• Namo’s Readings

    LeftWord

    September 9, 2016

    Sumit Mahar, ‘The Self-styled’ / Courtesy the artist
     
    We reproduce here the text of a recent email from LeftWord Books / the Mayday Book Cafe.
     
    We know a lot about Namo. We know of his incessant foreign trips, of his sartorial preferences, his love of his own voice.
     
    But we don't know what he reads.
     
    Namo's pal Barack recently released his music playlist. We can picture Namo's smirk when he heard this. Not for him such trivial pastimes. He is the leader of a great ancient nation. The nation which invented, in the hoary past, plastic surgery and aeroplanes and whatnot. Namo says so. He must have read it somewhere.
     
    The nation wants to know what Namo reads. 
     
    So we've compiled a reading list for Namo.
     
    1. We hear Namo is going to Gujarat where his party is upset that the oppressed are no longer willing to play by the oppressors' rules. He must read D.N. Jha's The Myth of the Holy Cow, because, well, this one is for gau rakshaks
     
    2. While he's at it, we also recommend Meera Velayudhan's post Dalits & The Holy Cow on our blog.
     
    3. Namo says he's looking for a peaceful solution in Kashmir. Hmm. Solution, yes. But does he know the problem? We recommend The Kashmir Dispute by A.G. Noorani, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
     
    4. The Poorer Nations is a must read for frequent flyers. Written with verve and brio, perfect for that next long flight to Washington D.C.
     
    5. Gas Wars by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, about Namo's good friends the Ambanis. But wait. It's also about crony capitalism, so he probably knows all about it already.
     
    6. Namo fancies himself a statesman. So we recommend Who was Shivaji?, Govind Pansare's examination of an ever popular ruler. But then, Pansare was shot dead, so maybe that's a dangerous book. 
     
    7. Confronting Saffron Demography by Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery. Just to see what these nasty Hindutva-haters write.
     
    8. The Armchair Revolutionary, because he loves movie stars. But no, its author decided to migrate to that country next door. You know, the hell place. Sorry, cross that out.
     
    9. Rana Ayyub's Gujarat Files, in which the lead character is Amit Shah. But we're told that he is, for some inexplicable reason, not too thrilled, and has threatened anybody who comes within sniffing distance of this book with dire consequences. We're guessing that this threat doesn't apply to Prime Ministers, but with Shah, who'd want to take a chance.
     
    10. Teesta Setalvad's dossier on the Gandhi assassination, Beyond Doubt. No, sorry. This is from Rahul Gandhi's reading list. Namo doesn't need to be told who did it.
     
    All deshbhakts should forward this list to at least ten others. Those who do will be rewarded in love and business. Those who don't, will be labelled anti-nationals and made to watch Arnab Goswami's show for a week. Every day.

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