Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Review : Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion: A Play On Untouchability - Rajesh Talwar

The Indian freedom struggle was a long one which spanned across, almost, a century and saw the rise and fall of various individuals and leaders. Leaders who lead not only from the front, but also on the front with people who supported their vision for the freedom. We have been always a diverse country, how can the freedom struggle be untouched by it? The freedom was achieved by violence or nonviolence? By ideologies or by uprising? By leaders or masses? There is no concrete answer to this, the diversity in the idea of freedom and the approach to achieve it, see it as a reality was the actual winner.

I recently read Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion, a book by author Rajesh Talwar about two of India's greatest leaders Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.  The book is not a biography on these two leaders, but is about a few significant events in the life of these two at different places and how those incidents enhanced them, improved their thought processes and how a sense of belonging, fighting for pride and justice of the people and for the people became the motto of their life which ultimately reflected in their personality.
Book Review : Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion A Play On Untouchability - Rajesh Talwar
Book Review : Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion A Play On Untouchability - Rajesh Talwar
First of all, Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion is not a regular book wherein you read a genre specific narration, it is an actual play woven around the incidents that took place in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. This was first of a kind reading experience for me, initially it took me some time to understand what was actually happening, but after a few initial scenes I got hooked on to the flow of multiple acts. The entire book is based on a conversation that happens between three modern day educated individuals from different religious and professional backgrounds, the direct relation between the discussions and the life events of Gandhi and Ambedkar.

Almost everyone would know about the train incident that Mahatma Gandhi had to go through while pursuing studies in South Africa, but very few people know about a similar incident that happened to Babasaheb Ambedkar in India and the book Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion draws parallel to such incidents and conveys a message relevant in the modern day India. The book talks about the issues faced by Dalits, as they are called in the book, over a period of time and the atrocities they had to go through.

The entire play in the book is divided into three acts with multiple scenes and the fictional writing of the book is kind of thought provoking and relevant to the current time, the intensity of the conversations coupled with intelligent anecdotes that discusses the topic of untouchability.

The introduction section of the book Gandhi, Ambedkar And The Four Legged Scorpion is detailed enough to create curiosity, also the backstory to why "Scorpion" is a part of the title is interesting. The clash of ideas and the battles of a leader are compelling which will have an impact, may not be conclusive, on you. I would recommend this historical fiction play to anyone interested in reading about the prevalent caste system in India and the two ideologies.

More Details:
Copyright: Rajesh Talwar
You can order a copy of the book from Amazon.

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