‘Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged left my head swimming with questions’

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|Politicians & Literature|

Rajiv Pratap Rudy | 50 |Bihar
Rajya Sabha MP, BJP

Rajiv Pratap Rudy
Rajiv Pratap Rudy Photo: Shailendra Pandey

AYN RAND’S WORKS have left an everlasting impact on me. I recall reading Atlas Shrugged very early, 30 years ago. It was captivating and reached out to me in a manner I could not have anticipated, leaving my head swimming with questions. I was gripped by the ideas of freedom, societal collapse and limited government controls that she puts forward in her books. It was the most challenging and inspiring introduction to the forces of capitalism.

Start-up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer is a book on Israel and its economy. It is remarkable how far Israel, a country of just seven million people, has managed to advance in 53 years. It leaves me in awe. Start-up Nation shows how Israel fosters a culture of innovation and enterprise. It shows how government policies are formulated to assist people to unleash their natural entrepreneurial energies and talents.

I have also been a keen observer of China’s growth story. Raghav Bahl, managing editor of Network 18, objectively analyses the economies of India and China in his thorough book Superpower? His comparisons are easy to comprehend and draw attention to the vital issues without sounding prescriptive.

Currently, I’m reading Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma.

As a politician, it is important to read a variety of assessments, particularly from those who might have a different political perspective. LK Advani’s My Country, My Life is a riveting work on his personal journey. This work is further confirmation of the towering figure that Advani is in Indian politics and provides great insights for political probationers like us. It’s the sort of book that acts as a salutary reminder of why reading is important for politicians.

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