Q 1. What inspired you to bring out the collection of essays—India Now and in Transition?
The beauty of India is that there are many kinds of Indias. Understanding the fundamentals that have given birth to such multiplicity across various segments is especially imperative in the present day, when the ‘Idea of India’ is keenly contested. India Now and in Transition is thus an enquiry into possible futures, based on current happenings. As an editor, I work on something to make it compatible with readers’ expectations.
Q 2. How did you select the experts and scholars whose work is featured in this volume?
I set a mandate of the book and ensured the writers follow it. This was applicable to all, including the senior writers who happen to be the earth’s most demanding public intellectuals.
Q 3. Your book analyses the many complex issues facing India. In general, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of our nation and why?
Our nation has the world’s largest youth population and is undergoing tectonic social and political changes at present. Therefore, understanding what directions India may take in the future is essential for every thinking individual. Notwithstanding the challenges, I am optimistic about the future of our nation. Its fundamentals are strong.
Q 4. Given that the world is facing many challenges, how do you see India’s role on the global stage in the years ahead?
We are growing significantly in economic and strategic terms, but lack of greater socio-economic inclusion remains a big concern. India’s role on the global stage will be decided by the homework of our policy-makers.
Q 5. What motivates you to write? And what are you working on next?
As a writer, first, I answer my own queries. Normally, I read a lot—not to write anything particular but to stay in the mental state where I can silently cope with the chaos of ideas. I must confess, I thought of working on a book after reading full-time for one-and-half decades—and writing extensively on opinion/edit pages of broadsheets. Being a compulsive reader, it was somehow natural to turn into a journalist and writer. My next book will be on Nepal.