How To Be A Likeable Bigot by Naomi Datta, is a first anti-self-help book written for the “self-contained wildflowers sitting on the fence,” tells you how to remain ordinary, shallow and insular person without getting into trouble or in the spotlight. The list of satirical essays in the book describes myriad of situations and how one can survive through it by just being ordinary. The book tells you how to be casually sexist, crack woke jokes, be a journalist without reporting anything and ends by telling how to escape the reality and live in your own parallel timeline. According to the Amazon book review, the book celebrates conformity and tells you how to blend in and be largely forgettable.

The author

The author of the book, Naomi Datta has been a television producer, presenter and writer working with a number of leading channels. In her television career, Datta has worked with CNBC TV 18, MTV and Times Now. She is also the author of The 6 pm Slot, published by Random House India. The book How To Be A Likeable Bigot was recently launched on December 13, 2019, by Penguin eBury Press.

Bigotry cannot be changed. It is based on a certain value system, emotions and not on facts. So, if you try to counter that emotion with facts, you are only going to cling on to your own value systems without bringing any change to the emotions that bigotry involve. What we can do is continue to engage with each other, even if it makes a small difference.

The book launch and the reading event was held on December 20 at Title Waves, Bandra. SheThePeople.TV was in a conversation with Naomi Datta about her book at the event. Here’s what she had to say:

What does a bigot mean?

A bigot is a person who thinks that the region, religion or race h/she belongs to is superior to everything else. They have rights to things more than people belonging to other communities.

How can we as a person identify oneself whether if we are bigots or not?

My book How To Be A Likeable Bigot is not about specific people but about every one of us. I believe we all are bigots but in a passive way. We all have complained about certain things that a person or community practices and this unknowingly makes us a bigot. So, my book is also about such passive kinds of bigotry which are equally dangerous but knowingly or unknowingly, we are all part of it.

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How can we deal with bigots or cleanse ourselves of it?

Bigotry cannot be changed. It is based on a certain value system, emotions and not on facts. So, if you try to counter that emotion with facts, you are only going to cling on to your own value systems without bringing any change to the emotions that bigotry involve. What we can do is continue to engage with each other, even if it makes a small difference.

A bigot is a person who thinks that the region, religion or race h/she belongs to is superior to everything else. They have rights to things more than people belonging to other communities.

Do you think politicians today are bigots?

That is a generalisation that I cannot make because that can bring trouble. Any extreme hardline position and polarization without any flexibility is a problem. A true liberal is a person who has the freedom to be flexible in his or her stance. I might support a political party on certain things while totally oppose others. But I can’t make sweeping statements and demonise anyone. That is the freedom of a true liberal and my book describes how to avoid trouble and be a true liberal.

Also Read: 10 Books by women authors you should definitely read

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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