Reading Literature Today by Tabish Khair and Sebastien Doubinsky is precisely eponymous, it delves into the matter of reading and readers, as well as of writing and writers. The world is as much a text in this book as the word is, and the writers show how the makers of the world text are pushing the word text to a bestselling culture, and a culture of silent (and violent) complacency.
If Maharashtra’s dalits could be proud of being the first ones to have initiated dalit consciousness due to Dr. Ambedkar’s efforts then Uttar Pradesh dalits could boast of being able to have formed the first dalit led government with their own party and ideology in the most populated and politically signi-ficant state of the Indian Union, Uttar Pradesh.
In the post-Mandal debates, one commonsensical understanding has emerged that the dalits (Scheduled Castes/Tribes) are more disadvantaged and deprived than the Other backward Castes/Classes (OBCs) and therefore their demands for reservations can be justified but not of the affluent OBCs.
The book under review is a vital addition to the scholarly writings on Indian political economy, though sadly it engages with the familiar puzzle regarding why and how poverty persists among various social groups of India even after more than six decades of India’s freedom.