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For the love of power

Timeri N. Murari

Timeri N. Murari  

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Author Timeri Murari’s latest book Chanakya Returns addresses the potent blend of family and politics

Politics has become family business,” says writer Timeri Murari, whose latest book Chanakya Returns, which was released in the city recently, explores among other things, dynastic politics. “I was reading somewhere that 60 per cent of the Lok Sabha today is composed of children of politicians,” he says.

Murari brings the historical figure to life, placing him in today’s world as the adviser to Avanti, the daughter of an Indian politician, “There is a little bit of history in the book but just a bit. I bring the historical figure back to the modern era. The novel is about a family — a very dysfunctional political family — and my Chanakya guides the young woman of this family.”

Talking about the central character of his novel he explains what made Chanakya so fascinating, “I was reading about Chanakya and he began to interest me. I went back and began reading Sanskrit originals and I realized that he didn’t just write stuff about statecraft but also about environment, women’s rights, corruption...a slew of things. This was a man who had a grasp on so many things and how a state should be. I found that enthralling,” he says. “I wondered what it would be like if I took him to the present and got him to meet our politicians.”

Fictional though the story is, there are elements of reality in it. For instance, the family could be modelled after any major political Indian one, “It could be the Nehru family, it could be Karunanidhi and his children,” laughs Murari, adding, “I really liked the family and seeing how power overtakes their life.”

Which of course means raising that eternal question — what guides us, the power of love or the love of power?

“The love of power is not just about ruling a kingdom but also ruling a household. It is about love and belonging and the choice put to the young woman,” says Murari.





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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:09:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/timeri-muraris-latest-book-chanakya-returns/article6331900.ece

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