Book Review: SWARAJ by Arvind Kejriwal

SWARAJ by Arvind Kejriwal will interest people looking for answers to problems of corruption, untouchability, unemployment, inflation. Among other issues, the book touches on the issues of violence and how alcoholism in villages infests to create problems in village-life. The chapters of the book deal with numerous topics – from: The Shortcomings Of The Current Panchayati Raj to Let There Be A Law For Self-Rule to Participate In Your Gram or Mohalla Sabha. The Foreword is given by Anna Hazare.

During the Anna Hazare movement in India – which was defined by the anti-graft agitation – Arvind Kejriwal emerged as a key figure. On 25th July 2012, Kejriwal, along with two of his colleagues and Anna Hazare, sat on a fast to press their demands – to pass the Lokpal Bill. However, the government was not responding to Team Hazare which was demanding the setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe corrupt politicians.

The author was the main architect of the Anna Hazare – led anti-corruption movements that shook India in the years of 2011-12. Arvind Kejriwal was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2006 for his work on RTI (Right To Investigate).

SWARAJ by Arvind Kejriwal expresses the author's view that power must shift from New Delhi and the state capital to the gram and mohalla sabhas – meaning that villages and localities should be activated to the levels, whereby, people can be directly empowered to take decisions about their own lives,.

About the book – in the words of Anna Hazare, "This book talks in detail about the meaning of change in the system. To achieve swaraj, or self-rule, what are the laws that we need to change and at what level? What will be the system of gram sabhas and parliament in a true democracy? Every person who is dreaming of change needs to understand the answers of these questions…"

About the book – in the words of the author, "To help the publisher sell the book to the maximum number of people at an affordable price, I am forgoing the royalty on the book."

Geeta Chhabra


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