2011-Read, Ashwin Sanghi, Historical Fiction, Indian Fiction

Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi


The year is 340 BC. A hunted, haunted Brahmin youth vows revenge for the gruesome murder of his beloved father. Cold, cunning, calculating, cruel and armed with a complete absence of accepted morals, he becomes the most powerful political strategist in Bharat and succeeds in uniting a ragged country against the invasion of the army of that demigod, Alexander the Great.

Pitting the weak edges of both forces against each other, he pulls off a wicked and astonishing victory and succeeds in installing Chandragupta on the throne of the mighty Mauryan empire. History knows him as the brilliant strategist Chanakya.

But history, which exults in repeating itself, revives Chanakya two and a half millennia later, in the avatar of Gangasagar Mishra, a Brahmin teacher in smalltown India who becomes puppeteer to a host of ambitious individuals–including a certain slumchild who grows up into a beautiful and powerful woman.

Modern India happens to be just as riven as ancient Bharat by class hatred, corruption and divisive politics and this landscape is Gangasagar’s feasting ground. Can this wily pandit–who preys on greed, venality and sexual deviance–bring about another miracle of a united India?

Will Chanakya’s chant work again? Ashwin Sanghi, the bestselling author of The Rozabal Line, brings you yet another spinechiller.

There are 2 stories interwoven in this awesome book. The first story takes place 2300 years ago and is the story of Chanakya and how he helps build the Mauryan Empire and made Chandragupta Maurya, the king. The other story is set in present day, in which we see the political guru,Gangasagar weaving a lot of strategies to get Chandini Gupta to the power position and their political party in the central government.

Ashwin Sanghi has done a lot of research for this book and I am sure the amount of historical facts that are given in this book will not only thrill you but also educate you of all the things you did not know about Chanakya and Chandragupta Maurya. I was very intrigued and interested in Chanakya’s story. Sanghi has made that era come alive in an amazing manner and it is very clear that he has done a lot of work to make it happen. It was interesting to see how Chanakya really stopped Alexander from progressing into India. There are a lot of interesting tactics and moves followed by the great economist.

”]On the other hand, Gangasagar is the modern Chanakya (if I can say so). This a fast paced book and a page-turner and there is no lull in the narration. The present day power struggle might remind you of the recent movie Rajneeti, but let me assure you there is no similarity in the 2 things. Whereas Rajneeti was based more on the epic story Mahabharatha, Gangasagar’s climb to power is well planned and almost fully done by his raw intellect to manipulate a situation to his advantage. With the monetary support of his mentor (Agarwalji), Ganagasagar knows how to play his cards right.

I found this book informative and exciting as well as very trilling. It proves that there is really no difference in the ways that were used 2300 years earlier to those now – to reach the epitome of power but it also talks about doing good while you are there. Even though it may seem that both Chandragupta Maurya (The Mauryan King) and Chandini Gupta (the current Prime Ministerial candidate) are puppets in the hands of their Gurus – let me tell you they are not. They are just following the paths outlined by their Gurus and do so because of their tremendous faith in them. And that does not make them puppets but people who know what best for them.

I just really liked this book.

Highly recommended!

About the author:

Ashwin Sanghi’s first novel, The Rozabal Line, was originally published in 2007 under his pseudonym, Shawn Haigins. The book was subsequently published in 2008 and 2010 in India under his own name and went on to become a national bestseller.

An entrepreneur by profession, Ashwin writes extensively on history, religion, mythology and politics in his spare time, but writing historical fiction in the thriller genre is his passion and hobby.

Ashwin, lives in India, with his wife Anushika and son Raghuvir.

Video Trailer (the only book in recent times to have one) –

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0 thoughts on “Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

  1. For some strange reason, this book reminds me of the movie Dasavatharam, lol! Maybe it’s because of one story in the past and another in present. At least, there are no 10 guys with the same appearance. Ha! This one does sound pretty good. I haven’t really heard of it but I’m glad that you recommend it. Will check it out!

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