Title: Game India – seven strategic advantages that can steer India to wealth
Author: R N Bhaskar
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 280 pages
Price: Price Rs.499
This literary work is a celebration of India’s success, and at the same time take a critical look at what went wrong and the way to look ahead. This could be a one-line description about the book, but that statement undermines the essence of the book: There are elements in the book, which are enriching and engaging, making it difficult to review the book in a few lines.
When you analyse the book further, you will find that the author writes about ordinary lives surrounded in ordinary situations, but are being able to succeed. This book is not dedicated to one visionary and his or her ways but tries to include as many geniuses as possible.
The first chapter, which starts with the conversation between the author and Verghese Kurien, Milkman of India, sets the tone of the book and creates enough curiosity to continue reading it. The book opens up your mind to some unknown economic and social aspects of the country.
Yet another chapter that is quite thought-provoking is on solar. While many views solar as a means to make electricity supply accessible, among other things, the author tries to open up new avenues in this area. The heavy use of data in this chapter can be an eye-opener for governments that are struggling to generate employment in the country. Bhaskar cites Germany’s role in solar to support his claim in this segment.
The author has clearly visualised India’s failure and success not based on his view but based on success stories and data. Use of case study at times can be subjective, but appropriate use of data strengthens the claims and suggestions. This style of writing (to use heavy data) of the author, can be attributed to his three decades in journalism. The author has tightly knitted the facts and figures, anecdotes and insights in Game Indi, which is essential for a book in this category.
The book, which is divided into seven chapters, gives equal importance to topics like dairy, solar power, coastlines and riverways, agriculture, etc. Another interesting ingredient of this book is that it draws a comparison with situations in other countries.
Game India has several tables and cross-references which can be used by many as reference points for their research or another literary work in the future. The book touches upon David Sassoon, a Baghdadi Jew, who landed in Bombay (now Mumbai) and changed the ways and means of the region. Institutions developed by him in Mumbai and Pune, still stand tall and the book has given special mention to him and his works in the coast of India. Such anecdotes make for a compelling read (ignoring typos).
Throughout the book, the author has juggled between past, present and future, in a smooth manner which helps us understand some aspects in the right context. Bhaskar writes extensively about India, but at the same time, he also mentions about countries like Germany, Russia, Iran, China and others, and how learning about those countries can be customised for Indian needs.
The author has more than one reason to rejoice as his book has managed to receive endorsements from the likes of Ratan Tata, Gautam Adani and Mukund Rajan. This shows that the first-time author, with a journalistic career spanning some 30 years, and with two decades of teaching experience, is in right direction.