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Literary Rewrites | The Indian Express

If the army feels it requires continuation of the AFSPA to discharge its responsibilities, no other agency is qualified to credibly challenge that view. Individuals and issues that are making and faking news. Literary Rewrites. Heres a novel thought. Books,we are told,are on the endangered list and,reading between the lines,its not difficult to see why. Now,what if some of the bestsellers,classics and contemporary,were to be rewritten by new authors and given a more realistic and modern update? Here are some that come immediately to mind. Pride and Prejudice by Narendra Modi. NaMo,now retitled RaMo (for Rambo Modi),would be ideally placed to give the Jane Austen classic a new lease of life,for various reasons. One,it happens to be one of the most popular of all time in its genre,a status which RaMo is striving to emulate. Next,having a chest-thumping,superhero-type instead of a demure,judgmental Englishwoman as the main protagonist,is more in tune with contemporary readership preferences. RaMo has built his reputation on pride,a lot of it to do with the self but also the state and community he belongs to. Finally,the flip side is to do with prejudice,as in his claims of single-handedly rescuing only Gujaratis from the recent floods,and the larger issue to do with his image stemming from an earlier tragedy in his state under his rule which also involved people from a particular community. Pride and Prejudice will decide whether he is a bestseller in 2014. The Satanic Versus by Ramesh Rathod and V Hanumantha Rao. An alternative and appropriate title could be Shame,since both were originally by Salman Rushdie. The new version,however,has a lot more action,and also involves threats to life and limb and a political fatwa,issued by the new authors,TDP s Rathod and Congress MP Hanumantha Rao. The setting,hilariously,is a place called Jolly Grant,which it certainly wasnt when the co-authors came to blows over competitive populism and claims over people traumatised by a monumental tragedy. Considering the circumstances,Satanic Versus wins over Shame. A Suitable Boy by Rahul Gandhi: Could also have had an alternative title like Pilgrims Progress but somehow A Suitable Boy seems quite appropriate for the dynast and the fact that everybody still refers to him as young at age 43 while the rest of the country still ponders over his political suitability. The original Vikram Seth version was as much a search for a suitable match as it was to do with a journey to rediscover Indias social illsinter-sectarian animosity,the status of the lower castes,etc. Ultimately,however,its a family saga (as in the Congress parivar) and the dilemma faced by them over whether to make the fateful commitment. Gullivers Travels by L K Advani: Just like the Jonathan Swift original,this involves a long journey of discovery and self-discovery,first as a giant among pygmies where he becomes a favourite at the court before being charged with treason-like behaviour (remember Jinnah?) and loss of stature before he recovers but soon finds the roles reversed when he is faced with giants and is himself reduced in stature. At its core,the book is a satire,mainly of petty differences between men of the same faith. Hopes of a sequel are fast fading. The Kite Runner by Subramanian Swamy: No one flies as many kites as Subramanian Swamy in the form of PILs mostly to do with one family that he seems to hate with a passion,along with a certain Mr Chidambaram. The original,by Khaled Hosseini,was universally acclaimed,a status that seems to have escaped. Mr Swamy,especially after propounding his theory that only those who acknowledge their Hindu ancestry should have voting rights in India,a hardline view that cost him an annual tenure at Harvard. Like the protagonist in the novel who used to engage in kite fights when he had the right wind,Swamy does much the same,except he needs the help of the right wing. A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Arvind Kejriwal: The original was all about conspiracy theories to do with the high and mighty,some quite bizarre,and this version by Kejriwal is no different. More to the point of the title,his party,Aam Admi,has been referred to as mango people by one of his targets,and now that he has entered the political fray,he promises to explode quite a few myths,including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshits invincibility. In other words,his crusade against electricity bills is to do with engineering a power cut. Seems quite bizarre,just like the novel.
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