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September 7, 2017 / subramanyam

Avishi : My Take

This review is overdue for quite some time now. Yes, I did complete reading Smt. Sai Swaroopa Iyer’s book “Avishi” a few days ago. Here is my take on the book.

Before I give my opinion. Here is the Blurb of the book.

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of Rig Veda
But forgotten to the memory of IndiaOpiobe1c5-avishi2bfinal2bcover
The Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala
Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement, but at a high cost. Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

The queen Vishpala gets mentioned in a few verses of Rig Veda. It is told that the Gods of good Health “Ashwini Devathas” blessed her with a metal leg. The verses and the story available in the Vedas can hardly help a person create a short story, but then you are reading Sai Swaroopa Iyer dear friends, this lady made a novel out of this story.

The story begins with a small girl being saved from the repercussions of a palace coup and taken to a gurukul in the forest. This girl grows up to be a warrior. She leaves the forest to find her life’s purpose in a republic called AshtaGani. Now what challenges does she face there, how does she end up getting into fights that prove costly for her? How does she end up in a situation that needs the amputation of her leg? Will she be able to overcome the perils of her life? If yes, at what cost? Read Avishi for all the answers.

What did I like in the book?
Creating Avishi itself from the few verses in Rig Veda :  The research the author did on various Bhashya’s and arrived at the book is in it self a great achievement.

f70a8-img-20161125-wa0001Narrative:  Sai Swaroopa normally has a narrative other than the main plot of the book. While the story is about Avishi and she overcoming her perils, we see an underlying narrative that comes out clearly from the intentions of Khela and Anudatta. Do Economic Dominance and politics of aid ring a bell? Yeah, read the novel, particularly with today’s world in mind.

The way the author uses people from various walks of life and involves them in the story : The descriptions of Ashtagani are wonderful. The author shows how a farmer, a smith, a cowherd, a doctor, a potter are all equally important and should have a say in the day to day matters of the state. In a way, Ashtagani is an ideal society one can dream of. I loved the work because the author goes on to shw that even such a society can become weak when its people become weak. In a way you learn some Statecraft here.

The author’s eye for detail : While creating the societies of Jambudvipa, she takes enough care as to speak about the sort of dresses they wear, the things they use to save themselves from winter, the ornaments they used, the division of labor in the societies etc. That was done very well.

Un-put-downable  :  The word says it all, the pace of the book is superb.

Coming to the areas that I thought could have been dealt well.
Now, these are my opinions only. Probably due to my excessive attachment with the characters.

The question on marriage is left unanswered in the book. The book ends with a work around, but a solution would have been fantastic. My sole reason for this is, from the reading I did on the Sanatana Dharma, and its texts, marriage as an institution was always there. Right from the days of Prajapatis who were the direct descendants of Shri Chaturmukha Brahma Deva. So where did this question of this not being an institution come in and when and how was it solved. The author could have ended this subject on a high note. This might not have been the core subject of the book, but when this finds its mention in the first few chapters, there should have been an answer.

The last fight could have been better. There was a drag, and that could have been avoided.

This is my personal bias, to a person on the road like me, the male characters except for the antagonist and Shula seem to be incomplete. It is not that they are imperfect, I say it again, it is not that they are imperfect,  they are good in their own sense but we donot see a sense of satisfaction or joy in their lives, it is as if misery is after them.  Somehow, I felt there lives could have been sprinkled with a few moments of Joy.   Moreover, having read Abhaya, I was expecting more from the characters of Avishi.


A must read work on the ancient Indian Society. Please don’t go by my biases, the areas of improvement that I suggested are purely my opinions you might find it different when you read it. Do read it when you have time. A fantastic piece of work by Smt. Sai Swaroopa Iyer. Do read the book Happy Reading.

You can buy the book here .

September 3, 2017 / subramanyam

Victory for Hardwork

Is Nirmala Sitharaman the first woman defense minister of India? Or is she the second? Did Modi consider woman empowerment while elevating her to the position of a defense minister?  Is BJP more committed to Women empowerment than congress, does Nirmala Sitharaman represent the Nari Shakti ?The congratulatory messages, the debates and probably every other discussion in the country seems to be around these lines.

To me, Nirmala ji has achieved this with her dedication and hard work. It is not empowerment or appeasement. She worked hard and got her due at the high table. We


More Power to You Madam— You are an inspiration

must be proud of the fact that a woman with a humble background achieved and  scaled these heights. We ought to respect the hard work she puts in. In fact, we ought to emulate work ethic and commitment this lady brings to the table.

Honestly, I did know about Nirmala ji before 2012. I used to see her in T.V. Debates after 2012. She used to stump the other panelists with the depth of her knowledge. I used to respect her for her research and the clarity of thought that she brought into her words.

She became a minister of state for commerce in 2014 and honestly she was one of those ministers who stayed away from lime light. We never saw her receiving the coverage that a Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji or Smt. Smriti Irani received. However, for keen observer, she was one of those ministers in the government who gave elaborate statements on the government schemes and plans both in the Parliament and out side too. Please check her speeches on GST, the stand of India in WTO, SEZ policy in India and many other issues. Then, her work with Start Up India received many accolades. She did all this as a junior minister for commerce.

Now, the Prime Minister and the senior ministers decided to have her as the defense minister, and she was inducted into the cabinet today.

One needs to understand all the years of hard work that has got her here. Yes, definitely it is a moment for celebration that a woman made it to the top. It is so good to see a woman take charge of something that was considered to be a male bastion.  However, just making a statement that this is true women empowerment and ignoring all the toil and all the hours she put in to get to the top is a disservice to Nirmala ji’s achievement.

It is not just with her, every Minister of State who worked hard to prove his credentials was rewarded with a bigger responsibility today. Shri Piyush Goyal who made the PM’s “Rural Electrification Mission” a huge success was rewarded with one of the most important portfolios “The Railways.” Same is the case with Dharmendra Pradhan ji, his good work in the Petroleum Ministry saw him get a cabinet rank. Then Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi ji,  his good work saw him become the cabinet minister for Minority Affairs.

In stead of discussing the genders, the castes and regional and sub regional politics we ought to discuss as to what got these people there? We ought to emulate their dedication for their jobs and the long hours they put in. That to me is the greatest take away from the cabinet rejig that happened today.
Bharat Mata ki Jai


Image Source :

August 20, 2017 / subramanyam

Effective Evaluations — 2

In the last post, I gave some tips that I knew regarding evaluations. This post is a continuation of that.

Analyze the Content of the speech.

Content is a tricky area. Many would argue that the content of the speech is best left untouched and as an evaluator, we ought to focus only on delivery of the speech. This is a very valid argument, and I do respect it.

I would respectfully differ from that argument and say that we can indeed try and analyze the content too. It is tricky but definitely worth a try.

Every speech has a purpose and an objective. As an evaluator, we ought to understand this part first. As we listen to the speech, we need to note the following.
(i) Generic Purpose of the speech
(ii) Specific Purpose & Objective of the speech

Once we understand the specific purpose / Objective of the speech, we ought to see as to how the speaker is trying to arrive at this objective.

If the speaker is trying to persuade/inspire the audience (most of the speakers try to do this), he/she would have to establish the problem first. Then they would have to tell us as to what motivated them to think about the solution and how they arrived at the solution. Then they will have to tell as to what the audience can take away from this / What they want the audience to do.

As an evaluator, we should not question the idea of the speaker. However, we can definitely look into the supporting material that the speaker has used to develop his/her arguments in the speech.

We can and should comment on the following areas.
1. The logical flow of the argument in the speech.  Does each of the stories contribute to the specific purpose of the speech?  Is the speaker arriving at the conclusion in well phased manner or is the speaker gate crashing towards the conclusion.

2. The time dedicated towards establishing the problem vis-a-vis the time spent on explaining the solution.  A speaker cannot harp on the problem for 5 mins and rush through the solution in a minute and conclude. Ideally, the problem statement, the realization, the solution must all get significant slices of time.

3. Logic Vs Emotion. Sometimes the speakers try to overuse the emotion so that the audience stays with them. For example, if I am speaking on a “rags to riches” story. I might harp more on the poverty of the protagonist and ensure that the audience of swayed to accept my position. However, I also need to tell the audience very logically as to how my protagonist came out of it. I cannot shirk it off by saying; he fought all this out with his determination. Every fight needs determination, but how did the protagonist fight it. Where did he get the help from, what tools did he use, how many time did he/she fail in the fight. Tomorrow if someone in the audience is fighting a similar battle how can they do it?

All this must be told. IF I am not doing that, I am just using emotion and not logic. Emotion is the biggest enemy to logic and memory. People might feel good for that moment. However, they would see no value in the speech after the emotion subsides. If you are my evaluator, I would want you to look into this trap of emotion vs. logic and let me know if I balanced both emotion and logic in my speech.

4. Appropriateness of the content to the audience. We ought to write speeches based on the audience. While I might be knowledgeable enough to speak about the economic conditions of the sub-Saharan nations I might not want to do that as a speech in ToastMasters meeting as it might be of little interest to my audience.

Did the speaker speak about a topic that is relatable, does that add value to the audience, what is the direct benefit that the audience would have from such speech? We can definitely applaud the speaker if the topic adds value to the audience.


August 12, 2017 / subramanyam

All The Best Avishi

~ Release Day Blitz ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th August, 2017
Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala
Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?
Read an Excerpt
“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”
“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard.
“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.
Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child.
“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded.
Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out.
The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them.
As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead.
General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”
“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door.
“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised.
The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy.
“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”
“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”
“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm.
The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”
Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”
Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”
“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”
“That does not answer my question.”
“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?”
The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure.
When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”
“Quite some time before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”
Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern.
“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet.
The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding.
“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon.
The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?”
“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink.
She approached them, skilfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love…” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment.
It was a wilful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!
“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away.
He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him.
That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life.
At the gates of the general’s residence he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved.
The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.
 “K… King…”
Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move.
“Finish him!” The General shout behind him.
Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?
Sukratu would never know.
About the Author:
Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.
She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.


August 4, 2017 / subramanyam

Effective Evaluations – 1

In the past few weeks, I was fortunate enough to deliver a few sessions on Effective Evaluations in the ToastMaster clubs of Hyderabad.

I did get to learn quite a number of things as I did these sessions.  I intend to share a few of them in a series of articles. I hope that they would be of some use to the contestants of the Speech Evaluation Contest.

In the first article of this series, let us look at some of the common mistakes we tend to commit when we evaluate a speech.

Common Pitfalls to be avoided.  In a way avoiding these pitfalls is a Hygiene factor for a good evaluation.

1. I am speaking on behalf of the audience:
We typically believe that we are speaking on behalf of the entire audience. Remember as an evaluator we are voicing out our thoughts only and not the opinions of everyone in the audience. Hence, please do not use the any of the following words: “the audience was with you, You had all of us in grip, we as the audience did not like this” etc.  Remember many in the audience might not share the same view point, hence, it is always good to use “I”  word.  for example , we can use

  • In my opinion
  • I got connected with the speech
  • I felt that
  • In my analysis
  • My recommendations
  • In summary /To Summarize

2. Giving too many points would help the speaker.
The truth is it does not. Pick 5-6 points (3 good, 3 areas of Improvement ) and present them. Tell the speaker as to why you picked them. Give specific recommendations. This is more than enough. The depth of the evaluation helps the speaker more than the breadth of it.

3. Repeating a point adds emphasis
In reality, it does not, on the contrary, you might come across as a person obsessed with a trait in the speech. Some might even say that We were not sure of the point we made and are justifying ourselves by repeating it. (Particularly while making a recommendation). So, once you have made a specific commendation/recommendation, move on to the next point.

4. My job is to tell all the traits of a good speech 
The evaluation is your opinion/reaction to one particular speech of the speaker. That’s it, nothing more nothing less. Many times we as evaluators are tempted to the speaker about the ideal traits of a good speech. This is good, but then it makes us waste a lot of time. (we only have 3 mins) So, please focus on the speech at hand and give your recommendations how it can be improved.  Again, while suggesting an improvements ensure that the particular suggestion is actually doable.

5. I as an Evaluator matter a lot
It is often touted in every of our meetings that evaluation is the best thing in ToastMasters.  It is very true.  However, the unspoken rule is that  we as evaluators are only giving our opinions; it is up to the speaker to pick what he/she wants.  Since we are giving our opinion, we need not be too sympathetic or too harsh on the speaker.  We can speak in our  tone and deliver it as our opinion.  Again, I said we need not be too sympathetic.  We definitely need to be sympathetic and our evaluation must come across as a sensitive and motivational one.

That’s it for this post. Please share your opinions on this , the next post on Effective Evaluations would be out soon.

Note : These are not my own words/realizations.  I have picked these things from the TM manuals and added my flavor to them.  So the credit goes to ToastMasters. 


July 21, 2017 / subramanyam

How should I open my speech?

This was a question on Quora and I was asked to Answer. This is the answer I wrote on Quora. 

The opening line of a speech is arguably one of the most important lines of the speech. This line must be inline to the purpose of the speech.

Before penning down that line, I would ask you to get clarity on the following.
1. What is the generic purpose of the speech?
2. What is the specific purpose of the speech?

A generic purpose of the speech can be one of the following.
1. To Inform
2. To Entertain
3. To Persuade
4. To Inspire

A specific purpose of the speech is the one line message you want the audience to carry after you are done with the speech.

For example: Imagine you want to give a speech on the importance of using alternate sources of energy.

The generic purpose of the speech would be to persuade the audience.

The specific purpose would be to use renewable sources of energy instead of the fossil fuels.

Now that you know the purpose of the speech, Pen down the opening statement accordingly.

Never start with your name or credentials when speaking to a known/unknown audience.

If the purpose of the speech is to inform:
1. Start with a quote on stats (Statistics). You would get a lot of quotes on the INTERNET  on statistics. Try using the one that suits you.
2. If your stats tell a story, try writing a line that gives the listener a hint of the story. In other a personal quote of your own.  In this case you can try a little humor too.  However, remember Humor is an addon only.

If the purpose of the speech is to entertain:
1. Start with a small story /anecdote/ pre -written joke that sets the atmosphere. I personally would go with a personal story/anecdote.

If the purpose of the speech is to Persuade/ Inspire:
1. Again start with a story/quote that suits the specific purpose of the speech.
2. Picking persuasive and inspiring quotes from the internet is easy, however, if you want to write your own story and present it, you can do that too.
3. When writing your own story, try making it a personal story. Start with a date, have names to every character in the story.

Instead of saying “the other day, I was playing with niece” you can start your speech like this. “14-Feb-2015, I was playing with the most beautiful girl I ever knew, my five year old niece Varsha”.

Some times , describing the nature too helps.  You can probably ask your audience to imagine a wonderful winter morning or a fantastic friday evening etc.

Hope this helps.

July 14, 2017 / subramanyam

The Best PM’s of India.

There was a question in Quora which asked for the best PM from 80’s till date.  I wrote and answer and  I liked what I wrote .  I am reproducing the answer here.

Here is my order of these Prime Minsters from the best to the good.

  1. P.V. Narasimha Rao: He took a lot of bold decisions with a minority government. Steered India out of Balance of Payment Crisis, gave a new direction to the economy, did away with the license raj, brought the biggest industrial reform in the country, pushed for the Electrification of Railways,brought in look east policy, steered us close to US and Israel.  Doing  all this without a majority in the house is incredible.  Hence he is the best.
  2. Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Modernized the military, changed the face of the country with the golden quadrilateral project, presided over Pokhran II, won the war of Kargil, made the US an ally, gave a big boost to the relations with Israel, gave a big boost IT sector of India. Created new states without much fuss. Changed the dynamics of SAARC forever. Brought in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. Kept check on terror with POTA. Gave someone like Kalam as the president to all of us.  The fact that he did all this with less than 190 MPs makes him great.
  3. Narendra Modi: Quite early to speak (his tenure as on date is three years only). The best doer India has ever got. A lot of game changers in the last three years. Probably the first PM to have given a clean energy to more than one crore families. His track record on Infra is too good. The PM who is getting electricity to all villages in India. We might have that done in next few months. Got GST implemented, OROP implemented, took the awareness on sanitation to new heights. If he is successful in having foreign defense companies to make weapons in India, he would have done something that was only dreamt of. He is heading a corrupt free govt, and that in itself is a big achievement. Demonetization and digital push to the economy are also huge measures that are changing the face of the economy. He is picking from where Vajpayee Ji left when it comes to military modernization, That too is an achievement in his kitty.  Then the surgical strikes, the way he is trying to reform the bureaucracy, the way he is shaping foreign policy, the defense deals, having the US president as the Chief guest on Republic day, having entire ASEAN leaders as the chief guests for the next Republic day.  Many good things.  The reason I rate behinf PV and Vajpayee is the fact that he has an absolute majority which those leader did not have.
  4. Indira Gandhi: The victory on Pakistan and creating Bangladesh is a big win in her kitty. Stopping the privy purses too was a great move.  She took India close to the Soviets who were one of the biggest world powers then.  However, her regime killed institutions, she imposed emergency too, and that is the only reason why I rate her less.
  5. Manmohan Singh: RTI and Nuclear agreement with the US were definitely the biggest wins of this Prime Minister. However, the less is spoken about his second term, the better. He presided over some of the worst decisions in the history if the nation. His lack of control on the scams and some of the very badly executed decisions like AP bifurcation pull him down from the place he was destined to,   in the political high table
  6. Rajiv Gandhi : This man wasted the mandate he got.  Many ill informed decisions by him brought the downfall of the nation.  His policies were in a way responsible for BOP crisis, fiddling with the elected government in J&K could have been avoided, intervention in Shah Bano was a big mistake, then the Shilanyas in Ram Janmabhoomi, a lot of mistakes by this man.  I some how believe that he had good intentions but was influenced by the wrong set of people.

I intentionally did not take into the tenures of V.P. Singh , Chandrasekhar , Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral as none of them were in power for more than an year.