Hello there! I was not able to post in a long time as my exams were going on. But today, I am going to be reviewing a book that I read last year. The title of this book is Ahimsa and it is written by Supriya Kelkar. This story is set in pre-independent India in the fictional town of Navarangapur, Maharashtra. The story is narrated in third person narrative. The main protagonist of this novel is Anjali, a ten-year-old girl.

Anjali’s mother, Shailaja, had worked for Captain Brent, as a translator. She quit her job to join the Quit India Movement. When Anjali and Shailaja attend a meeting conducted by the freedom fighters, a freedom fighter named Kesav Parmar, fondly called as Kesavji by Anjali and her mother, reads out his speech about using only homespun clothes and helping the people in the basti, an area with low-income housing. On the last day of Diwali, Anjali and her mother go to the basti to meet Mohan and the other Dalits. Mohan worked in Anjali’s and others houses as a sewage cleaner. The day after Diwali, Shailaja, Anjali and Anjali’s best friend, Irrfan, headed to the basti. Kesavji and Shailaja had planned to teach the kids to write numbers in Hindi. Once, Shailaja and Anjali take an initiative to clean their own sewage and Shailaja ends up being sick. They get brave doing the same every day and none of them get sick.

Cover of the book

Weeks later, Anjali wanted the kids from the basti to join her school and study along with the other children. And surprisingly, her teacher agrees. But, the parents of the other students don’t agree as they feel the ‘untouchables’ may bring bad luck to their kids. After continuous arguments, the kids from the basti are accepted but on one condition- they should sit at the back of the classroom. Anjali and Irrfan find it unfair but still the kids attend the classes. Riots between Hindus and the Muslims unfold and Anjali is fearful whether Irfaan will leave India. During one of the riots, Shailaja and Kesavji get arrested and are imprisoned. The rest of the story answers the following questions- will Shailaja and Kesavji get released and will Irfaan leave Anjali and India?

This book was part of a book club that I had attended and I liked this book the most. I enjoy reading historical fiction books and this was a great read. The main themes of this book are friendship and partition.  I am in love with the cover of the book. It symbolises various aspects of the book. There is a girl, which is probably Anjali, and on top of her is a mosque, representing the riots. There is also a woman holding the Indian flag. This is a middle grade novel and I recommend this to anyone who is above 10 years of age. Out of 10, I would give this book 9.5. Click here to check this book out on amazon.

This is it for the review. Do share your thoughts in the comment section below 😀


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