Oxygen Manifesto by Atulya Misra – Is it a Solution ?
When I saw the Oxygen Manifesto by Atulya Misra in my hands, I thought it is a book about saving water or air.
I had no idea that the book is going to find the solution of the many political, environmental and social problems of India.
Atulya Misra has a long career in Indian Administrative Service in Revenue and Disaster Management. During his work, he may have seen many events, that may have made an impact on him.
And because of some kind of restriction or something, he did something he wanted to do.
It is an assumption, surely.
The book seems like a result of the thoughts and suggestions Mr. Atulya Misra wanted to give the government. But maybe there is no way to give this suggestion directly to anyone.
So he collected his thoughts in a book, so people like me can see what better could possibly happen to India if educated people start making plans.
My thought process is chaos, and sometimes it is very hard to write what I am thinking.
But, while reading, I can understand to some extent what the writer is trying to convey.
I can’t disagree with the opinion of the writer, because they all seem logical. As a group of ideas, they all are very good and might be, I can’t be sure, might be, work efficiently in practicals.
But as storytelling, the book is not that good.
Maybe it was intended to be a Fiction book, but then the writer had a change of heart in the middle of somewhere. But then it is not completely a non-fiction book. Because the events are not real, they are examples of what would happen if everyone follows the Atulya’s way of doing things.
All of them are exaggerated to the extent that they become unbelievable. That’s why I said, I still don’t know the Atulya’s ways of working will work in real life or not.
Because the book never takes an example from reality.
From Chapter 23
The relevant part start in chapter 23.
Ravi, the protagonist, come to the stage and show the media his Oxygen Manifesto.
You can easily skip the book until chapter 23, and you will not miss anything.
From chapter 23, Ravi starts telling the real issues with society. All kind of pollutions.
Then from chapter 34, Ravi proposed the solution.
Then the whole book is about the ideology around the Decentralized Democracy and how it could benefit the country.
If you are an IAS aspirant, this book could wonder for you on the topic of Decentralized Democracy.
This is a book that tells you about the various benefit of Decentralized Democracy.
But it does not talk much about the challenges and the demerits of it.
By giving powers and resource to a low level, we are also giving them the power to do many things. Power is just a tool. What matter is how to use it?
There is no guaranteed way that power given to the last man would be used to empower the last man.
There are a few questions that occurred while reading the book. Like, if it is such a good way, with all the profits, why it is not implemented yet.
As an MBA student, I see this localization of resources and power will make the control and coordination between the different villages or community a headache. And will it be good to provide resources on the basis of their division in the already divided society of India?
Articles on Decentralization:
- Issues in Decentralization: The Indian Experience
Oxygen Manifesto by Atulya Misra
Oxygen Manifesto is a good written fiction/non-fiction book that does make you think and read about the DC.
I was not aware of it much, but after reading the book, I read a few articles on the net. Well, I am still not an expert in politics and social science, but as much as I know, there will be a problem in every form of system. What important is to think about the poor.
Because I don’t think that human can harm the environment in any way.
I see people getting worried about the condition of the environment. It always makes me laugh like Earth is millions of years old, and humans think they are the worst that happened to Earth.
I mean, only humans can be so narcissistic to think that they are worst that can happen to giant rock revolving in giant Universe.
Yes, there are problems, but Earth knows how to protect itself. Earth is doing it for years. And Earth will easily survive the humans too. It is just a phase for Earth. We are simply pimple on the face that will vanish soon.
But still, it is a good read.