Chiranjeevi | 57 | Andhra Pradesh
Minister of state for tourism, Congress
THOUGH I’M NOT a voracious reader, I read books whenever I have time. I’m quite selective about the books I read. As a student, I read Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography My Experiments with Truth, which had a great impact on my life. Gandhiji’s unwavering and steely resolve to achieve freedom; his unique ways of fighting against the British, like satyagraha, non-violence and mobilising the masses influenced me greatly.
After I entered films, I didn’t get much time to read. But, whenever someone recommends a book, I make a point of reading it. Currently, I’m reading Gandhi CEO by Alan Axelrod, which was suggested to me by Eenadu Chairman Ramoji Rao, who also sent me a copy.
At one point, I started reading books on personality development. I read Steven R Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Joseph Murphy’s The Power of your Subconscious Mind, Dr Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics and Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. I liked The Secret so much that I bought 50 copies and DVDs and gave them to my friends. It changed my perspective towards life and I recommend it to a lot of people. I learnt how to balance my emotions after reading Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson.
I read a lot about Mother Teresa’s life and her remarkable philanthropy, which was also the driving force behind the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust and Chiranjeevi Blood & Eye Bank. When I decided to enter politics, I read BR Ambedkar’s and Jyotirao Govindrao Phule’s works to strengthen my political foundations. Their political ideologies gave me deep insights into social justice — something I strive to achieve in my life.
I feel it is essential for politicians to read, especially history and political philosophy. Reading enlightens the mind, motivating one to fight ignorance and social evils with the power of knowledge.