As Tripura gets ready to vote in its Assembly Election and I am reading of "Governance for Growth in India" continues, India’s eleventh President, who is also one of the most influential idols for young Indians, utilizes his vast experience in the fields of governance and politics to clarify the various aspects of efficient governance.

The book starts with his recent visit to Ropar, Punjab where he is entrusted with the moral responsibility of answering the question which has eluded the youth of our nation, “Who should we vote for if all the candidates are not worth electing?” He replied; “Remember, your ‘Right to Vote’ is precious and to exercise your franchise is essential. You have a great opportunity to select the right person to represent you in the parliament or in the Assembly.” And the answer they receive shows the true character of our former president, the one which we have all come to admire.

The best part of the book is the fact, that it is so well organised into chapters and points, and to top it off, such simple use of English. In his book he discussed about 3 main aspect of political leadership, which are very important and every political leader should follow these. As the Assembly Election is on the door-step and the leaders of political parties are busy about to discuss people friendly developmental government; I’d love to highlight 3 points here;
  • Integrated Action Plan for a Developed Constituency:
Every leader should have a clear vision of development of their constituencies in their tenure and to make a difference through their developmental politics.
  • Action Plan for Good Governance Constituency:
Every leader should have a clear vision of Good Governance to empowered villages ensure good and smart governance.
  • Action Plan for End to Corruption:
In order to bring inclusive governance, the first and foremost requirement is to build a corruption-free transparent government.

Not only that, one of the best things about this book is its leave you with a sense of hope and determination, especially when today’s youngsters are either nonchalant or tired of the contemporary Indian governance and state of affairs. With surveys and questionnaires answered by electoral candidates, he also points out the importance of the power that is being vested in them. He also shows that as voters, it is in our hands to make the changes rather than blame others or wait for someone to make the change. This would have been an ideal pre-election read but nevertheless, a must read for all voters. Having worked with professionals of all cadres, the readers tend to trust the author’s views and we listen to him as he recollects his experiences. All his thoughts are well-organized and simple-worded for everyone to understand. The best thing about the book is where the author has asked his readers to write a page on the changes each reader wishes to see in his/her society and asked to present it to the public representatives. This shows the extent to which the author is willing to change India for a better future and it leaves you rather guilty for your negligence till now.

The book puts forward a solution on how to eradicate these cases of poor monitoring of government funds, mainly by increasing transparency in the system via public audits, RTI(Right to information ), the closely-knit structure between different bodies of government etc. so as to increase government answer-ability.

This book reflects the total life experiences of a man, who has worked with all major aspect of “The largest democracy” in the world, from IAS’s to PM’s, working under brilliant intellectuals of our nation like Dr. Sarabhai. Abdul Kalam shares his knowledge and collective experiences in hopes of leading the Indian youth towards a more educated and leadership-oriented environment.

A must-read, though at times it might feel like you know the topic pretty well, the author’s insights make it worth a read. Also, it is easy going and a very light read as in comparison to other non-fiction books which talk about India on the pathway to a developed nation.