Book Review: Morality play: A rallying cry in the name of social justice

Book Review: Morality play: A rallying cry in the name of social justice

By ANIRUDH VOHRA | | 12 March, 2016
“Jarawas have this ability to foresee a calamity by reading behavior changes in the birds, the winds and the animals.”
In the fictional world of We Need a Revolution, the author, Sachin Garg talks about the Jarawas, a long-ignored and oppressed tribal community of the Andamans, writes Anirudh Vohra.

We Need a revollution

Author: Sachin Garg

Publisher: Grapevine

Pages: 268

Price: 175 

We Need a revolution is the first book by author and founder of Grapevine Publications, Sachin Garg, that talks about a very serious issue. This is contrast with the writer’s previous works: I’m Not Twenty Four... I’ve Been Nineteen for Five Years..., It’s First Love!: Just Like The Last One!, Never Let Me Go and Come On, Inner Peace: I Don’t Have All Day!, which were all light-hearted romance novels.

The book’s protagonist is a drifter named Shubhrodeep Shyamchaudhary, who just, like Sunny Deol, has a problem: he cannot accept injustice and ends up being a saviour or at least tries to play the saviour.

So when our lead character, while travelling across India, reaches the island union territory of Andamans, he is welcomed with the horror stories and sights of people struggling to survive among the rapes, diseases, violence and several other atrocities that basically define a state of civil unrest, he cannot help himself, and ends up becoming a part of their freedom struggle. 

Now as per several articles and other texts printed about this book on the web, the writer, Sachin Garg, spent approximately three years researching the real-life issues of Andaman’s tribe, Jarawas. He filed an RTI application which went unanswered. The author later travelled several times to London, where he met with many officials of an NGO named Survival International, to get better informed about this little-known tribe.

In the 18th chapter of the novel, Shubro, the lead character, says, “…When I came out of the hospital, I assumed all of these beings, the Jarawas, must have been swiped clean by the Tsunami and I wondered if it was the end of them. And you know what I found out? Not even one of them had been injured. The Jarawas have this ability to foresee a calamity by reading behavior changes in the birds, the winds and the animals.”

This is one of the several reasons why Shubro starts to really admire the Jarawas and feels deeply for the injustice and unrest they have faced in their own homeland. The book has a bit of everything: court room drama, civil unrest, also a bit of love. In short, it sometimes reads like the script of a Bollywood movie.

The book is well written, though, and does not lose sight of the main plot anywhere. Well, that can be because the author has mastered the art with his previous half-a-dozen books. But one thing that will constantly linger in your mind is the life of Che Guevara, for if you have read his work, you will agree how much the two, i.e Shubro and Che, have in common. So much so that even the cover creates the image of Guevara in the head.  

“When I came out of the hospital, I assumed all of these beings, the Jarawas, must have been swiped clean by the Tsunami and I wondered if it was the end of them. And you know what I found out? Not even one of them had been injured.”

Now for those of you who don’t know Che Guevara: he was one of the central figures of the Cuban Revolution, and a guerrilla leader in the South American continent. It bears saying, because not many of Garg’s readers are likely to be aware of Guevara, even if glimpses of a hardened revolutionary can be seen in this novel’s protagonist.

With We need a Revolution, we understand with much more depths about the polight of the tribal communities of India. So if you plan to spend one of your Sundays lying in bed with a book in hand, you can give this one a try. It not only tells you gripping story, of injustice and rebellion, but also gives you slice of contemporary reality, which can be suffocating to know of, but nonetheless needs to be known.

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