Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Redeemers by Suresh Taneja

Title : The Redeemers
Author : Suresh Taneja
Genre : Fiction
Publisher :
Leadstart / Frog Books
Pages : 229
My Rating : 6.5/10
Reviewed For : Author /
First Reads Challenge 2013 / South Asian Challenge 2013 / IQRC 2013


One bizarre vacation marked a turning point in the lives of four teenage friends. It dawned upon them that corruption and malpractices had become rampant and deeply ingrained in our culture. They felt anguished and shocked at the shameful state of affairs.

They pledged to redeem and change the destiny of the country. They had only two weeks of vacation left to take some big initiatives. The pressure on them was immense. Status quo or failure was not an option for them.

Read the inspirational story of a unique movement masterminded by youngsters through innovative ideas and creative thinking. Not a single family could escape from its unrelenting onslaught. It was a rewarding outcome for their persistence and hard work, as they nostalgically recall in 2030.

My Review:

The Redeemers by Suresh Taneja is a thought-provoking novel that focuses on a lot of issues that India faces today. In the times that we are living in, it can safely said that the state of affairs in our country has taken a turn for the worse. People responsible for country’s development are exploiting it instead. As a result, our country’s economy is taking  a regressive path rather than a progressive one. Amongst this scenario, reading a novel like The Redeemers is almost like that hypothetical fantasy that you want to happen but know that it is too good to be true. The author strongly believes in the fact that the youth of our country can play a crucial role towards shaping its future & the plot for this read is based exactly on this theme.

The book kick-starts in the future, i.e. in the year 2030, where the situation is totally and astonishingly so, diametrically opposite to what it is today. USA and India have literally exchanged places, India being a super-power & the value of 1INR being equivalent to 100 USD. We are introduced to a group of close-knit friends – G4 - Vikram, Yuvika, Manisha and Akshay. Vikram is the Indian Ambassador to America & the other 3 have gone to visit him in the US along with their families as a part of their annual vacation which is a tradition that is carried down in their families. As family & friends gather, the elders (G4) end up telling the younger generation a story that happened in one such vacation – a story about the great Indian revolution & its aftermath that changed India’s position in the history of world map. The plot then moves back to 2009 where the G4 are in their teens and have gathered with their parents for the annual vacation. On this vacation they face a bizarre situation – a situation that forces them to come out of their privileged cocoons and changes their lives altogether. They finally decide to confront the ugly side of reality & pledge to redeem the country. They launch a unique mass-movement and unrelentingly strive towards changing the destiny of our country.

As I said earlier, the author emphasizes the fact that the youth need to play a pivotal role in moulding the future of our country. Needless to say, the target audience for this read is mainly the youngsters. Through this read, the author attempts to inspire us into action so that each one of us, in our own small way, purge our corrupt system through prompt thinking and innovative ways. Also, the author highlights a very valid point - that the change which we desire might not happen overnight, nevertheless we need to persistently keep striving towards achieving it. However, the most salient feature of this read is that it will strike a chord with every Indian reading this book. Suresh has written in a way that arouses the otherwise dormant patriotism in us albeit it just falls short of bringing out the rebellion. The language is simple & the narration keeps the readers interested. The character development of all the members of G4 was particularly well done, with each of them having their own distinguishing trait & yet they all fit in together in the same group seamlessly. Coming to the downside, the plot as well as the editing could have been more taut. Also, in many instances, the author has presented the discussions & conversations with respect to the groups (G3, G4, G6..) rather than between individuals. At such places, the read seemed a bit strange and impersonal.

All in all, The Redeemers presents a hopeful story that forces us to think if we are doing more for our country rather than just sitting down with our friends/families & having conversations about the downfall & doom of our nation.

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