|Politicians & Literature|
Manish Tewari | 53 | Punjab
Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Congress
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS and strategic affairs are two subjects that interest me a lot. Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy is one of my favourites. All students of diplomacy must read it.
I have arrived at my current preferences after much meandering. As a child, I grew up on a staple of comics and racy fiction. It may not have been the most stimulating, but it made me read and gave me a window to the world.
In college, I moved away from fiction to non-fiction, coming into contact with books that were till then a closed chapter. There were books on history, astronomy… a fascinating world of subjects.
Right now, I’m reading Matters of Discretion, the aptly titled autobiography of former PM IK Gurjal, who passed away recently. He was an expert on international relations, and his policies are the cornerstones of Indian diplomacy.
My biggest regret, however, is that with all my commitments I barely get time to read. When you are in public life, you spend much of your time interacting with your constituency, party or discharging government duties.
That said, I think it is imperative for not only politicians but everyone in public life to read, because reading gives you privileged access to areas that you would never have time to learn about otherwise. At a younger age, reading shapes your aspirations, and later in life, it can shape and inform your politics.
Some books, especially biographies, are wonderful manuals for understanding complex issues, and learning how they have been and can be tackled.