Friday, May 24, 2013

On the Brink of Death!


(My Novel “On the Brink of Death”, set on the backdrop of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination was published at the hands of late Balasaheb Thackeray in 2002 at Mumbai. Following is the speech that I had delivered at that memorable moment.)

Hon’ble Hindu Hriday samrat, Thackeray Saheb, my dear brother Vinod Sonawani, and friends,

This is a proud moment for me to have released my first English Novel at the hands of a personality that always have fought all his life against injustice, for the national interests and have been an inspiring force for numerous youth of this country. I have not enough words to express my gratitude towards Mr. Thackeray.

I have been writing for last 20 years in Marathi, have handled variety of genres, Marathi soil gave me lot of love for my literary endeavors, the critics always have encouraged my probe in to the various aspects that concern not only the life but fundamentals of life. Very recently I began writing in English to address larger masses, to share my views and perspectives with them. The present novel is outcome of this effort.

Why I chose this subject to write my first novel in English has certain background. I am not a politically motivated person. The assassination of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi shocked entire nation when the news was broke. The way assassins chose to kill a person was brutal, inhuman and obnoxious. Using the human souls to kill the human souls was something unheard of in our country. It was an example to what extremity ethnic and political hatred could reach. It was a cowardly attack demanding vengeance, from the country and for the country. But we always have been too a tolerant. Tolerance becomes questionable at some times and this was a perfect case when the human life is abused in the form of political assassinations. Ten years ago I was too a young man but it provoked me when I was frantically going through the various news reports and stories. Special Investigation Team was desperate to unearth the culprits. Many people committed suicides before the SIT would get hold of them or when they were in custody. This was a macabre scene to come across. As if human life had lost its importance, its value. Good or bad, every person has right to live, no one is above this law that rules the entire universe. The young chaps could end up with their lives with a cyanide pill. Fanaticism saw its vicious dance before and aftermath of the gruesome assassination. As if it was only Rajiv Gandhi who was against their movement…a movement that had the history of brutal bloodbath. 

Assassinations of leaders always do tend to change the course of the time, established national policies and they are in order to give a way to the newcomers that can sympathize with the assassins or the people those have supported the assassins, this or that way. It appeared that LTTE had to avenge Rajiv Gandhi for his attempt to send peacekeeping forces in Sri Lanka. His attempts to end up ethnic violence in neighboring country were taken as a threat to the people of Indian origin and their covert supporters, not only from Sri Lanka but from Indian soil as well. Indian Peace Keeping forces were defeated on the soils of Sri Lanka, a mighty force…from the bunch of fanatics. It was unbelievable. Actually it was not a fight at all, as if everything was pre-planned, some one else was meddling in this issue.

True and I agree that Tamil’s in Sri Lanka have been oppressed beyond limits. True from the independence they have been treated like lapers. True that the ethnicity from the Sinhali’s was seeded to have a monstrous future. True that many a organizations chose to the violent path to secure lost rights of the Tamil. Rise of LTTE or Prabhakaran was phenomenal, it was not only based on the hatred for Sinhali’s but on the dead bodies of his own opponent tamil militant organizations. He organized support from Indian base as well. He opened numerous training camps on Indian soil. Tamilnadu Government this or that way always have sympathized with this man. Till this date the fact continues because the dream of Mahanadu was sowed in the some crook fractions on the basis of ethnicity.  Dravid v/s Aryan’s controversy flared up during the rise of LTTE.

The question is whether LTTE has really to do something with Dravid ego? Or is it only a polito-militant organisation that can use every tool, a tool of emotions, sentiment to feed its unsatiable hunger of power? A power that can rule the lives of the innocents, turn them in to the death machines, in the beasts no matter how many are going to die.

LTTE has nothing to do with Tamil problem. LTTE is an ordinary militant organization breathing over the fuel of Tamil sentiment. The leaders so easily fool common people. The promises of tomorrow they give many a times are false.
But people chose to live on hopes…that is the human fallacy that has been exploited by their own fellow men.

Assassination of Mr. Gandhi, at least for me didn’t look the way it was being put forth. Was it avenge of enraged militant group or whether it possessed other dimensions that are noticed but neglected only because there was nothing they could do about it? Repercussions of assassination of national leader to know not would be immaturity that I hated to trust. Prabhakaran is or never was a fool. He couldn’t afford to be a fool, India could have avenged the assassination. But still he dared.

These all aspects intrigued me. I was set on my own mission.  Was in south and in Sri lanka for over six months meeting people, ex or imprisoned militants at Vellakkam Jail. The facts that appear in morning papers not always are the facts that I began to believe. Truth sometimes shocks you. I slowly formed the opinion that CIA used LTTE as a pawn in brutal assassination of Mr. Gandhi.

I have no proofs that could be presented before any court of law. It might have happened with the Special Investigation Team as well. But the results of Indian polity that have changed its course drastically from the day of Mr. Gandhi’s assassination stand as a support to this allegation. The Indo-American romance, India’s signing treaties to take India to globalization and beginning to re-consider its stand over nuclear strategies, Is a proof if at all we call it a proof are all aftermath of Mr. Gandhi’s assassination. Killing Mr. Gandhi LTTE earned nothing visible, but US gained lot many a things as a result. What I would like to say is many times the things appear, as a truth is not the truth. This novel is my attempt to put forth the truth the way I feel.

I am an author, not a secret agent that is empowered by authorities to find something that could make them to look in to the angle the way I see or find. I used my liberty to write a novel, a novel where the author creates characters that undergo the evils of destiny. They fall in particular frame of time that designs their destiny. The hopes, aspirations and to be someone in the society they live in with their good and bad intents always is a challenge to an author. Imagination, reality and would be realities is always a challenging raw material before an author that makes him write. 

                                                   (Cover of second edition of the novel...)
I would reiterate the fact that India is a so-called sovereign country. We are so easily sold. We buy everything that is foreign. We humble so easily before the International pressures. Our national pride is nothing but a farce, many a times. The common scams, frauds, blatant trampling of values is what the modern India is. It is a shame one must realize. The common man not only now becoming victim of these rascality’s but the worrying fact is he too now wants to be a part of these scamming class.

The present novel is not mere a thriller on the backdrop of an assassination of Indian leader, this actually is saga of the torments innocents when they has to go through a political turmoil and risk of life.

I would quote a great man this earth ever had produced, Maharshi Vyasa who said,
“Urdhw bahu virommesh…na kaschit shrunoti mam…” he said, with both my hands spread in unbearable agonies, I urge upon you why not listen to me…why not tread the path of righteousness that takes you to the realms of truth, earnings, desires and liberation in its all togetherness. I know everybody has forgotten the eternal truth. I know our soul is on sale to the demons.

This is what I had to say through this novel and I hope I could do it at the best of me.


PS: I was happy the day Prabhakaran was killed! 

 In brief about the Novel...

 Rajeev Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, is brutally assassinated by a LTTE human bomb. 

The culprits are on the run, trying to escape the cluthces of SIT whose noose is tightening with ever passing day, and the main suspect, Sivrasan, is about to be caught. 

Krishan is on his way to Jaffna when he gets the blow of his life. The LTTE has declared him a traitor. 

And then...unfolds a chilling saga of human persistence, macabre political games and heinous internatioinal conspiracies.

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