Those book-reading Indian bastards

Forget technology. Here are two new reasons why Indians should be proud of themselves.

Reason one: Hated by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. The latest batch of Nixon tapes reveals the kind of ugly rhetoric that passed for machismo in the Nixon White House. A gem from the Big Dick: "The Pakistanis are straightforward and sometimes extremely stupid. The Indians are more devious, sometimes so smart that we fall for their line." Good man Kissinger was of the opinion that we're actually "bastards" -- not to be confused with those asshole Palestinians or the motherfuckin' Chinese.

Forget the racist stereotypes -- like that was Nixon administration's biggest problem. All this just goes to show just how little a realist foreign policy has to do with reality.

And reason number two: anointed world's biggest readers by the NOP World Culture Score index. Though some Indians -- especially writers of books -- are a little skeptical about the honor. Tarun Tejpal, a respected journalist who recently published a novel, channels his inner party pooper:

A lot of [book reading] is aspirational, getting ahead in the rat race, getting admission into schools and colleges etc. It has less to do with reading, more to do with rote. ... A good book in India will sell only a few thousand copies, in the U.K. or U.S. it could sell tens of thousands. It gives you a sense of what we value - in the U.K. or U.S. if you haven't read a book in the bestseller list, you would be socially dead.
Socially dead? In America? Someone needs to send him a ticket to Las Vegas.

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