|Politicians & Literature|
Saugata Roy | 65 | West Bengal
MP, Trinamool Congress
ALL THE BOOKS I have read so far have shaped the person that I’m today. I started reading at a very young age with classics like David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and the books of Alexandre Dumas. I have also been an avid fan of crime thrillers and spy novels. But it’s only during my days as a college student that I came across books that started influencing my thoughts. I read Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and What Is To Be Done? by Vladimir Lenin. Then I started reading a lot of existentialist literature. Jean Paul Sartre’s and Albert Camus’ work have deeply moved me.
I’m not a man of faith; I’m a rational being and my views on things are based on facts and arguments, and are flexible. So, I often deconstruct my own ideas and beliefs. Books have definitely challenged my beliefs, but I cannot point out any single example. Marxist literature played a major part in my taking to politics, but as a negative influence. Reading Marx and Engels made me realise I didn’t like the way they project a worldview. I was disturbed by the way Marxist literature was telling me to abandon my individuality and become a part of the collective.
I read a lot of literature on Mughal history and India’s freedom struggle. I’m a compulsive reader and my taste in literature has changed over the years. If I had to name a few books, I’d mention The Outsider by Camus, and Tagore’s works. I enjoy John le Carré quite a bit, and Robert Jungk’s Brighter Than a Thousand Suns about the history of the atom bomb is one of my favourite books on science.