Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Author Interview : Rajiv Singh, author of ‘The Unsolicited Billionaire' (Part 1)
Read up, Interview with Rajiv Singh. In this part of his Interview, he describes his journey of writing the book, which character he feels most close to, what role the love angle has in the book, what he thought was the most challenging part of the book and how India's economic and the socio-political background influenced his writing, Folks...
How did ‘The Unsolicited Billionaire’ happen? Could you describe the journey?
In fact the journey of ‘The Unsolicited Billionaire’ is many decades long. I felt and urge to write, from my perspective, about the factual mindset towards Dalits, their plight, addressing the issue through reservation and other policies; relevance of caste based reservation, benefit of the reservation to the target class, its use as a political and an appeasement tool.
Slowly, Dalit has become a product, a privileged class; just to exploit them by the political classes. It is one of the reasons for the rise of Dalit politics in North India.
The drama after the unfortunate incident of suicide, recently, committed by a Dalit research scholar in Hyderabad is a fitting example; how the political classes are using the incident as a product to take political mileage. Had he been a student belonging to a general caste; would the hue and cry have made?
Whereas, the fact is there are just two classes; Good and Bad, and they may belong to any caste, creed or race. If the good has the purity, patience, perseverance and love for the fellow beings, he or she would succeed and win over the bad and that is the message of this book.
How did the main character, Godna come about? How much of you, was in there?
The character Godna stands for this: 'I am a human being first, a Dalit later.' The character has been shown, belonging to an extreme backward underprivileged Dalit labour community so anyone who cries for opportunities and feels victimised can relate to him.
Anyone who has a strong character and a strong dream, for which he’s ready to do whatever it takes, he will succeed irrespective of his caste and socio-economic status; like Godna.
I belong to the feudal Thakur class depicted in the story. Though the system and the customs are not followed anymore and therefore not much of me is there in Godna, but my aspirations match his achievements, somewhere.
How did the love angle come into the picture and why?
Love sees no bar; the love angle was quite natural to carry the story with its essence.
Ultimately, it’s the love which drives the protagonist to hit the peak.
What according to you is different about your book?
The narration with actual socio-economic background of the time sets the book apart.
Secondly, the books deals with a very sensitive issue while keeping the entertainment alive throughout the actual story.
What was the most challenging part about writing, ‘The Unsolicited Billionaire’?
Not to go overboard, while writing a caste-based drama and still be able to communicate the prevailing practices was a challenge.
Secondly, finding a climax to the love story was a real challenge, as I have never heard of a Dalit boy marrying an upper caste girl in north India, though the vice-versa happens.
And hold on for the Second part of this Interview, as well.