Published: 10th April 2019
A modern-day Hindu will unify Hindus from Sabarimala to Ayodhya: Nikhil Chandwani
Nikhil also became the youngest Hindi Feature Film Producer with Nadi Ki Beti, Sundari (She - The Movie). He taught as a visiting professor at Top B Schools of India
A seven-time TEDx speaker, a scriptwriter, a published poet — all at the age of just 25. Meet Nikhil Chandwani, who now mentors and saves writers from the identity crisis that most of them face, by helping them get published with the help of his organisation, Writers' Rescue Centre (WRC) that he set up in 2017. Nikhil published his debut novel at the age of 18 and he wrote nine more books in the next six years.
Honoured with the Rashtriya Gaurav Award for his tenth novel The Modern Day Hindu, Nikhil's book is a knowledge-driven non-fiction book written in order to reveal the hidden knowledge in Hinduism. The book links the cosmos with Hinduism and demystifies shlokas through rock music. We got to interact with the young author and entrepreneur about the book, how he's helped over 200 writers, and how his organisation WRC operates. And here's what transpired.
What inspired you to write a book on Hinduism?
I always wanted to break the glass ceiling in my writing career. I was always regarded as a casual and lazy writer, and I wanted to change the equation. Hinduism is the most diverse form of literature with rich history and beautiful culture. However, I was inclined towards the hidden knowledge in this beautiful way of living and my book uncovers certain laws in Hinduism that helps govern our self.
What are you trying to achieve through the book?
Sadly, this present generation is moving towards atheism. I don’t disregard atheists but most youngsters are not aware of the real history of India and do not have knowledge about Vedic Science and Hinduism. I wanted to serve youngsters with a book that is written with a completely modern outlook using Hollywood movies and cosmic references — a book that could certainly bring them a sense of interest, through a bit of rock music added to a complete array of Hindu knowledge. I wanted the young Indian to turn his energy into curiosity and research more about the oldest surviving religion of the world and this motivated me to write The Modern Day Hindu.
Do you believe in Sanatan Dharma yourself? Would you say you are proud to be a Hindu?
I’m a very proud Hindu and I’m a firm believer of Sanatan Dharma. I’m still a learner and I keep going through research papers about it and the idea of a knowledge-driven way of living. I believe it is like exploring space. The more you try to explore, the more mysteries you come across and it begins to form a loop. A very interesting loop indeed, that has made me a better man, I would say. I found peace through Dharma and Dharmic studies.
Who, according to you, is a modern-day Hindu?
A modern-day Hindu is someone who works on finding the knowledge hidden in Hinduism and spread it. A modern-day Hindu is a unifying force that unites Hindus from Sabarimala to Ayodhya — from Patel to Kapu to Jaat to Kashmiri Pandits — unification is the key element of a modern-day Hindu.
What would you say is the trick of being a tolerant Hindu? Is religion playing a major role in shaping India's developmental course?
The knowledge in religion and the mistakes from our history — these two elements play a huge role in India’s development. Much of North Africa has collapsed because they couldn’t hold on to their culture. I dream of India in the future as the world capital of arts, culture and knowledge and that’s only possible if we are able to safeguard our culture, bring our real history back to our young audience and find answers to a successful and happy lifestyle in Dharma through unity.
Your project Writers' Rescue Center sounds very interesting. What are you aiming to achieve through it?
I aim to eradicate identity crisis from my country by helping every single individual voice their opinions through books and public speaking. Writers' Rescue Center follows a gurukul system that picks up storytellers and trains them in the art of writing. Once trained, our students are guided throughout the process to write and publish their first book (through one-on-one mentorship). Later, our students' books are marketed in order to help them carve a career for themselves. We also train them in public speaking. What I firmly believe in is — give a person a reading and listening audience and a stage, and he will never find depression under his shadows. WRC gives the writers and authors their space and the trust to open up about their issues. It can take a month or up to a year to complete each manuscript as they are all different. Once the writers are ready with their book, WRC shares it with numerous publishing units. They even have their own publishing house, WRC Publishers, as an imprint of Raindrop Publishers INC.
You have had a unique journey so far. What have the high points been?
I am an engineering dropout. I have written 10 books until now, given over 150 guest lectures and operate two active firms at present. I founded the Writers’ Rescue Centre, which guides writers and helps them build a career in this field of storytelling. I have published over 200 authors via the WRC Foundation. I also founded Walnut Discoveries. which focusses on complete creative management of government and non-government organisations. In the past, I worked as a professor in a renowned college in Vijayawada where I headed the creative division and taught soft skills.
When did you write your first book? How has been the journey from then to now?
The journey has been fascinating. A rollercoaster ride! I wrote my first book at 18. It was a terrible failure and people told me to quit writing. Later, I was hired to work as a travel writer with a renowned production venture. I travelled, wrote and found peace. I kept learning different writing art forms and that helped me mobilise my thoughts on a piece of paper.