Friday, 29 May 2020

Damnable Beauties!

Updated: December 10, 2011 3:54 pm

Till now, Siddhartha Deb was mostly known for journalistic writings and his two remarkable novels, including the debut work, The Point of Return and Surface. So writing straight a problem-centric book was a big shift from his side. This book reached me with a notice on its jacket that was referring to the scrapping of the first chapter following the Court order in the north-east. I was aware of the unfortunate row between the IIPM {was covered as dream seller among the millions of desperate Indians} and Caravan magazine, where the first chapter of this book was earlier published, so it amused me more than get shock over such overt display of undeserving assertion!

Anyway, reading twenty-six-page long autobiographically enabled introduction gives an exact outline where the author has an eye to reach out. Disappeared pages between 26 and 72 remind one of the consistent downgradation of an excellent Constitutional right known as “Freedom of Expression”. Anyway this is way of life which needs reckoning and of course no counter logic against the India’s Judicial temples!

The four remaining chapters sensibly deal with the pros and cons of economic liberalisation in India. What strikes most, is: Siddhartha’s firsthand experience of these odd changes as a narrator. Simultaneously, he oriented himself towards drawing the shades of feeling behind the inflated success story of Indian economy? This book diversely acknowledges the desperateness among the most of working classes in India, whether serving in the fairy world of IT/ITEs, in glamorous hotels or badly suffering with the existential crisis as temporary human recourses in abject inhuman industries. The best research inside this book {chapter-III}—Red Sorghum: Farmers in the Free Market—is in the rural distress caused by the single minded framing of policies which necessitates every human to be resource and every occupation to be globally competitive! Of course, there are consistent support of McKinsey services but not adequate foods/water/shelter and most essentially freedom.

It’s hard to express the truth before the partying, yet many are daring, so giving hopes. Here, this effort could be listed in that category where the truth prevails towards with all positive imprints for its sanguine takers—and amazingly without any subversive traits. In Indian English writing {both in fiction and in non-fiction}, a new trend is being developed which is less flashy but surprisingly closer to the real-life experiences. Simply, it’s marking the spread of literature in all around the lives along with big solace of dwindling hypocritic plays of words. So, if the range of literature moving ahead of the nonsense five star cocktail parties to the plight of waiters and from the board room’s slumbering Power Point’s world to the casual crowd of industries, that refers to the maturity of this trendy writing and also the growing nausea of masses towards India’s inefficient and unsustainable model of economic planning.

Readers will find the entire book equally persuasive as the basic motives and the form of narration {in reporting style} is almost uniform, only sectoral changes are in place. Inevitably, the scrapped first chapter is a big miss but again it refers to the new Indian affluents which grew in the wake of India’s neo-resilience and practically without tolerance of anything pertaining to their vested interests. Business is not bad itself, neither is the reform but the Indian reform is running short of clauses. Here might is perfectly right and roses are in existence but without any prospect of blossoming.

By Atul Kumar Thakur

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