This isn’t a book about election time rhetoric, fiery speeches, insensitive and provocative comments, controversies about freedom of expression and bans on books, films, beef and foreign artists that hit the headlines and are discussed ad nauseum in Prime Time TV debates. Instead it flags some of the burning social issues which cry out for attention but don’t interest well-known writers of by-lines or the diplomats turned columnists as they aren’t sexy enough and talking about them might not be politically correct. The book also offers somewhat unconventional perspective of influential personalities like Vivekananda, Pt Ravi Shankar, Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal.
A historian by education, a diplomat by profession, Surendra Kumar has never been unconnected with what goes on in India even while serving in different continents thousands of miles away. Opportunities of working and staying in Mexico and Chile in South America, Syria and Libya in the Middle East, UK in Europe, Mozambique and Kenya in Africa and Hong Kong in East Asia and many official visits to Swaziland, Eritrea, DRC and Malta have given him an outlook to see the progress and developments in India in a relative terms.