|Politicians & Literature|
Naresh Gujral | 64 |Punjab
Rajya Sabha MP, Shiromani Akali Dal
I’M CURRENTLY reading Akbar by Murilal, and have just finished Durbar by Tavleen Singh. Before that, I was reading Kuldip Nayar’s autobiography and a book on Gandhi titled My Dear Bapu by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, his grandson. In between, I picked up an old book about the stock market. It tells you how the advisers become rich and the poor investor is always the loser. Then I picked up a book by Arshad Sami Khan, who served three Pakistani presidents as their aide-de-camp. I read more political biographies. Now I’m about to start Arthshastra by Kautilya.
I don’t read one book at a time. I have two books going simultaneously when I read. So, if I’m bored with one, I can get back to the other. The past couple of years, I have hardly managed to read, primarily because I was taking care of my father. Also, I have been a member of the SAD’s Parliamentary Affairs Committee and the Committee for Public Undertaking. If you are serious about your committee work, then you have to be serious about all the paper work that comes from Parliament.
I also read a book by Dyal Singh Majithia, the founder of The Tribune, Dyal Singh College and Punjab National Bank. That gave me an insight into Akali politics and the history of the Akali Dal. I also intend to re-read A History of the Sikhs by Khushwant Singh, which I had read years ago.
Every time I read Gandhi or Nehru, I’m inspired. Years ago, I read about Napoleon, which was inspiring. You always learn something when you read a historical biography. You pick up something that is relevant to today’s politics.
There is no one favourite book. When you enjoy a book, you enjoy it at that moment, and then you move on to another one. That becomes your favourite. However, there is one subject that I keep going back to; every time you read about Gandhi by a different author, you learn something new.
It is very important for a politician to read books, especially history, economics and historical biographies. Today, economics has become very relevant. I find that a lot of my colleagues have not read economics. If you read history, it helps you look at things through a historical perspective.