of the novel, Chanakya’s Chant will not disappoint you on entertainment quotient. More serious readers who want to explore the historic angle can give this book a miss.
Ashwin Sanghi has shown a great promise with this book. When you read this book, you will notice that he is an intelligent writer and his best is yet to come. UTV motion picture has taken the movie rights of the book. The potential of good movie is definitively there.
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