Nowhere in Hyderabad would you think you can lay your eyes on the most radical issues that our country tries so hard to hide. Right from spiritual literature to homosexuality, all 'hushed' topics are thrashed out in the way of books in this tiny reading den.
Azad Reading Room (ARR) is a resource center, a documentation center, a publishing house and a bookshop. It dares to provide structured information and awareness in our age of global confusion.
The reading room addresses topics in the fields of politics, religion, child education, environmentalism, Marxism, psychology, feminism etc. You'd be surprised by how many books a single room can furnish you with. For example, Against The Grain, Beyond Growth, The Long Twentieth Century, Time Labour And Social Domination, Addicted To War, Ethics, Crime Fiction of Sara Paretsky, and Per Wahloo And Maj Sjowar.
There are well over 4,000 books, and it also receives 30 periodicals (rare reads like Atheist, Panchayat Raj Update, Against The Current and Pitta) regularly. Some are in Telugu and Hindi, too. The publications include titles such as Hegemony Of Capital (English), The Women's Movemment In India (English), Bala Karmikulu - Nirbandha Vidya (Telugu), Mi Odilo (Telugu) etc.
Squeezed next to the M V Foundation
, this reading room received not only a large donation in the way of books from the US-based economist Prof. S A Shah, but also his constant guidance and support. If you thought that this was where the ARR's helping hand of world concern stops, you'd marvel at the amount of activities this earnest center engages in.
It now has a collection of 150 video programs which are screened in a film club
at Rajendra Nagar. ARR also co-operates with the city's CIEFL Film Club in screening films. They have film screening contacts established in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, too.
ARR has also published 11 books/booklets in English and Telugu on topics such as Gender And Struggle For Equity, Agrarian India and Caste And Class. Azad Reading Room is a center with a difference and a purpose.