Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The enigma of arrival
Book Review: Non-fiction/The Moslems are coming by Azad Essa, Harper Collins, 243 pp; Rs299 (Paperback)
An accidental academics turned ‘desktop terrorist’ and finally as an ‘incidental journalist’, Azad Essa exudes many flavours of multitasking. An irreverent, witty and unusually focussed writer on the wide range of inner contradictions, this India centric updated version of his mildly classic book ‘Zuma’s bastards’ holds much promises than his own anticipation in an interview given to Sarah Khan for New York Times, where he could classify his target readers among the toddlers preparing for SAT type of an obligatory professional target!
Azad, who loves his affiliation with the identities prefer not to shadow his disenchantment towards the odds his surroundings deliver quite often than not. His sarcastic light tone relatively appears more serious when he points on the slushy sanction on burqua in France, notwithstanding even the slight infatuation with this tent like fabrics, he consider this culturally politicized dress not aesthetically fit for romance but still notionally wants no imposition of external compulsions for its functional manuals.
While delving on India’s news making terrains, like Manipur or Kashmir, Azad seems following a much travelled and easy route of looking on the whole issues through a restricted vision of ‘human right violation’. There could be no denial that, it’s also a part of story but over the years, excessive and adamant western conceptualisation has made it more like a bandwagon phenomenon. Problem in Kashmir or Manipur is multi folded and can’t be delved alone through the wit, it requires depth and interface with the ground realities, which certainly this book is lacking.
Being an Al Jazeera journalist, author has used his travelling experiences quite energetically throughout his book-the flow of his opinion on diverse themes, from Arab spring to the cricket world cup of 2011 is quite fascinating and informed. A competent journalist can weave the stories with few facts and lot of imaginations, Azad’s incidental overtures with journalism doesn’t deter him doing the same. The best thing is, he has balance within to make explanation correct and their spontaneity as resolute and impactful as the situation demands.
Many of the essays in this book justifies its aggressive title, and that shrewdness is good but would not be long lasting against the opposite school of thoughts, which believes in ban instead reading of a text for advance contextualization. So far, by chance not any recognizable power has banned this book, although some of Azad’s family members have half heartedly tracked this book and further made unofficial fatwa on this book-this is a family matter, the fine point is! This free flowing collection of Azad’s writing enhances more the capability of judgement than argument, hence readers will find it exactly intelligent through reading most of the pages.
This will be worth of saying on record that, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are the most inspiring faces of India-South Africa diplomatic projects…in opposite, if author consider Hansi Cronje as the third icon of commonness between the India and South Africa on the basis of corrupt entrepreneurial drive, then off-record, he too deserves to be called second counter icon. His occupational fluctuations and extraordinary capacity to derive the facts based on fiction is also not very much untoward of the qualities, on which he deserves this new claim!
Atul Kumar Thakur
June 26th, 2012, Tuesday, New Delhi