Sunday, June 02, 2013

'Shoes of the Dead' - Truth Wins in the Battle Between Inheritances Of Despair and Power.

Welcome to the political fiction “Shoes of the Dead” by Kota Neelima, which is refreshing and read worthy. Honesty and integrity prevails in the skirmish between inheritances of despair and power.
The stories of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra are the soul of the book. In the author Neelima’s own words “a principle premise of the book is that the best democracy is one that has the maximum capacity to evolve according to the needs and aspirations of the society”.
Here is a gripping tale embroidered of famers’ suicides and their desolation at Mityala , the tenets of journalism and the political doctrines. As the author righty states “Like individuals, even nations can choose their destinies. The search for a better destiny defines a nation, as it does an individual.”
Sudhakar Bhadra of Gopur village in Mityala, commits suicide by consuming poison as he is trampled by the successive crop failures and burden of debt. But   the high power district suicide committee of Mityala dismisses it as  due to depression and alcoholism and makes his family ineligible for the compensation of Rs. One lakh  given by the Government in cases of suicides due to debt.  Aggreived by this, his brother Gangiri, who is educated and is working as a teacher in the city , leaves his profession and  comes to Gopur to fight for the farmers’ suicides. So here’s the inheritance of despair and distress due to poverty, indebtedness, land fragmentation, private money lending, technological stagnation and the lack of follow up on welfare schemes.    On the other hand is the inheritance of power in politics personified by Keyur Kashinath M.P. of Mityala, son of  Vaishnav Kashinath who is the party’s General Secretary. How Gangiri becomes the member of the Suicide Committee, how he solves the woes farmers’ suicides and encounters the challenges made by the men in power, supported on both sides by constructive journalism and how the truth prevails in the end is the beautiful story of this “novel” novel.       
The depiction of the characters of Gangiri the educated farmer, Vadrangi his friend, Keyur the young politician, Vaishnav the seasoned politician, Prabhakar Nazar the journalist, Dr. Videhi, the official from Centre of cotemporary societies who is deeply interested in annihilation of the distress of farmers is realistic and convincing. The author merits appreciation for the portrayal of persons of the Suicide committee like the apatra Lambodar , the Maha sarpanch, Durga Das the lecherous money lender , GauriShankar the Second Maha sarpanch, Dr.Hemant Rao , a conscientious doctor with limited powers , Jivan patel , the district’s agricultural officer, and Sitabai the former Sarpanch , which could be possible after a good amount of research in this regard. The farmers’ innocence and their resignation to fate is well described. The various nuances of the educated society, but the share of the positive and optimistic few including the young politician confirms the author’s commitment for building a better society.
This is a must read book and a must buy book. Thank you Neelima for the lovely literary creation and hope you will churn out to the readers many more such enlightening experiences.
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