Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My review for the book Shoes of the Dead by Kota Neelima

Publisher                      : Rupa Publications
ISBN                             : 978-81-291-2396-1
Year of Publication       : 2013
No of Pages                 : 274
Cover                           : Hardcover                 
Language                     : English
Date of Publication       : 15/05/2013
Author                         : Kota Neelima
Type                             : Fiction

I am very thankful to blogadda for giving me chance to review the books by different authors. Now this is my Fourth book from the blogadda. The first one was Bankster by Ravi Subramanian, second was Tantra by Adi and third book was Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino. Also I must say this book (Shoes of the Dead by Kota Neelima) is one of the excellent book I have got from blogadda.

·                     This is an extremely well written book and a hardcore political fiction. Apart from bringing the problem of farmer suicides and governments response to it, the influence of the money lenders, surpanchs, collectors, talatis etc.., there is a gripping story woven around the theme of farmer suicides. This book is an eye opener on how a farmer's life is controlled by various entities in a village, and political agenda behind twisting unfavorable numbers and this book is a good reference for those studying politics and agriculture. It is a tragic story that illustrates the terrible situation of the farmers in central India, where the failure of crops and increasing burden of debt on them, is forcing them to take an extreme step of ending their lives. Also It highlights the role of honest men/women still in our system, who can make changes in our system.
·                     The Plot
The hardworking farmer Sudhakar Bhadra committed suicide as result of the permanent failure of his crops and under the burden debt. However, to suppress the suicides committed by the farmers the powerful community of Mityala fakes out the news of suicide committed by the   farmers and cancels the compensation to his family. The Protagonist Gangiri, Sudhakar’s brother decides to take a revenge on this and thus bring justice to all the farmers who had died due to failure in successive crops.
The novel throws light the working of Indian political and democratic system. The farmer who works hard in his field throughout the year to earn a living but fails to see any significant results in the form of rich crops, the situation turns to be from bad to worse for him. He is left with no other option but to take an extreme step of committing suicide.
Gangiri is determined to change the prevailing conditions in Mityala, a district in south central India. He demonstrates some chain of events that threatens to spoil the career of an ambitious young politician, Keyur Kashinath.
Political drama, changing equations, slyness and what not. This book is a detailed and well crafted account of what could have been the reason behind the sudden suicides and things related to it. It’s a must read and the writing grips you from the very beginning. Overall, I loved it and recommend it to everyone who loves reading stories set in the rural and political backdrops.
Also I would like to add that government is providing good infrastructure to the metros and mega cities but basic needs are not being provided to the farmers. Needs like check dams, canals, proper electric power supply. Our India is an agriculture country we are much depended on it, and then also farmers are being criticized. 
Some of the catchy lines which I liked are:-
I believe that those who show us our mistakes are more precious than those who ignore them. Page no 133
They suffer because of my decisions, sir. I could have chosen to give them a brighter life, but I bartered it for justice…. Page no 137
This is not cricket, where defeat is part of the game. This is chess; defeat is the end of the game. Page no 230

About the Author
 Kota Neelima is a political editor with The Sunday Guardian and a Research Fellow for South Asia Studies at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. Riverstones and Death of a Moneylender are some of her previous creations.

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