In Times Of Siege
What makes a fanatic? A fundamentalist? What makes communities that have lived together for years suddenly discover a hatred for each other?
New Delhi, in the year 2000. Staff meetings, lesson modules, a half-hearted little affair with a colleague-this is the bland but comfortable life of Shiv Murthy, a history teacher in an open university. But disruption and change are on their way-an outspoken young woman with a broken knee comes into his life and turns it upside-down; then Hindu zealots attack his writings on Basava, the reformer-poet. When fundamentalism lands on his own doorstep, Shiv discovers that the ideas he has inherited-about history, nations and patriots-are liable to shrink day by day. The time of siege is not exclusively Indian-prejudice speaks different languages but has the same destructive message: 'Only trust those of your kind.' With love, lust and a perverted nationalism at his heels, Shiv is forced to confront the demands of his times and choose a direction for the future. But first, he must come to terms with his own incomplete past, his fears, and his obsession with a woman who will give him the strength he seeks.