Why Bharat Matters by S Jaishankar Book Review

Post Category: Non-fiction
Why Bharat Matters S Jaishankar review Indian book critics

Anything other than the ongoing IPL in India that is popular today, discussed en masse, and getting people’s attention, is undoubtedly the Lok Sabha election! Yes, the Lok Sabha general elections to elect the central government are approaching the finale on June 4, 2024. Politicians and their “prastavaks” are telling the country why they should get the votes. Some are banking on the job well done, and some are banging the doors of the voters for the jobs botched up by others. Interesting, isn’t it? 


The Supreme Court of India has also weighed in, saying that the general elections are an extraordinary scenario, coming once in five years. Hence, even the under-trials for severe criminal conspiracies have the right to campaign for the polls (even if they are not the candidates themselves). Two judges of the Supreme Court selected and promoted by other Supreme Court judges decided what others should do while granting interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal, the tainted CM of Delhi facing severe charges of criminal conspiracy in the Delhi Liquor Scam case. Nevertheless, the same Supreme Court seemed flimsy while denying any interim relief to another tainted CM, Hemant Soren, for campaigning in the ongoing polls. The point is, you see, the entire machinery of the democratic set-up of the country is involved in this exciting election! 


I review S Jaishankar’s touted book, Why Bharat Matters, to make this election enticing. Once a diplomat and now an appreciated minister for external affairs in the Modi Government 2.0, Jaishankar’s opinions and analysis of the changes in India’s approach to the world are noteworthy. One must understand it from the man himself. 


In “Why Bharat Matters,” S. Jaishankar, a seasoned diplomat and India’s External Affairs Minister, presents a compelling narrative on India’s journey towards global prominence in the post-2014 era. The book delves into the country’s economic disruptions, geopolitical challenges, and the impact of new technologies, offering a broad overview of India’s recent issues. Jaishankar’s narrative is as much about the unshackling of Indian foreign policy from hegemonic global trends as it is about the country’s growth story since 2014. 


The book is notably relevant for exploring India’s role in the current global landscape. It sheds light on the complexities of geopolitics and the shifting dynamics of major powers like China, the United States, and Russia. Jaishankar shares a broad overview of the challenges and opportunities that India has encountered, from economic disruptions and the COVID-19 pandemic to great power competition in the AI era. 


One of the book’s most engaging aspects is Jaishankar’s incorporation of examples from ancient Indian epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. His adept use of these narratives to discuss complex diplomatic concepts makes the book relatable and engaging for readers. By drawing parallels between ancient wisdom and modern geopolitics, Jaishankar enriches the discourse on international relations. He underscores the enduring relevance of India’s cultural heritage in shaping global affairs. 


The author also highlights India’s efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need, showcasing the country’s commitment to the Global South and the more significant welfare of humanity. This commitment is part of a larger narrative in which India seeks to ascend the global hierarchy, shedding its defensive and non-aligned stance for a more assertive role on the world stage. 


“Why Bharat Matters” is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding India’s place in the world and its potential to shape a better future for itself and the world at large. It offers valuable insights into international relations and the shifting balance of power in the world.


Want another angle? Here is a review of this book by my friend for Read by Critics – Why Bharat Matters book review.


You can get this book from Amazon India. Click here to buy it now.



Review by Manish for Indian Book Critics 

Why Bharat Matters by S Jaishankar Book Review
  • IBC Critical Rating


India’s outreach simplified by the external affairs minister himself… anyone can understand what Bharat wants to achieve for us and Why Bharat Matters for others!

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