Author: Sanjay Kumar
Price: Rs 250
Publisher: Notion press
Several renaissance men and authors have provided perspectives of an ideal nation. Given that such books are comprehensive and non-fictional, they appeal to niche readers. 'Wings of Courage' by Sanjay Kumar is refreshingly different, as it tells the story of a young man’s quest for a more humane and a more compassionate country.
Saksham, a young idealist is distraught by the malaise of inequality, population explosion, lawlessness and corruption. During his stint with an NGO, Saksham gets to see the poverty in and around the slums of Delhi. After his escapades with the police and politicians, he decides to join the police force to bring about meaningful change. Professor Sudhakar Sen, a wise philosopher and his girl friend Sneha, help Saksham to develop wings of courage to fight against powerful politicians, corrupt policemen and ineffective judicial system. You feel Saksham’s sense of helplessness when he says, “It kills me inside when I see things so badly messed up, and yet, no one seems to care: like the problems will go away on their own if you take your eyes away from them.”
Several real life events of Nirbhaya rape case, hit and run case, and sting operations, which made the headlines are woven in the story. The conversation between Saksham and Almighty is insightful and thought-provoking. It here that you venture in the fearful alley’s of Saksham’s mind. The voice of Almighty guides Saksham to be resilient, by constantly prodding that giving up without trying is cowardice. Towards the end, the reader is reminded of the movie, Rang De Basanti as the book negotiates through a sting operation involving a powerful politician, Robin Badri.
The prose is simple and keeps pace with the story that tends to plod a bit, before it picks up towards the end. There is a touch of philosophy, a dash of idealism, a bit of excitement and some realistic camaraderie between Saksham and Sneha. Given the topic, there was a danger of being didactic, but the author has tried to let the story do the talking.
If social change intrigues you, and you wish to do something about the problems plaguing contemporary India, ‘Wings of Courage’ will pique your interest. The highlight for me is in knowing that debut author, Sanjay Kumar walks the talk. That Sanjay writes with a deep sense of involvement comes across and touches the reader. Sanjay Kumar is a graduate from IIT Kharagpur who is working towards the vision of an ideal nation through his writing and actions.
You can order the book here.