Saturday, December 28, 2013

#BookReview : The Edge of Power by Tuhin A. Sinha

On the jacket:

The heinous gang-rape of Nirbhaya has jolted the Indian nation out of its apathy. But rape and violence against women are only symptomatic of a deeper malaise that ails the nation: the total collapse of governance under the weak and vacillating PM, Devender Singh. Ironically, aiding the PM and his Indian Democratic Party (IDP)s cling to power is a casual and largely indifferent Opposition led by the venal Ravi Nehra. A ray of hope finally emerges when ex-journalist and RTI activist Daivik Verma and the gorgeous Catherine Khan, a leading Bollywood film-star with a mysterious lineage, decide to challenge the existing system by floating a new political party. But lack of funds and cadre support thwarts their efforts, their only recourse being Shruti Ranjan, who had sworn off politics three years ago. Will Nirbhayas gruesome rape and her subsequent death bring a disillusioned Shruti Ranjan back into the political fray, dominated by crime lords and bankrolled by industrial barons? Will the trio manage to stage a coup and dethrone Indias worst regime? Will the land of great leaders like Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka and Akbar, finally get a dynamic Prime Minister she so badly needs? A racy political thriller, The Edge of Power is a powerful inquiry into the underbelly of Indian politics. It raises important questions over the funding of Indian political parties, while presenting Shruti Ranjan, the immensely popular protagonist of The Edge of Desire, in a refreshingly new, resurgent avatar.


The Edge of Power comes after The Edge Of Desire, so the primary characters are all known faces/names. Ironic or what, I had begun reading this book, on December 16, the one year anniversary to the evil Delhi gang rape. The Edge of Power is also set around this incident.

Shruti Ranjan is probably the only fictional character in books I have read from the last two decades, whom I have come to love and adore. I had loved the kind of treatment Sinha had give to The Edge Of Desire, but loved it more in The Edge of Power. The inclusion of small snippets of lives of the main characters, while allowing the main story to take shape, to weaving in Subhash Chandra Bose to the plot, the way Sinha has spun the tale was lovely.

I had my apprehensions with this book. A book revolving around the Nirbhaya case, I wasn't sure. The incident had haunted me for months and I wasn't ready to revisit the depiction. But what I got in The Edge of Power was remarkable. The way contemporary India's political mindset & mood have been depicted, is interesting. 

It's powerful and it's engrossing. 

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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