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Friday, February 18, 2011

Books read in 2010

Language has a dominant effect in the knowledge level of various people and community. I had not read a single book in Hindi this year. That is a sad part of weakening of mine cultural roots in the zeal to know about the other cultures of the world.

The native language (like Hindi) gives us the culture root but the foreign language (English) only open the new doors of business and learning for most of Indians. The advantage of reading or writing in a second language – that it gives a diversified view of the world. There is a good chance that a foreign language makes a native culture as inferior, and mold learner to look down on his past and fundamental things like beauty, art, and politics as ‘a wasteland of non-achievement’. With the time, this educated person begins to understand himself and his culture through the eyes of the foreign concepts, categories, and judgments. Before too long, the native turns into a proxy for his foreign with a native face. I remember now that Bhagat Singh had aptly said that real independence would not come to us if Brown Sahibs replaced white Sahibs.

Writing in English is just a tendency where one assume that views will be given more importance and the outbound reach will be international. The staggering of regional conflicts of language can be well overcome by adapting international language as our own. This comes as a heavy cost as the power of observation reduces a great deal if one doesn't know the language of even his ecosystem.

But what is the use of language if it does not liberate person's soul from the bondage of tyranny and discrimination. A language is only tool to pass down ideas but it may lead one to either exclusive and elite position ( via English) in majority or neglected by dominant majority as voice of enemy or preexisting culture (Urdu).

While I don't read for the sake of it, still I prefer to read more on blogs and e- magazines than books. May be it is due to concentration deficit syndrome born due to facebook. I am enlisting the names of books read by me in 2010 with their background and my feedback. Ratings are highly personal.

Tao: The Golden Gate, Tao: The Pathless Path and When the Shoe Fits :- Osho

The Argumentative Indian  :- Amartya Sen - English- 7.5/10
A slow reading is required for this work of cultural and economic depth of Indian intellectual history.

Letters from Burma :- Aung San Suu Kyi - English- 9/10
Description of peaceful resistance and endurance of the people of Burma by her leader.

Connect The Dots :- Rashmi Bansal - English- 9/10
Collection of the inspiring tales of 25 entrepreneurs from humble background.

The Tipping Point  :- Malcome Gladwell -English- 8/10
An out of box look into the phenomenon of social epidemics.

Imagining India :-Nandan M. Nilekani - English -8/10
A good book showing development of Infosys at par with the Indian growth story.

The Sunil Gavaskar Omnibus- Sunny Days, Idols and One Day Wonders :- Sunil Gavaskar -English- 8/10
Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar memoirs, what more else is left to say.

Infidel :- Ayaan Ali Hirsi - Dutch (Read in English)- 10/10
A brave, inspiring and beautifully written life story of girl evolution from dutiful Islamic child into a freedom fighter.

Creating A World Without Poverty: Social Business And The Future Of Capitalism:- Muhammad Yunus and Karl Weber - English - 8/10 - Best and inspiring book on the social business.

The Motorcycle Diaries:- Ernesto Che Guevera- Spanish (Read in English) - 7/10
An adventure story of two boys that makes one a rebel legend of 20th Century.

The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid :-C.K. Prahalad - English - 8/10 - With the innovative ideas towards the eradication of poverty, this book focus on the emerging markets business development.

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