|Politicians & Literature|
Hamdullah Sayeed | 30 | Lakshadweep
I THINK IT’S important for everyone, not just people in public life, to read. Reading not only gives you perspective and direction, but also the ability to relate to unfamiliar and varied contexts and situations.
My reading has been largely non-fiction. I enjoy reading autobiographies, the last of which was former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s somewhat controversial Keeping the Faith: Memoirs of a Parliamentarian.
Another engaging one I have read was APJ Abdul Kalam’s autobiography, Wings of Fire.
These books haven’t shaped my political philosophy or ideology, but they have taught me a lot about the character and thoughts of these politicians. And indirectly, they have taught me about India.
After debating whether details of his personal life would be of interest to anyone, Kalam writes, “In the end, I was convinced that these were relevant, if not for anything else but because they tell something of the story of modern India, as individual destiny and the social matrix in which it is embedded cannot be seen in isolation. Having been persuaded of this, it did seem germane to include accounts of my frustrated attempt to become an air force pilot and of how I became, instead of the collector my father dreamed I would be, a rocket engineer.”
Apart from autobiographies, I’m also interested in books on history and current affairs. I don’t really have one favourite book; I have enjoyed reading various books at different points of time. There have been books of which I have enjoyed parts and others that I have enjoyed in a particular context. Unfortunately, I have so many pressures on my time that I find it increasingly difficult to take time out to read. When I’m in my constituency, I’m either touring or attending to other matters. So, I’m lucky if I manage to even glance at the newspapers.
There are also so many other mediums of information, like the Internet (Twitter, in particular) and television that we need to keep track of, and which divert our attention.