There are a large number of books, booklets and articles exclusively dealing with the accession of the princely states, tackling of recalcitrant states like Junagadh and Hyderabad, Kashmir problem, India-China boundary issues, India-China war, Tibet, annexation of Tibet by China, plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils, India’s quest for a permanent seat in the UN, India’s foreign policy after independence, disappearance of Netaji Subhash, reorganisation of states, the language issue, plight of the Dalits, incomparable contributions of Netaji Subhash, Sardar Patel and Dr Ambedkar, yet their relative neglect in the post-independence India, India’s suicidal plunge into socialism, babudom and corruption resulting in wide-spread poverty, hunger and misery, and the curse of the dynacracy—dynastic democracy.
Getting a hang on these diverse issues would mean plodding through thousands of pages of books and articles on these subjects, and getting a clarity on them would require studying also competing viewpoints. That’s a tall order. This book, Foundations of Misery, seeks to lighten that burden for the readers interested in such subjects. In less than 400 pages of this compendious book you have the gist of thousands of pages of books and articles.
This book, however, is not an outline or a summary or an exercise in précis-writing. Based on the information culled from scores of books and articles and research on the web, the book seeks to present the topics in an original, logical, precise and engrossing manner, with due clarity. Reading of any chapter, for example, the chapter on Kashmir (included as one among the three sample chapters enclosed), would prove this. Some of my acquaintances—from different age groups—had these comments to make after reading the draft:
“Unlike the serious, heavy tomes on such subjects, I like the format of this book; it makes reading a pleasure.”
“I was reluctant to start with it thinking it would be some boring book on the economy and history of India; but it has turned out to be riveting and highly informative.”
“Covers so many topics so concisely and with great deal of clarity. Besides, it never gets boring. I finished it over two long sittings.”
“Very engrossing. It was a page-turner. Hogged my weekend.”
“Kashmir, Tibet and India-China dispute were particularly absorbing. Saved me reading those scores of books.”
“I find this book a very well researched document. The sub-topics within each topic follow a logical or chronological sequence and are presented in a language hallmarked by a real professional skill.”
“I loved the socialism, babudom, dynacracy part, apart from the historical topics.”
“Young people, not witness to those times, ought to read it. There is so much to learn from this book—it also keeps you thoroughly interested.”