The headlines of the January 23rd Times of India were unbelievable.
Gadkari decides to opt out, Rajnath set to be new BJP prez
Chautala, son get 10 years in jail.
They were in fact so unbelievable that Sanjay Mehta, a good friend posted on facebook
What a rare day in Indian history.. Seeing headlines of a CM and his son being sentenced to jail, and a corrupt head of a national party forced to give up his position. I checked outside.. The Sun has still risen in the East only. I had doubts..
Haven’t we given up on our politicians? Doesn’t it look like a hopeless situation. We see our leaders deeply buried in scams worth crores of rupees, but hardly anyone gets punished. We watch all this happening around us, feeling completely helpless. But what if someone decides to take charge of the situation. This is the theme of the book R.I.P. by Mukul Deva.
R.I.P. The Resurgent Indian Patriots. Self appointed guardians of a nation seething with anger at the endless scams and scandals rocking its very foundation. Vigilantes who vow to stop corrupt politicians and colluding civil servants. Even if it means killing them.
That synopses of the book on the back cover completely hooked me on. Even if I am a completely peace loving, law abiding citizen of our great nation, this idea appealed to me. Could this be the only way of getting our country on the right track? Intrigued by this thought, I started reading the book.
RIP a group of Special Forces Officers, trained for combat and commando operations, rally to protect the country from the enemy within.
The book begins with the RIP executing three corrupt political agents simultaneously in three different parts of the country. Having successfully carried out the killings, they send a note to the media taking the responsibility for the killings, and issuing a warning to the political establishment to mend their ways. And to prove that they mean business, they declare that in next 3 days, they will execute 3 more people, a corrupt politician, a fraudulent judge and an unscrupulous arms dealer. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose.
Apart from the RIP team, there is a range of characters in the novel. There is the home minister and his coterie, the party high command with the prince, an aging Gandhian who is fighting to enact a strong Lokpal bill, the CBI chief, widow of an air force pilot who died in a fighter jet crash due to a faulty part, a lady television news anchor with a big fan following. Though the names are different, as you read, you know all the characters.
And the scenes and events are also familiar. Anti corruption rallies, kidnapping of an Air India flight, death of an air hostess while rescuing the passengers.
These scenes and characters are woven very cleverly to make the novel a compulsive page turner. The author, Mukul Deva, takes these pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and creates a great picture. His army background shows through. He also has an amazing eye for the detail. Many of his descriptions actually make the scenes quite alive and visual.
I finished the book in no time. In spite of a difficult proposition of using violence against corruption, the book ends on a very positive and believable note.
This is an adult book. There are a few explicit scenes and descriptions which may be useful for defining a character, but definitely are not important for the storyline, and could have been avoided.
All in all, if you love reading thrillers and are angry with the political situation in our country, I will recommend this book.