Books on serious and sensitive issues are not new in Indian English writing. There have been many authors who contributed their efforts in various directions of serious writing – fiction and non-fiction. However, one has to acknowledge that various authors have various styles of writing and they all differ from each-other in handling the themes and choice of their content. So, moderns may differ from the authors who wrote one or two decades ago. Among various issues, feminism has been a topic that attracts many authors. Be it a novel or a well-researched non-fictional title, books on feminism can be found in abundance and almost each of those published titles differs from each-other in choice of content and approach to the theme. Today I will discuss a recent title I have read – SHE: a message for those who belittle girls by Dr. Sarika Jain. A recently published non-fiction title that discusses various issues within the ambit of feminism – the condition of women, poor education, lack of respect towards their contributions, issues related to safety, career and their freedom… there are many topics that the author has tried to discuss in her debut work.
The peak of Sarika’s writing is her forceful narrative. Whatever opinion she puts forth, she does it in a forceful way. As a reader, one has to pay attention to what the author is saying. Moreover, she hasn’t shied away from sharing her frank and blunt arguments – it’s good because she is dealing with issues that need to be highlighted. However, at times, in the compulsion of her emotive writing, the author has written less reality and more emotional outburst. For example, she writes:
“In India, each and every person has the right to have an opinion and share it with others, except girls and women.”
No, Dr. Sarika Jain, even women and girls have the right to share their opinions and that’s why you are writing a book full of your valuable opinions and women like Arundhati Roy can freely support Naxals who kill innocent people and our army men. So, sweeping statements like the above are more emotive in nature. After the first line, however, the argument made on page 142 is impactful, no doubt about that.
Dr Jain has written on many issues and she has made many valuable points all along. On child marriage and women education, her points are worth-reading and worth-sharing with others. Being a poet, her style might be a little more creative for a non-fiction book, but her arguments are well-weighted and very sharply paralleled with examples of the direct inverse. She has given plenty of examples from the galaxy of women achievers and that certainly motivates the readers, especially the women readers.
To conclude the discussion and this book review, I would like to make some technical observations about the book. Sarika’s language has been simple but very effective in her debut work. She neither tries to pose as an over-the-counter activist nor as someone too naive to have written a book. Like her narrative, the language is balanced and very well supporting the content. The lengths of chapter vary and are ideal in most of the cases. It does not feel dragged or protracted. To sum up, SHE: a message for those who belittle girls is a book that will not let the readers feel bored of too much intellectual jargon. You should read it! You can get your copy from Amazon by following the link below:
review by Pravin for Book Reviews Lab
A book for the readers of non-fiction books… serious in nature but contemporary and effective in tone and that helps the book reach the younger audience.