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RISING TO SECOND FREEDOM:Enlightened Minds and Ignited Spirit
Book Publisher: Notion Press
Author: Nixon Fernando
No of Pages: 363
Paper Back Price: Rs. 649 /-
I.S.B.N: 978-1-64429-905-0

"This book in short, is intellectual tinder...."
-------N Vittal, Padma Bhushan, Former CVC of India.

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The book consists of three parts

This book is in fact a collection of three books. Each part deals with a specific aspect of the vision about India. The first, "Return to an Ancient and Glorious Tryst", throws light on the spiritual depth of our civilization and how the applications build out of that knowledge need to be purified in accordance with the original intent. ... As such it addresses the challenge of lack of values in public life the ancient Indian way. The second book, "Panchayati Swaraj: Freedom at the Doorstep", throws light on the practical way forward for villages. A village has to be self-governed by the people; it must be a swaraj and not a raj. It involves methods that have worked wonders in ancient India and elsewhere. The third book, "Transition to Freedom: Through Institutions Built on Righteousness" is about how the various institutions of the nation must re-define priorities so that they are in consonence with Indian wisdom, modern science and grassroots freedom.

It accounts for 25years of searching for answers by the author who in turn has been above average in his academics, games and extracurriculars. And the inputs are from diverse fields. The author is trained in Physics, Government and management besides spirituality. The approach is holistic. One can say that the USP has to do with finding resonance between science and spirituality. More about the author in the website

It is pertinent to note that those that wrote the forewords to the three books are truly eminent in their respective fields. Mr. N Vittal, who was the first to read the book after it was printed went out of his way to give the forward. Do please read what these people have said. The fact that eminent people from such diverse fields have said these things should indicate the value of what is being presented. The foreword by Mr. N Vittal follows...

Also find below the list of contents and the introduction to the book.


N Vittal
IAS (Retd.)
Padma Bhushan
Former Central Vigilance Commissioner of India

congratulate Nixon Fernando for coming out with an unusual book “Rising to Second Freedom: Enlightened Minds and Ignited Spirit”.

It is an unusual book because of a number of reasons.

It has multiple dimensions and has huge potential to influence action over a wide spectrum of areas. Edward de Bono says that ideas are spectacles with which we look at facts. What Nixon Fernando has done is to bring within the compass of single book an amazingly wide spectrum of ideas. His style of writing is such that the tone is always calm, looking at every issue first with the focus on facts and secondly evaluating every issue from an objective and rational point of view. ...

This exercise carried out throughout the book in such a way that as I read the book, I got the impression that I was following an young enquiring mind which was exploring a whole range of ideas, in such a manner that this can be a source book for wide range of readers and social activists.

Nixon Fernando has been associated with two great active thinkers and leaders of our times, TN Seshan and Prof Bala Balachandran. Seshan who is my senior colleague in the IAS has become a legend when in the nineties he practically reinvented the Election Commission and made the Election Commission of India the gold standard with which all other such institutions are judged for conducting free and fair elections in a democratic system.

Prof Bala Balachandran single handedly established a world class advanced institute of Management in Chennai in a record time of a couple of years, realized his goal of setting up an outstanding Indian School with a global mindset and Indian roots. This made him after a lifetime track record of academic achievement in the US, a global icon for excellence in management education.

The book is designed to provoke ideas and action on the ground. In fact, as I read it from cover to cover, I got the impression that this is the book that should never be read alone by a single reader. It is the type of book that should be read in groups.

Ideally, such groups could be students in a classroom, participants in a conference or seminar, in an institute of higher education in Management or a study circle of a serious minded political group /party or the corps of socially committed activists and civil society organizations.

Nixon presents the facts at every page and while you read, you wonder how is it going to be implemented? And then, if the reader or the group of readers reading this book gets provoked by these ideas, then they themselves will develop the ignited mind to find appropriate solution and course of action to see at least that part of idea for betterment of society and better India are implemented.

Therefore, this book has an immense potential to influence thinking like Eric Shoemaker's “Small is beautiful” and others which influenced thinking and had a major impact on a wide range of people across the world.

For us Indians particularly, this book should have a special appeal because it virtually holds a magic mirror before us in which we find ourselves and our history and traditions, culture, religion and our value /belief framework analyzed and reflected upon. The book lists many of its multiple dimensions and facets are like a sparkling diamond.

This book in short, is intellectual tinder.

Another aspect of this book is its supreme timing of publication. After 1947, when our county became independent, till the general elections of 2014, the political narrative was dominated by the overwhelming impact of Nehruvian socialism. Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision and his charismatic impact on the whole nation not only during the freedom struggle, but also the years after, first as the first Prime Minister of India for 17 years and later on by the Indian National Congress had the focus on left of centre and the critical narrative was highlighting the need for secularism, in the sense that the state will not have any link with religion.

Elections of 2014 when the BJP led by Shri Narendra Modi established a government for the first time which was decisively and explicitly a right of centre, a massive tectonic shift took place in the political narrative of India. In this context, the word, Hinduism and Hindutva have become emotionally charged words conveying a wide range of impressions. As Mr. Seshan points out in his Foreword, Nixon Fernando, being a practicing Christian has provided an insightful understanding of the essence of Hinduism i.e. Sanatana Dharma. This in itself is an intellectual performance of high order which will be welcomed.

Facts and ideas analyzed in this book should provide the answer to many of the issues raised by the left of centre intelligentsia who question whether there is an intellectual gravity and depth to make a case for a valid and credible modern state in our country. The way of actually understanding of the essence of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharmain as brought out in this book should go a long way in providing for an informed understanding of the philosophy of political right in the country.

An equally important aspect of this book is its exposition of equally important is its focus on Mahatma Gandhi. Our former President Dr Abdul Kalam and Prof Dr P.V. Inderesan former director of IIT Madras, articulated the concept of reconciling town planning with the vision of Mahatma Gandhi of village republics and PURA [Providing urban facilities in rural areas] was the result. This concept has been brought out beautifully in the book by Nixon Fernando.

In fact, in this book Nixon has displayed a quality which is in the Hindu philosophy, normally attributed to the divine! That is the capacity of combining the opposites! As a student of physics, with the focus on quantum theory and Heighenberg's uncertainty principle, Nixon Fernando has displayed what in Sanskrit called, ‘agatitha gatana samartyam’ i.e. the capacity to combine in harmonious way the opposites. After all, God is considered to be ‘anoraniyam mahatvamahiyanan', smaller than the atom and bigger than the universe.

In other words, this Book is indeed an unusual book with very provocative ideas. The impact it has will depend as much on the readers and users of the book and the institutions and organizations that access it.

Once again, I congratulate Nixon Fernando on his efforts and wish the book all success.

3rd December 2018


Where do we Indians as a nation go from where we stand? Amble along, subject to the pulls and pushes of the world, surviving as we go along, doing our best but uncertain about where we are headed? Or have a plan that will focus our energies on something that promises the release of our highest potentials? ... The pushes and pulls will not stop, but if our response comes out of a well thought out strategy, the world is our oyster.

A lot of good is possible if we can pick up the pearls of wisdom from our ancient past and string them together with a modern thread.

The challenges are many: to tackle the ills of poverty, to harmonize our relationships across castes and religions, to preserve and protect the thousands of local cultures dotting the length and breadth of the nation and to still meet our economic goals and climb upwards on all the indices that denote a prosperous peoples so that this nation stands out as an example to follow.

At some time or the other, we need to take the bull by the horns. What is our stand on spirituality? Religions do deal with spirituality; so, in being secular in our public life, are we supposed to abstain from spirituality? And if we do take up spirituality, how do we keep religion out of it? And if we take to spirituality and the secular aspects of religion, how do we keep caste out of it?

All you need to do is to raise these questions about spirituality, religion and caste, and there it is! Popping out like a jack-in-the-box, there is a cacophony created by all kinds of representatives shouting themselves hoarse. But that is not going to solve any problem for anybody.

It is inevitable that consciousness must rise. It is inevitable that the truth be uncovered and the facts be known about the ideas and ideals that can transform India.

What is wrong if the ideas come from the West? And what if the good ideas come from the East? And then, what is wrong if the ideas come from the ancient wisdom of the seers? Something that will take us, “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA” (from the preamble of our constitution), to a better destiny… all of us together?

Great nations have risen indeed when they have stretched into higher consciousness. The United States rose with the idealism contained in the fight against slavery in the civil war. The knights of King Arthur provided an idealism that made Britain rise. Closer home, the Mauryas established themselves based on the idealism spawned by Chanakya. Akbar set up a stable nation using the idealism that fired Sher Shah Suri. Hari Hara and Bukka set up Vijayanagara inspired by their teacher Vidyaranya. Shivaji, the Maratha chieftain, made a mark inspired by his mother, his teacher Dadoji Konddeo and his Guru Samarth Swami Ramdas. Today’s India too must rise on the basis of ideas that inspire us into a higher level of consciousness. And there are great pointers to this in our ancient heritage.

For setting a direction, clarity of thought is required. Clarity of thought will lead to clarity of purpose and ease in team action. It starts with getting the ideas right. Two areas in which clarity of thought is yet to come are stated below:
1. The destiny of a prosperous togetherness as conceived by the wise men of the past
2. The contours of a constitution of local communities in India which will truly put the destiny of the citizens in their own hands

Digging into the past, one can come up with pointers that give clarity on how we can move ahead as a nation on these two crucial points.

This research of close to twenty-five years is now being presented in three parts. The first part is about the gifts of our ancient heritage, the second is about how true freedom can be experienced in a village and the third part is about how the other aspects of life in the nation can promote the best that the nation has to offer. Over all, in the words of the American Declaration of Independence, it is about a nation which assures ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’ to its citizens. This comes as a sequel to the book Towards the Kingdom of Heaven (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 2000), which dealt with questioning the presumption that the wisdom of the ancients can be glossed over by modern thinkers. The present book takes the debate further and digs deep into ancient thought processes for answers to today’s problems.

The ideas are profound and need consideration and thought, which, incidentally, the wise men of yore have put into our heads already using their ingenuity. We shall see how they did that as we go along. And taking these and some practical solutions, we can definitely improve the sting in all efforts at the emancipation of the nation.

Even if 10% of the villages of the nation take up to the freedom they are promised, this nation will transform.

This book is for the Indian who needs clarity about his roots, who has been browbeaten to believe that his ancient past consisted of class-based harassment, who thinks that it will take forever for the poor to rise out of poverty, who thinks that liberty is down the path of economic prosperity, who believes that the reality of life is along the lines of ‘clash of civilizations’ rather than ‘vasudaivakutumbakam’ and who thinks that science can progress without spirituality and vice versa.

You will see in this book why Hinduism is the future of the world. Is it a religion in the first place? You will see why we are barking up the wrong tree on issues like Ram Janmabhoomi, Kashmir and Pakistan. You will see how the caste system can never be wished away and instead find in it the opportunity to elevate castes. You will see that emancipation through reservation is a myth.

You will also go on to see that true freedom is still to touch the lives of the rural poor. You will see that an empowered community has the potential to solve most of the poverty and illiteracy problems facing our nation. It The ancient ideas presented in this book haves the potential to tackle the environmental problems that are affecting humanity. It And the book offers practical steps the village communities need to take to take charge of their destinies.

All those who have doubts about their ancient heritage, those that are concerned about their nation and their neighbourhoods and especially those in public life need to invest time in understanding the concepts presented here. The barest minimum gained will be a better understanding of how the ideas are all linked, and that will help one to be more effective in dealing with issues encountered in life in India. There is no finality about this work, but it surely is an in-depth research. The Indian togetherness has much promise and much to offer to the world. Let us take charge of our inheritance and bring peace to the world.

Feedback is more than welcome. It will only serve to improve the quality of the debate. Do please take the effort to pen down your thoughts and send the same to the author at Only request: please join forces as a problem solver on behalf of The Highest.  


This part deals with what true freedom means in the view of our best traditions and how a togetherness that celebrates that highest freedom is the one that will take us to being world leaders.

i) Foreword
ii) Introduction

Section I: Rediscovering the Genuine Universality of Hinduism ...
1.1 – Overcoming Prejudices Against Ancient Indian Learning
1.2 – Hinduism: The Boa That Swallows Religions
1.3 – The Core That Inspires: The Enduring Principle in Hinduism
1.4 – Genuine Practical Hinduism Is the Global Answer for Peace

Section II: The Making of Modern India after Slighting Indigenous Content
2.1 – A Colonial Administration: Not Designed to Nurture Indigenous Wisdom
2.2 – How the Design of the Indian Education System Missed Great Treasures
2.3 – The Gandhian Vision Urged India to Its Genuine Roots
2.4 – A Constitution that Sympathizes but Does Not Empathize with Indianness

Section III: Applied Spirituality: Converting Casteism Back into a Boon
3.1 – Introduction: An Opportunity Hidden in Casteism
3.2 – The Casteism Debate: Need for Raising the Level of Consciousness
3.3 – What Can Be and What Cannot Be Inherited
3.4 – When the Wise Intervene, They Inspire Groups to Succeed
3.5 – The True Strength of Casteism: Know It to Deal with It
3.6 – Authorized Notions of High and Low in Casteism and Spirituality
3.7 – Myths Concerning the Elevation of the Lower Castes
3.8 – This Is a Great Time to Rise Together

A: Detractors will use passionate shouting
B: Pandit Deendhayal Upadhayay’s views on dharma
C: Need to Uphold Dharma (K. Subrahmanyam)
D: Swami Vivekananda’s address at the World Parliament of Religions:
E: Evaluating the spiritual aspects of a person
F: Inter-caste marriages
G: Who is wise?

PANCHAYATI SWARAJ: Freedom at the Doorstep
The book deals with a possible practical manifestation of de-centralization so as to offer effective freedom to the villages of India. It combines the vision of Mahatma Gandhi with a tried, tested and successful implementation of community living that existed in the successful reign of the Cholas.

i) Preface
ii) Forward
iii) Introduction

Section I: The Vision
1.1 – The Villages of India in the Eyes of Mahatma Gandhi
1.2 – My Gandhian Eden: Home Sweet Home
1.3 – The Purpose of the Vision and the Story

Section II: An Expose of the Vision
2.1 – The Six Freedoms That Will Lead to the Gandhian Vision
2.2 – Freedom.1: Revenue Accounting
2.3 – Freedom.2: Economic
2.4 – Freedom.3: Cultural
2.5 – Freedom.4: Health
2.6 – Freedom.5: Government
2.7 – Freedom.6: Vision
2.8 – Using the Indices to Move Towards Second Freedom
2.9 – Plan of Action for Each Village

Section III: The Nuances of the Pursuit of Freedom
3.1 – Idea 1: The Connection Between Decentralization and Successful Kingdoms
3.2 – Idea 2: Benevolence in Centralization Is Ignorance Personified
3.3 – Idea 3: The Ancient Indian Village Republic
3.4 – Idea 4: Two Cardinal Principles for Decentralization
3.5 – Idea 5: A Question to Village Citizens: When Does One Qualify to Be Called Free?
3.6 – Idea 6: Can the Indian Administration Nurtured in Slavery Nurture Freedom?
3.7 – Idea 7: A Teamed-up Community Will Perform Better
3.8 – Idea 8: Colonial Rule Adversely Moulded Indigenous Systems
3.9 – Idea 9: How Colonial Rule Stifled Decentralization

Section IV: Tackling The Forces That Can Impede
4.1 – The First Enemy: The ‘I Will Do’ Leadership
4.2 – The Second Enemy: The Inactive, Uninformed Citizen
4.3 – The Third Enemy: Lack of Institutionalization
4.4 – The Fourth Enemy: Mind Poisons
4.5 – Enemies of the Spirit of Swaraj

Section V: Partnership with the Surrounding Environment
5.1 – The Inter-village Forum: Invaluable for Freedom
5.2 – Supporting the Pursuit of Village Self-rule from the Outside
5.3 – Team Work Can Make a Huge Difference

A: The Six Freedoms in Detail

TRANSITION TO REAL FREEDOM: Through Institutions Built on Righteousness
This part deals with how the various aspects of public life in the nation, the polity, the economy, the police force, the judiciary, social services, education, etc., must accommodate for a free nation… a nation of free people where even the citizens from rural India, educated or not, can live with dignity and to the complete tallness of their being.

i) Prelude
ii) Foreword

Section I: India at the Crossroads: The Need to Move and the Direction to Take

Section II: A Polity that Nurtures Gandhian Freedom at the Grassroots
2.1 – Political Dharma for Today’s Indian Citizen
2.2 – Decentralization Will Give Freedom to the Second Nation in India
2.3 – Panchayati Swaraj Is His Birthright, and He Must Have It
2.4 – Rights-seeking vs. Rights-giving: Which Is Better to Build a National Ethos?
2.5 – Political Parties Are Important: Citizen’s Duty to Patronize Them
2.6 – A Dharmic Parliament Calls Only for Open Representatives

Section III: The Spirit of Freedom Calls for a Modified Economic Praxis

Section IV: Revolutionary Augmentation of the Judicial Leg of Indian Democracy

Section V: The Peoples’ Police Force: Conspicuous Arm of a Dharmic Executive

Section VI: Organize the Social Service Sector to Bring Completeness in Governance

Section VII: A Holistic Healthcare System Must Cater to Every Indian: Thinking Beyond the Boxes of Allopathy and Capitalism

Section VIII: Sports and Art Forms: Foundation Stone of Life and Civilization

Section IX: Education Must Address Civilizational Needs and Not Just Economic Needs

Section X: Media Can Help Raise the Level of Consciousness

A: For Those Who Think That the Spirit of Dharma Is a Fantasy
B: As Little as 2.5% of Income Tax Can Help Raise the Quality of Polity: A Rough calculation

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