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Author: Supriya Kelkar
Publisher: Tu Books
Set in 1942 in the fictitious town of Navrangpur, Ahimsa is a wonderfully written chapter book by Supriya Kelkar. It tells the story of a 10-year-old girl and her role in the Indian Independence movement. The book is set against the backdrop of the Indian Independence movement and it is impossible to put it down!
"The author's background as a screenwriter really comes across in the pace and structure of this novel, which powers its way through many events, incidents and conflicts. It is hard to put the book down when one exciting event follows another. The author visualizes scenes so beautifully and we can actually see them in our mind's eye. We can see Anjali caught in a riot and running to the safety of a Captain Brent, who protects her. We can see the new school that is put together for Paro, Mohan, and other Dalit children. The streets, the marketplace, the prison cells, the headquarters of the freedom movement in the town -- everything comes alive vividly and hooks you from start to finish. Refreshingly honest What I love about the book is that it is unflinchingly honest and is not precious about the Independence movement but courageously confronts a clash of ideals in the minds of its characters. For example, Gandhi burned foreign-spun clothes but he deeply regretted it later, and so do some of the novel's characters. Every page is a delight and a wonder to read. Every emotion is genuine. There is not a single false note in the book. A new identity and a new India is being forged, and in the background, religious and caste battles are being fought. Simply dazzling!"
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