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“Revenge Of The Naked Princess – A Dark Tale on Forced Conversions”

Author :- Oswald Pereira

Published By :- Jufic Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd;)

Pages :- 222

Price :- Rs. 125/-

 

Oswald Pereira‚Äôs debut novel “The Newsroom Mafia” created quite a ripple in the Indian literary world last year. It was both well-accepted and much talked about as it exposed an unholy nexus between journalists, politicians, police and the underworld. It was indeed a real page turner that had countless thrilling moments.

His second novel “Revenge Of The Naked Princess – A Dark Tale on Forced Conversions” lives up to readers’ expectations. As the title itself suggests, this is a story of forced conversions to Christianity by the ruthless Portuguese army led by Brigadier Braganca and aided by Father Francisco in their endeavour to bring as many Pagan souls as possible under the fold of Christianity.

The novel is set in sixteenth century India. The battleground is Tana. This is a poignant tale of how Christianity arrived in India and what kind of inhuman and cruel methods were employed by the army and the Church heads to force the innocent natives into accepting Christianity.

Bloodshed was an accepted norm as the goal was to spread the message of Christ. Innocent lives were sacrificed at the altar of religion, and; the Church looked the other way even as the army indulged in atrocities in its zeal to create new Christians.

Princess Darshana Kamya Kathodi’s palace is attacked in the opening chapter of this novel that reads like a suspense thriller from the word go. From here on, the narrative surges ahead at breathtaking pace.

Govind Laxman Prabhu aka Joseph Lawrence Pereira is a newly converted Christian. It is he who guides the Portuguese army to the palace of the princess in exchange for a few hundred acres of fertile land. After embracing his new faith, he has promised his new masters to extend full support to create more Christians using his native knowledge of topography.

The princess Darshana proves to be a tough nut to crack. In a bone chilling accident, she dies at the hands of soldiers and Brigadier Braganca’s army wins the battle easily. In and around Tana and Yehoor Hills, and the natives succumb to Christianity. The numbers of Christians keep increasing until Princess Darshana returns to avenge her death and all wrongdoings a decade later.

This book, undoubtedly, turns out to be a masterly written thriller. Oswald Pereira keeps introducing twists and turns into the narrative at the turn of almost every page to keep the reader hooked. He is successful in doing so as the reader is forced to finish the novel in one or two sittings. The character of Princess Darshana keeps coming back to haunt the reader’s mind. Magic Realism is at its best here.

The author has pulled off the story of revenge and conversions beautifully well. He had heard this story as a six years old child from his grandmother. He deserves all the credit for having successfully turned this story into a full-length novel of 220 pages.

The readers with interest in miracles and supernatural elements will surely find this book unputdownable. After going through the mesmerising “Revenge of the Naked Princess – A Dark Tale on Forced Conversions”, one is tempted to say that Oswald Pereira is the sub-continent’s Stephen King in a brand new avatar.

Grab your copy and go for it. It’s worth it.

 

Whatever happened at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan last Saturday was shameful and shocking beyond words. If Raza Academy was indeed holding a peaceful protest against the recent killings in the Assam riots, why did things turn as ugly as that? Why did protesters turn rioters leaving two dead and fifty plus injured in their wake? What was the provocation for the mindless bloodbath and damage to the public properties worth crores? Nothing can justify this hooliganism that has brought untold shame and fear of retribution upon the minority.

The images of an OB van going up in flames along with skull caps wearing peaceful-protesters-turned-rioters indulging in vandalism went viral like the wildfire. As soon as the faces behind the smoke of smouldering OB van became clear, the pouring of scorn over peaceful Islam and its violent practitioners began in no uncertain terms. In the blink of an eye, the call “Hindus-should-unite-against-the-cap-wearing-Mullahs” began to reverberate leaving no one in doubt which way the wind was blowing. Even the call for banning Raza Academy that had organised this botched-up protest grew shriller although it had distanced itself from the violence.

All said and done. But how on earth did this supposedly peaceful protest turn violent? Was all this mayhem preplanned? Why did the media bear its brunt? What were the protesters trying to prove by targeting the media? What were they actually demanding? The riots (originally dubbed as the clashes between two ethnic communities) had taken place in Assam, why was Mumbai chosen as a venue for the protest? Most disturbingly under the guise of “peaceful protest”, what covert message was being sent out and to whom?

It is an open secret that of late resentment against the media is growing by leaps and bounds. The allegations of media being biased and paid keep cropping up time and again. In spite of this nobody can deny the powerful role the media plays in making or breaking any perception or image. Then why this assault on media? What is going to get accomplished by alienating the fourth estate?

Whenever riots take place irrespective of geography, the perennial question whether the riots were preplanned starts doing the round. Even in this case how did a strong mob of 50000 armed with weapons materialise from thin air taking the police by surprise and holding the commercial capital to ransom? Still the point is whether spontaneous or preplanned the violence is the violence and there is absolutely no justification for the lawlessness.

Following this gruesome rioting, the patriotic fervour reached its crescendo making the call to condemn both the violence and Raza Academy reach its highest pitch. Whenever such unfortunate incidents happen, the moderates find themselves between the Devil and the Deep Sea. They have nowhere to hide.

The violence may be over. But it has left some uncomfortable feelings in its wake. The situation has become extremely volatile. In fact there is a lot to fear. The rioters have played right into the hands of certain vested interest. If one takes a closer look, there appears to be a deep-rooted conspiracy at play. This conspiracy is aimed at a]. Instilling the fear of minority as a violent force that needs tough handling and b]. Running a successful campaign of installing Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.

Look at what happened in Gujarat in 2002. The Muslims burnt the coach of Sabarmati Express carrying the kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya. The Modi regime taught the rioting minority a proper lesson only to take his state to dizzying heights. Similar treatment is needed for the all India Muslims and the only politicians who can do that is none other than the Virat Hindu Hriday Samrat Narendra Modi. This argument is likely to find many takers in the days leading to the General Elections of 2014. Therefore one shouldn’t be surprised if the clamour for Mr. Modi as PM grows louder.

The rabble-rousers knew for a fact that if the rioting happenned in Mumbai, the whole country would sit up and take notice. And perhaps this is precisely why such a symbolic venue for the protest was chosen. The repercussions are going to be severe in the days to come. All the political parties are gearing up for the General Elections. Soon the names of probable candidates as PM will be out. In a communally surcharged atmosphere, the PM candidates with right wing leanings will have it easy.

To make the matters worse, the prevalent mood is anti-Muslim with the stories of horror committed by Muslims in neighbouring countries getting reported almost everyday much to the embarrassment of the moderates. On top of everything this ruthless violence is bound to alienate the media leaving the space for political discourse further shrunk in the public domain. This, in turn, will give rise to all sorts of anti-minority propaganda.

The time has come to make a clear break from the fanatics. The solution to stay clear of the humiliation and persecution is to shun the rabble-rousers completely. For they are not the friends but the biggest enemies. The choice has to be made fast since the clock is ticking away and the ground is shifting rapidly.


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