Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review - Operation India One by Shiv Kumar

Title: Operation India One
Author: Shiv Kumar
Pages: 349
Price: 295.00 INR

Publisher: Om Books International


Shiv Kumar’s ‘Operation India One’ is a political fiction set in the hinterlands of Bhagatpur, Bihar. It is not your run-of-the-mill story. The first thing that popped in my mind about the book was the word ‘no-nonsense’ while checking out the cover. It was further confirmed when I read the ‘author’s note.’ Mr. Kumar has started off his novel with a very powerful quote by Bertolt Brecht, “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate.” I being one of these people felt the need to change my position. Reading the book, as such, is my first step.
The story starts off with dedicated police officer, ACP Gautam Dhaliwal, taking it upon himself to root out the MAF, a major Naxal organization based in a remote village as part of the central government backed Operation India One. As his investigations progresses, however, he unmasks the official facade of development that he had set out to defend, an ugly nexus of unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen feeding off the oppression of the underprivileged. Torn between his commitment to the Indian State and the sympathy he begins to feel for the distressed people of Bhagatpur, and the terrorists’ supposed fight for the people’s rights, an agonized ACP Dhaliwal is forced to rethink his earlier views on the meaning of an individual’s responsibility towards fellow countrymen. While he pursues the terrorists, Nisha Kuswaha is determined to help her fellow villagers while trying to solve the murder of her father. On the other extreme is Charulata who is fighting to free her leader and lover Geerish Marandi from the government’s clutches.

Shiv Kumar’s style is racy with the words flowing fluidly just like the blood that he spills in this Bollywood-style novel. Albeit this, the presence of too many characters and similar sounding party names makes it for a cumbersome read. I had to keep going back the pages to decipher who was who. But let that not deter you from enjoying the plot itself.

About the author

Shiv Kumar works as Commercial Tax Officer for the government of Bihar. He was an engineer with a public sector company for nine years. He has travelled extensively throughout India during the course of his work. He is passionate about reading and writing. He prefers to delve into subjects concerning socio-political realities of contemporary India. Among other interests, Shiv Kumar is fond of travel writing, thriller and crime fiction.

Book links

I'd like to thank author Shiv Kumar for letting me review his book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 

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