Shoes of the Dead

Kota Neelima is an Indian political editor, journalist and author. Her previous works in the literary world include Tirupati, A Guide To Life, Death Of A MoneyLender and Riverstones. She completed her studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Shoes of the Dead by Kota Neelima from Rupa & Co.

The Vidarbha region and its countless farmers are all struggling under the weight of successive droughts, unjust politics and debts-ridden lives. Sudhakar Bhadra buckles and commits suicide due to multiple debts, but his wife doesn’t receive any compensation from the Mityala district committee. They fake the account of his death as they have done with countless others who have all been denied any redress. Gangiri, the brother of the deceased Sudhakar leaves his life in the city to fight the injustice of the system.

In his attempts to vilify the arrogant and unscrupulous officials and moneylenders at whose hands his brother lost his life, leads him to Keyur Kashinath. Keyur is the son of Vaishnav Kashinath, the general secretary of the Democratic Party and he plans to contend for elections from Mityala. Gangiri’s vendetta for justice is a complete deviation from the ideal picture he needs to paint to ensure his place among the body of the elected and therein lays the conflict. The chain of events that Gangiri sets off in an attempt to validate the suicides committed by the farmers is threatening the ambitious young politician who is predestined to inherit the legacy of his father.

The seedy world of politics aside, the soul of this enlightening read are the farmers of the Vidarbha region as the author brings to light several repugnant and horrifying realities faced by these people. As the fight between the world of politics and farmers grow in clamor and chaos, the question remains as to whether Gangiri is finally able to repair the system? Or is the system beyond repair and what does that truth entail for Gangiri? Shoes Of The Dead is an engrossing read and as a political thriller it exonerates the truth behind agriculture and the associated politics that cripple its very growth. The book was published by Rupa Publications in 2013.

In our Literary Criticism section, Rs. 495, in hardback, 288 pages, ISBN: 9788129123961