Politics as a Life-Changing Power in Society: Ashwin Sanghi’s Chanakya’s Chant (2010)


  • Vandna Mittal
  • Harpreet Kaur


 Politics is quite a prominent as well as dominant force in an individual’s life. Its ultimate aim is to acquire power whether its price is morality or the interests of a group of individuals. From ancient times power games have been a subject of utmost interest for all ranks of society. Ever since the emergence of humanity, the core element is centered on survival; the one who survives in the end becomes the winner and the leader, the one who can set new trends. Social identity, as Michel Foucault says, gets constructed on this very notion. Ashwin Sanghi’s novel Chanakya’s Chant (2010) makes that notion much more comprehensible. The great sage Chanakya and his present day equivalent Pandit Gangasagar Mishra decide the fate of rest of the characters by controlling all the vital decisions and competences in their lives. This article accesses literature as an arbitrator between the true identity and the conjectured identity. It also shows the political maneuverings of both masterminds of the novel in two different eras. It sheds light on the concept of identity formation and the factors responsible for forming and shaping identities of individuals under social and political influences. The entire novel is a supreme example of the merger of power and politics in an evil nexus which shape the fate of common people without their consent. To support the argument, Michel Foucault’s theory of Normalizing Power will be referred to.