Man­i­festo for Change

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

What’s keep­ing Varun Gandhi busy these days? He has re­cently penned an 827-page long book, shar­ing his vi­sion for a ru­ral and eco­nomic blue­print. The Ru­ral Man­i­festo has anec­dotes, case stud­ies and data to back his ideas. It is this book that he takes to stu­dents across In­dia dur­ing his in­ter­ac­tions at var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties, IIMs and IITs across the coun­try. Dur­ing the last two years, Varun has vis­ited 208 aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, reach­ing out to stu­dents, dis­cussing eco­nomics not pol­i­tics. In fact, the soft spo­ken, earnest youth in­ter­act­ing with the stu­dents is a far cry from the stri­dent cam­paigner that once made head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons. (In­ci­den­tally, the record­ing of the “hate speech” that Varun was sup­posed to have de­liv­ered, was later found to have been doc­tored with as many as 63 cuts.) But per­cep­tions linger, and Varun is do­ing all he can to erad­i­cate that im­age. And to hear him earnestly dis­cuss ir­ri­gation prob­lems, farm­ers’ sui­cides, and em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion, one would say he is suc­ceed­ing. Sam­ple one such speech he gave in Hyderabad re­cently, “It takes 24 lakh to cre­ate one job in the steel sec­tor and one lakh to cre­ate 24 jobs in the steel sec­tor. We have to act smart to use this in­for­ma­tion.” That’s smarter po­lit­i­cal rhetoric for sure.

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