By A Correspondent
New Delhi: Penguin Random House India in association with the Samruddha Bharat Foundation (SBF) announced the publication of a 14-volume series of over 120 policy-oriented essays to propose innovative and disruptive ideas to further India’s promise.
The first volume, titled Vision for a Nation: Paths and Perspectives, has contributions from leading intellectuals on the idea of a plural, inclusive, just, equitable, prosperous India. They include academician and activist Kancha Ilaiah, author and academician Neera Chandhoke, scholar and linguist Ganesh Devy, sociologist and legal researcher Kalpana Kannabiran, former Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi, writer and politician Shashi Tharoor, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee and Bharatanatyam dancer Navtej Singh Johar, veteran politician Sitaram Yechury, among others.
The Samruddha Bharat Foundation (SBF) is an independent socio-political organisation set up to safeguard and further the constitutional idea of India and take serious cognisance of the country’s present and future challenges and to rise to them.
In just one year, it has constituted numerous working groups to critically rethink social, economic and political paradigms and invited over 400 of India’s foremost academics, activists, professionals and policymakers across party lines for ideation and innovation.
With this set of 14 volumes, the Foundation aims to initiate an inclusive dialogue and build conversation and consensus on them. These books will highlight innovative ideas that seek to deepen and further the promise of India. The essays will be authored by India’s foremost academics, technocrats, activists, intellectuals, policymakers, thinkers and are written to be accessible to a general readership.
Advisor to Samruddha Bharat Foundation, Aakash Singh Rathore, says: “Facing the 70th year of the republic affords us the opportunity to bring together outstanding scholars and practitioners to evaluate where we as a nation have reached, and to collectively rethink, strategically but also responsibly, how we now must move forward.’
Commenting on the initiative, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Member of Parliament (DMK), and one of the contributors to the series, says, ‘It is important to bring different voices together on a platform and to start a debate, where the space for debate is shrinking. I congratulate Samruddha Bharat Foundation for creating a platform where diverse perspectives are being brought together and discussed.’
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, CPI (M), says: “What emerged in the epic people’s freedom struggle in India was an Idea that independent India moves towards transcending its immense diversities in favour of a substantial inclusive unity of its people. This is the ‘Idea of India’. The current battles in India are between the Majoritarian “Hindutva Nationalism” and the Inclusive “Indian Patriotism”. These battles are captured in these volumes.’
Pushparaj Deshpande, Samruddha Bharat’s Managing Trustee and one of the series editors, says: “The volumes strive to kickstart a national dialogue on key socio-economic and political issues, and forge a consensus on how we can proceed as a nation. In the coming years, we hope this will serve as a blueprint for all progressive forces committed to furthering India’s promise.”
Stressing on the need for such a collection, Swati Chopra, senior commissioning editor, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘The books in this series attempt to re-evaluate and reimagine the core values of our Constitution in a contemporary context and how they can be made more robust in India today. In that sense, ‘Rethinking India’ is a befitting title for the series and we are proud to be publishing it.’
The volumes will cover issues such as minorities, women, unemployment, healthcare, urbanisation, and many more. Each volume will detail at least 10 specific policy solutions, which are innovative, disrupted, and well researched by some of the greatest minds of our times. The books will also offer road maps to navigate through challenges with the mission to cooperatively rise above them and revitalise India’s aspirations.
Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing, Penguin Random House India, told Arrackistan: “I feel delighted and honoured that the Samruddha Bharat Foundation (SBF) has chosen to partner with Penguin Random House India for the publication of the prestigious and valuable 14 volume series that will address the diverse current and future challenges for our country. The series will be an invaluable addition to our list and is a must-read for readers across age groups. I congratulate the eminent writers who have come together to make this possible and I look forward to publishing the series.”