“Substance must follow grandiloquent oratory.”
I won’t go into much detail when it comes to this book- Pride, prejudice, and punditry – because we all know that Dr. Shashi Tharoor is great when it comes to penning down his ideas, there is immense clarity, his language usage is always top notch, the amalgamation of the same with the current scenarios, especially, the political scenarios; so I would say that one needs to read this book to understand what he is trying to put forth.
But in a nutshell, you will find in this book excerpts from his speeches, the fiction and poetry he has penned and excerpts from his books. You will find his writings on his favorite authors, political figures and also on the personalities from his personal life.
◇ This book has essays on nationhood and nationalism, Hinduism and Hindutva.
◇ Dr. Tharoor’s stint in UN and parliament is also described in one of the sections of this book.
◇ The book has a section where you see what a cricket enthusiast Dr. Tharoor is. He succinctly pens the history of cricket and takes us through his childhood too.
◇ He speaks about the heritage of Kerala and doesn’t hesitate from pointing out the flaws in the Kerala Government.
◇ And he speaks about how media these days is all about “breaking news” and “trps”. In these chapters, in his sharp writing style, he opens up about the death of his wife – how it was put on a media trial and the implications of the same on his mental health.
◇ He further questions the opportunistic attitude of the politicians these days. He questions the morality in politics, the integrity with the party and it’s ideologies.
◇ He also gives suggestions for Presidential system of government and for Congress party.
◇ He puts forth his thoughts when it comes to Sonia Gandhi’s citizenship status.
◇ He writes with reverence about – Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, P.G Wodehouse and many other public figures.
There was a lot of hope and admiration as I picked up this book (and trepidation too because of its size.) As endorsed, this book does have the best of Dr. Tharoor’s writing. What, especially, made for a delightful read were the bits about his childhood, his love for books and words, and his journey as a writer. As always Dr. Tharoor’s thoughts are astute and he doesn’t mince his words. Also, he doesn’t miss a beat as he speaks about the current political scenario. There’s a lot of conviction in his words. And even if you aren’t a supporter of his ideologies his words will convince you enough, so much that towards the end of this book you will have a different political outlook, I am sure. Grandiose of language is a given when it comes to Dr. Tharoor we are talking about. But what caught my attention was the affection with with he writes about his parents. It resonates.
Some of my favorites from his book will be – The spoken word section (The Oxford Union speech is an all time favourite), Humour in Indian politics, Charlis and I (literally gave me goosebumps!), How to sleep at night, and Two love poems.
Last word -This book is huge and it will take a lot of patience to plod through it. But at the end of the day, it is worth it.
To buy the book, pls click – https://amzn.to/32pqwNk
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