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Books instead of bouquets, what an idea Modiji! Here are 5 books we'd gift you

Jhinuk Sen | Updated on: 18 June 2017, 20:09 IST
(Arya Sharma/Catch News)

Our prime minister is full of fabulous ideas. He really is. From random demonetisation dictates to perfecting the art of selfies and pulling the ears of innocent kids – he's our go-to guy for all things incredible.

Recently, at the Panicker Reading Day-Reading Month celebrations in Kerala, Narendra Modi delivered another sparkling address replete with some great ideas to ensure that India, once again, becomes the land of knowledge as it was once known for.

It was here that he said

“Reading can help broaden one’s thinking. A well-read population will help India excel globally.”

And he followed that up with –

“I appeal to people to give a book instead of bouquet as a greeting. Such a move can make a big difference.”

That's really nice Modiji. We totally endorse this great idea of gifting books to people. And we'd like to start with you.

But, what books could you possibly recommend to the man who has a degree in 'entire political science'? Not Machiavelli's The Prince for sure, he's done enough damage without that.

So we thought long and hard and this is a short list we came up with –

1984 – George Orwell

Why this classic is the first on the list is borderline self- explanatory. But, for the welfare of people everywhere, here's what the book is about

1984 is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation.”

We want Modi to read this book because –

“The tyranny (in Oceania) is ostensibly overseen by Big Brother, the Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. The Party 'seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power'.”

Sounds familiar? Maybe.

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

The next in line is Anthony Burgess' masterpiece.

Wikipedia describes it thus

A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novel by Anthony Burgess published in 1962. Set in a near future English society featuring a subculture of extreme youth violence, the teenage protagonist, Alex, narrates his violent exploits and his experiences with state authorities intent on reforming him.”

We aren't rallying for all things dystopian, we swear. But this book would be an excellent insight into the minds of those who love, love, love, the 'Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar' with more vehemence than Alex loved his milk-plus.

And we do believe that classical music and change anything.

Gujarat Files – Rana Ayyub

This is just a history lesson for Modi, nothing else. For a busy man, such reminders bode well so as we can take better, more informed decisions, in the future –

TL/DR here's what the book is about

“By posing as Maithili Tyagi, a US-based film-maker and a student of American Film Institute subscribing to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's ideology, Ayyub managed to get access to senior police officers, bureaucrats, and politicians in Gujarat. She even managed to meet Narendra Modi in her Maithili Tyagi disguise. Ayyub was wearing a concealed camera and microphone during these meetings which enabled her to record her conversations. The book is based on these recorded conversations.The recordings were made in the years 2010-2011 in a time frame spanning eight months.”

I Am A Troll: Inside The Secret World Of The BJP's Digital Army – Swati Chaturvedi

We would like to gift this book because Modiji really needs to know his army of social media supporters well. And how better to do it than to see them from the other side? The side that enjoys their good work every day, every tweet at a time.

While (the real) book enthusiasts have called it a 'missed opportunity' we do believe it will do the PM some good to flip through.

The Competent Authority – Shovon Chowdhury


This is the future.

As one review states

The Competent Authority (TCA) by Shovon Chowdhury is a book that describes an India that might come to be. Considering the current circumstances (in reality), it isn’t impossible. ‘...The war had turned half the country into a pile of shit...under the cover of darkness, which had lasted throughout Asia for six months, the Competent Authority had rearranged governance for better efficiency. The war had wiped out most of Delhi and Bombay, along with large chunks of UP and Punjab. Punjab was hit by the Americans by mistake. They had been aiming for Islamabad...’

From things of the past, to a look into the present to what lies in the future, here's us saying 'Happy Reading' to our PM. In case he doesn't quite enjoy this –

“No Sir...please not that. Anything but that. Don’t send me to Calcutta, sir. Some of them are cannibals.”

First published: 18 June 2017, 20:09 IST