Apart from the fight for political supremacy, Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal are pitted in another battle – involving books. Books on the two leaders are in demand among people of this temple town which goes to polls on May 12.
“People here have been asking for books on Modi and one written by Kejriwal even before both declared their intentions to contest from Varanasi. However, the demand for the books is still on,” said Amit Singh, who runs the Universal Book Co here.
Books on Modi became popular after he was declared the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate while demand for Kejriwal’s books went up after AAP came to power in Delhi after the assembly elections last year. However, book distributors say that Kejriwal has an edge over Modi when it comes to demand for books.
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Currently, there are more than four books on Modi written by different authors available in the market while Kejriwal has around six books on him, besides ‘Swaraj’ written by himself. In his book ‘Swaraj’, Kejriwal questions the existing democratic framework in India and proposes a way how the people of India can achieve true swaraj or self-rule.
“Books on both the leaders are in demand as people want to know more about them,” adds Singh. “The demand for ‘Swaraj’ rose after Kejriwal became the chief minister of Delhi,” says Rajesh Jaiswal, who runs Indica Books here.
“Books on Kejriwal are more in demand among the youth. Also, intellectuals and people from academia prefer his books over Modi. It’s not the case that those who read books on Modi do not belong to the thinking class, but since Kejriwal is a new kid on the block, everyone is curious about him,” says Singh.
“Modi has not written any book, but books have been written on him. On the contrary, Kejriwal has written books and it’s the primary source to know him,” adds Jasiwal.
As for Umesh Chandra Srivastava, another bookstore owner and AAP supporter, he will ensure that he maintains a stock of Kejriwal’s books.”I didn’t keep his books since mine is a shop dealing with academic books. But now I shall keep a stock of his books. People should know about his ideology,” he says.