Book Talk: A peek into US politics and society
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns, Top Stories

Book Talk: A peek into US politics and society

May 15, 2024

Surprises, pleasant or unpleasant, never cease to happen in everybody’s life. Recently, I had a pleasant surprise when the Blue Dart courier delivered two books from a friend in New York, M.P. Prabhakaran.

Many years ago I had written about this old journalist-friend of mine first acquainted in Mumbai where we were journalists though working for different publications. Later our acquaintance turned to friendship. We remained friends since late 1960s though separated, by continents and oceans thousands of miles away. We had to go our separate ways, for good or bad.

I left Mumbai to anchor myself in Mysuru and he left for the legendary land of opportunities, US, that beckoned the weary and tired looking for an opportunity to make it good in life. Surprisingly, both of us pursued the same profession of a pen-pusher and seem to be happy for it. Prabhakaran also taught for several years.

The books I received, one titled ‘How I Spoke My Mind and Created Enemies Around,’ the other ‘How I Responded to Blunders of Donald Trump via The New York Times,’ are as unique as their titles are a tad eponymous. On browsing the books, I discovered, as he himself claimed in the blurb, that it is a collection of the social and political commentaries he wrote over the past two decades and published in The East-West Inquirer, an online monthly of which he is the Editor and Publisher.

It appears his friends told him, even warned that “Your pen is your biggest enemy.” And that he pursued his passion despite the warning continuously to this day speaks eloquently about his honesty and courage of conviction.

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The book ‘How I Spoke My Mind and Created Enemies Around’ has 46 articles and should I find among them some interesting ones I might share it with my readers later. The second book is titled after his bête noire Donald Trump. The title ‘How I Responded to Blunders of Donald Trump via The New York Times’ is a sentence. The contents page of this book of 235 pages with 235 chapters looks like an index of a book.

Donald Trump is my favourite American politician more for other reasons than having been an ‘out of the box’ President of America from 2017 to 2021. American Presidents normally get elected for the second term too, but unfortunately for Donald Trump it did not happen when a fluke horse, the present President Joe Biden, won by a whisker. However, Donald Trump’s friend in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it for a second term triumphantly in 2019 and he is almost at the threshold of entering the Prime Minister’s Office for the third time in the present ongoing 2024 Parliamentary election. Good luck to Modi. What Adi Shankaracharya was to Hinduism in the 8th century, Narendra Modi is to Indian politics in the 21st century. Let it be.

As an aside, let me recall the Constitutional road America took to put an end to the insatiable thirst for power by the likes of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who ruled, going around on a wheelchair, for the fourth term continuously in office.

Sensing the danger of such eventuality happening in the future, the American Congress passed Constitutional amendment restricting Presidency to just two terms for an individual on Feb. 27, 1951. Is there a lesson to learn for India?

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About this book, author Prabhakaran confesses, that he is addicted to reading The New York Times ever since he landed in America in 1975 and it became a habit for him to comment on various stories and reports he read in the paper.

He admits, apparently with a tinge of disappointment, that most of his comments and letters “did not see the light of day.” As an Editor of an English paper and a vernacular newspaper here in Mysuru, I know the difficulty in deciding with these habitual letter writers. I guess my friend Prabhakaran too is a habitual letter writer.

According to reports, it is almost certain that Donald Trump would be the Republican candidate for the Presidency in this year’s election. I wonder what would be my friend Prabhakaran’s comments and reactions in case Donald Trump wins the election.

This book may be useful to me for reference if and when I write about Donald Trump no matter he falls or rises in the ensuing 2024 Presidential election.

This said, I must confess, for me both the books are interesting for a read and reading is made easy because of the easy flowing style of writing sans rhetoric.

The books are published by The East-West Inquirer ( and powered by ( The books are priced low and a must read for those who are the denizens of the almighty America.

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