Minister Naqvi dons writer’s hat with aim to promote harmony

The story revolves around the fortunes Ghazala and Shalini, both daughters of religious leaders belonging to different communities.
Updated on Jan 24, 2020 12:00 AM IST
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Hindustan times, New Delhi | By Amandeep Shukla

At a time when political discourse often takes divisive turns and emotive issues continue to take centrestage, a Cabinet minister of the Narendra Modi government has written a thriller he describes as fiction based on ‘reality’ aiming to promote harmony.

“Balwa”, which loosely translates to turmoil, is a soon to be launched fiction by Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who terms it a story based on the happenings that shook the country in the 90s.

“I have been working on it for quite sometime. Sometimes, there was paucity of time, so it took time to be written. It is about the happenings in the 90s, but the lessons continue to be relevant even today,” Naqvi told HT.

The 90s witnessed communal conflicts and Naqvi’s thriller is about the kind of people who would be behind those.

“Often they would seem like enemies on the outside but had hidden understanding. These conflicts could be fixed to the extent which area would be targeted or which community has to be misled and exploited. The nexus of religious, political and administrative machinery comes out in this book,” the senior BJP leader said.

The story underlines how easily even the society is misled by such elements and bears huge losses.

In such cases, often it is the young generation which becomes the ray of hope, according to Naqvi. “The young generation speaks against these issues but often gets isolated and is not heard,” he added.

The political, administrative system or even the police are often seen standing with such unscruplous elements, the minister-turned-writer said.

Naqvi said that he wants to give a message of social harmony through his writing. “The point is such forces are still active today,” he added.

The story revolves around the fortunes Ghazala and Shalini, both daughters of religious leaders belonging to different communities. Both these female protagonists revolt against the set-up and are supported by two other youngsters Puneet and Mushir who talk about bringing a change in the society.

Interestingly, there is a character named Joginder Singh in the novel, who is a former militant declared dead by the police, but is actually alive.

Asked about his book in the current context when religion continued to be a contentious issue, Naqvi said the book was a fiction based on events of the past that continued to be relevant.

“The positive change I can see is in the young generation. But still there are people who try to create divisions in the society to serve their personal or business interests. There could be those influenced by anti-national forces. The book also underlines how such elements are at work,” he said.

“This book is not about any party but about the society. I have been writing in the past since quite long. This novel is a powerful message conveyed in an interesting manner. It has all the elements of an interesting narrative,” Naqvi added.

Diamond Pocket Books is publishing the novel. Significantly, Naqvi has written a second Hindi novel ‘ Raj Lila’ based on the struggles of a tribal woman, which will also be launched soon.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021