CUDDALORE: Ariyalur district secretary S Sivasankar, too, seems to have preferred the history of his native as the perfect gift, choosing Gangaikonda Rajendran, a compendium of articles presented by historians at a symposium organised on the 1000th coronation year of Rajendra Chola. “This book has detailed history of Rajendra Chola’s naval expeditions and conquests, conquering even the countries in Southeast Asia, and about his capital, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, that falls in Ariyalur district,” Sivasankar said. This, perhaps, is a befitting book from Stalin’s loyal supporters, who have given him the sobriquet Thalapathi (commander).
Tamilan Prasanna, DMK’s State joint secretary for media relations, gifted ‘Speeches that changed the World’, a book that he bought at the US where he had gone for a training programme. “This book has details about the famous speeches of legendary world leaders, and the context in which they were made,” Prasanna told Express. Incidentally, the book has an introduction by Simon Sebag Montefiore, who has written two books about Josef Stalin from whom the DMK leader got his name.
RT Sabapathymohan, former vice-chancellor of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, who is presently the secretary of the party’s resolution committee, said he bought three books- Magilchi (Happiness), Vetri (Success) and Sathanai (Achievement), which includes history of those like Dalai Lama and Helen Keller.
There were also many who chose the best titles from their home libraries to present to Stalin.
However, while the wish of the leader have been taken as a command by the faithful, it has not converted any philistine into a connoisseur of the written world. For every dhoti-clad who lined up at bookstores, there were plenty of functionaries and MLAs who asked their assistants and drivers to buy books.
Stalin had requested party cadre to present him books, which would help him in broadening knowledge and language. He also promised to donate excess books to the libraries across the State.
For the past couple of days, cadres have been posting photos of books they had bought for their leader on social media platforms. And on Wednesday, the loyalists’ walls were filled with selfies of them with books standing in long queue to meet Stalin.