the book

Squaring the Circle:
Seven Steps to Indian Renaissance


the story

In the Darbar Hall of Taj Krishna, Hyderabad, on June 30, 2013, the renowned scientist, D. Balasubramanian, launched ‘Squaring the Circle: Seven Steps to Indian Renaissance’, before 200 academicians, journalists, scientists, engineers and medical professionals. The event also recognized the milestone of the book, ‘Wings of Fire’, which had sold, by that time, in excess of one million copies all over the world.

Balu Sir said that it was significant that the book had come out in an atmosphere clouded with negativity. He called Kalam’s positivity, blended with personal experience, science and faith, as the most potent energy in our times. In this book, written in a question and answer format, Dr. Kalam expresses his concerns on what ails our country at the systemic and the individual levels. Moreover, he suggests ways for transcending these ills through an Indian renaissance.

The seven steps Dr. Kalam had outlined in this book are:

  1. Gain an understanding of the irrefutable law of cause and effect in all matters. Voting for the wrong leader is sinful. It not only brings misery and gloom but will also alter the destiny of a democratic nation.
  2. Face the truth of socio-economic inequality and the history of Partition and undertake reconciliation by developing the minorities, marginalized and poor with a generous mindset and by special effort.
  3. Correct our misplaced worldviews by revamping the education system for the development of a creative mind, a well-integrated self, and the ability to be a useful part of society.
  4. Encourage and foster social enterprise to tackle social problems, improve communities and the environment by the convergence of technologies at the bottom of the community pyramid.
  5. Achieve energy independence by 2030 through nuclear, solar, wind and renewable energy routes. Provide lifeline energy to all our citizens, irrespective of their ability to pay.
  6. Indigenize our telecommunication, IT and electronics manufacturing and proactive security for the nation’s interests against cyber and terrorist attacks. And,
  7. Integrate with the world economy, following the path of social democracy, and assume leadership of the world in making our planet earth more liveable.

Explaining that the book had been intended as a guide per se, but was not the answer to all the problems we were currently facing, Dr. Kalam said, “The message is articulated in the book but it is not fully developed, for it is beyond us. I’m setting a ball rolling and I hope you’ll all help it move forward.” He was being realistic: he could inspire, ignite minds; he could enlighten the masses of their potential, but they had to follow up his suggestions with actions. A day earlier, in Ahmedabad, on the sidelines of a conclave to discuss, ‘How government and business can change to provide Indian youth with the opportunities they deserve’, Dr. Kalam gave Narendra Modi, then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, a signed copy of ‘Squaring the Circle’, and said that he was a leader who could accomplish his mission of making India a developed nation by 2020. Dr. Kalam’s time, we now know, was running out.

This book has been translated into Hindi, Gujarati, and Konkani.


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