Review of Swaraj by Shekhar Gupta: A misplaced critique

Review of Swaraj by Shekhar Gupta: A misplaced critique

his critique of Swaraj by Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by Shekhar Gupta (SG) of Indian Express centres around what historical source is more accurate in providing historical “facts”. The following quote from the article reflects Shekhar’s core problem with Arvind’s historically inspired solutions from ancient India.
“But learning ancient Indian history from Chandamama or Amar Chitra Katha (Swaraj even has sketches) is even more perilous than knowing Mughal history from watching Jodha Akbar. Particularly for grown-ups”

My critique of Shekhar, Arvind and many others including those on the center right of the Indian political spectrum is the relevance of this method. In other words, I accuse them of being too “stuck in the past”, rather too “stuck in thinking the past is relevant” given the tectonic shifts in social,political and economic structures of our society from ancient times. Yes it may be instructive to learn from certain mistakes/experiences of the past. But in romanticizing how functional ancient India was, it is very dangerous to draw on that romanticism to provide solutions for modern India. Wish SG had at pointed that out as the main problem, than questioning Arvind’s sources for stating his philosophy.


Author: harshT

Assistant Professor

One thought on “Review of Swaraj by Shekhar Gupta: A misplaced critique”

  1. Rather than stuck in the past, its more a case of irresponsible journalism.

    A critique who judges a book about administration with a knowledge base limited to mythological history of India and limited knowledge of the countries he talks about.

    He says he finished the book within 2 hours, maybe he meant 2 minutes because he has ignored a huge bulk of the content and focused his article on a single fable that does not even occupy a complete page (forget chapter) in the book.

    Should I say Attention Deficit Disorder… I’m at a loss of words.

    He has actually given us a glimse of Shekhar Chitra Katha rather than what he claimed.

    Indian Express should be the most deperate of all media to actually have space for such misinformed material.

    Shekhar Gupta is totally disconnected from the political reality of the country and sees only what he wants to.

    His limited knowledge of the Swiss democracy also fails to add any readable matter to the article.

    There is certainly more to the functioning of the Swiss democracy, heres a link to a good explanation of how it works:

    Answer by Thierry Blancpain to How is direct democracy conducted in Switzerland?

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