Sunday, May 10, 2015

Book Review: THE SLIENT SCREAM by Siddhartha Garg


Book Review: The Silent Scream


Book Details. . .

·         Title: The Silent Scream
·         Author: Siddhartha Garg
·         Genre: Non Fiction / Social Cause
·         Publisher: Rumour Books (2015)
·         Pages: 158 Pages
·         Rating: 3.5/5

Behind The Book. . .

Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably the filthiest. Of late, we have heard of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse is child sex abuse. The Silent Scream takes up this issue which people normally turn a blind eye towards. Through the subtlety quoted instances mentioned in this narrative non-fiction we are exposed to the disturbing lives of child predators and their innocent, young unassuming victims. The Silent Scream is a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil with the aim of sensitising the general public on the ways in which sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also being made to counsel the victims and carry forward the war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved.
 
Book Synopsis. . .

Have you ever noticed the tiny seeds of our beloved fruits which we sow into the soil today, nurture them with manure, water and sunlight, protect them from all the threats for years to come after which they blossom into a fruit bearing tree providing shelter and fruits to the people. Our children and offspring follow the similar suit. They are the treasure seeds from which the hope of a better tomorrow crops and eventually blossom into a bright future which provides shade to the coming generations. However, for this happen what assumes importance is nurturing their childhood so that they can expand their wings and take a flight to the world of possibilities.

The Silent Scream deals with one of the filthiest problem the world is facing today, which is not only decaying its present but also casting a dark shadow on its future - Child abuse. The growing instances of the child abuse (including the sex abuse) have brought us at that juncture where there is a need to act upon against this heinous crime lest this would permeate into and destroy the entire root of the next generation. In an instant, it serves a psychological shock to the tender heart of the child which continues to jolt their existence every now and then & they are left in the lurch for the rest of the life. The gloom and turmoil neither let them live nor die and they are left as a derelict soul searching for solace.

The Silent Scream is not a fictional piece but a real account of the stories which acquaint the reader to various cases of child abuse which are actually taking place in our society. The book starts with the central story ‘Harshita’ which narrates an account of abuse which a six year old daughter of the couple Abha & Aalok Sharma is subjected to. Harshita, the little daughter of Sharmas’, is a charming and bubbly angel who bewitches everyone who comes in contact with her. Her pranks, innocence and sparkling aura fill the life of the people around with mirth and cherished moments. The Sharma’s family life seems perfectly poised when suddenly Harshita disappears leaving the family shattered and scared. Every attempt to trace her back appears futile when even despite the police intervention, the girl is not found. And later when, out of the blue, Harshita’s whereabouts are known to the family, the reality bites them so hard that it becomes next to impossible for the family to stay afloat. The ever chirping & ever active girl Harshita is reduced to a blank body devoid of any soul who would just stare at the things leave aside the reaction. She couldn’t talk, walk or move her body parts at all without assistance. She was sexually abused which had completely shattered her life and as the truth unfolds, it leaves the family and the reader astonished.

Further, to Harshita’s story, the book contains small shuddering narrations of ten other children who were subjected to traumatic child abuse in one form or the other. The sweet, tender and innocent memories of the childhood of the children impacted with this trauma are marred that they are not able to recover from this painful experience – some give up their lives and other give up the hope.

The author then boldly takes the discussion further to explain the reader many critical matters associated with the child abuse. The discussion that follows covers wide range of topics in relation to child abuse with the intent to educate the reader and also to create enough awareness amongst the people by providing crucial points that should be taken care of by all concerned to avoid falling into such terrible situations.

What is child abuse, who are these perpetrators, why they resort to commit such a heinous crime of child abuse, how children should be taught to tackle un-normal advances and how does assuming silent in these matters aggravates the situation?

Grab a copy of the book to unearth the answers to above and also to garner awareness about the sensitive but ever increasing issue of child abuse which is slowly and slowly eating away the souls of our tomorrow.

My Thoughts. . .

When I received the mail from the author to review the book, I didn’t have great of the interest in the book and I won’t be wrong if I confess that had it not been for the review copy of the book, I might just not have gone for it ever. And that, I guess, would be a personal loss for me to have deprived of the masterpiece intended for purely a philanthropic motive than for a commercial success per se. I appreciate and laud Siddhartha Garg’s attempt for standing for and taking up such a sensitive issue which is slowly turning to be an alarming matter demanding a quick action. And more importantly, his simple gesture of making me a part of his initiative, his voice.

The Silent Scream is not an easy read; it is infact disturbing in each incident it narrates and in each life it touches. I recall when I had finished the first story of the book (which also happens to be the main story on which the whole book is premised upon), I actually emailed the author as to whether the facts and stories as narrated in the book is for real (I knew they are as the author has mentioned the same in the preface of the book still I emailed him as it sounded too gruesome to be true). In that sense, I say the book is a disturbing read. In our life, whenever we think about some of the celebrity or renowned person and their lives, we do take a sigh thinking that there is altogether a different life (above ours) which these people lead. But reading about the instances and narrations in the book again make me wonder about a different life (below ours) which exists accommodating all such deeds.

The book, if taken seriously, can serve as a ready reckoner to prepare the child and also the society to deal with the problem of child abuse. It is extensively researched and encompasses wide variety of topics including the nature of the crime, what causes them, how they could be taken up and how to accustom the child for any abnormal advances or gestures so that any perpetrator can be spotted instantly before anything like this happens. We can’t be sitting comfortably in our homes presuming that we have not been affected and waiting to react until catastrophe strikes us, directly or indirectly. If you also think on the same lines, then the book is surely to be read. It nowhere turns preachy or judgmental and stick to its intent through-out, dealing with the subject with the just mix of neutrality and emotions (no sane person can actually talk about this topic without involving his emotions).

When someone attempts to write a non-fiction, it becomes imperative for it to be adequately researched one; and when the topic in question is social evil like child abuse, the author actually walks on a double edged sword. He has to carefully tackle the subject, voicing his concerns and opinion in a fashion that doesn’t sound too judgmental and presenting his facts and arguments substantiated by expert opinion and laid down rules / procedures in this regard, lest his becomes a target from the critics and expert. The book scores well in that aspect too, as the reader gets over the first half of the book which talks about Harshita’s and ten other real account of child abuse, he is acquainted with the complete extensive analysis of what, when and how of the subject. He starts his discussion on the subject with his thoughts about the rape and its types, then taking it forward with the discussion about the culprits and their state of mind leading them to commit such a heinous act and finally talking about the repercussion of the same. One of the most important thing he expressly talks about in the book is the detrimental impact of remaining silent in such matters and stemming from that the important of sex education to children. Its indeed high time we shed some of taboos and open up for some constructive changes to uproot some of the evils eating away the society from within.

At the end of the book, the author has further gone a step ahead by listing out the details of hotlines and NGOs fighting for this cause in India. It’s truly a commendable effort both for the way it has been taken and also for the intent it has been taken. As the author himself quotes Albert Einstein at the end of the book, “The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

This book is not for you if you are looking forward to a racy fiction for the sake of entertainment. It doesn’t entertain but jolts your inner self hard compelling you to think and act upon the social evil.

The cover page of the book is appealing with a shadow of the child raising his hand as if explaining the need of the hour to do something to save them. The title of the book is perfect as it conveys the intensity with which the silence of those impacted souls speaks after being subjected to such a traumatic experience. The printing, font and word spacing are decent enough to grant reader a comfortable read.

The Final Word. . .

There are some books which you don’t feel compelled to read initially but when you are done with it, you feel great and privileged to have done so. The Silent Scream surely falls into that space which surely deserves a read for the honest attempt by the author to fight away the social evil of child sexual abuse.

A recommended read for all as an endeavor towards the social responsibility to get acquainted with the problem and its triggers, for its only together we can fight and uproot this evil & the ignorance is not always the bliss!!

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote. . .

“Andhera hi jeevan hai ab mera...
ujalon se mujhe ab dar lagta hai....
Pathareele aise raaston mein
mujhe phulon se dar lagta hai....
Nafrat ki hai duniya ab isme...
mohabbat se dar lagta hai...!
Jo hua woh shayad naseeb tha mera....
apni hi haathon ki lakeeron se dar lagta hai....
agar insaan ise kehte hain...
to mujhe shaitan se zyada insaan se dar lagta hai...!
Hai dushman nahi wo log mere...
mujhe to is samaaj se dar lagta hai...
agar insaaf ye hai... rashtravaad ye hai....
to mujhe jurm se zada insaaf se dar lagta hai...!
Agar haqeeqat itni khaufnak hoti hai...
to ab muje sapne dekhne se dar lagta hai....
Gairon se main kya gila karun...
ab to mujhe apno se hi dar lagta hai!
Jurm shayad itna hai bas mera ki main jeena chahti hun
Par ab toh mar mar k is jeene se bhi dar lagta hai...
Haan main ek aurat hun... paap hai ye mera...
puchungi us khuda se jakar... kya use bhi kabhi dar lagta hai...
Maa mujhe bahut dar lagta hai....!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This darkness is now my life
For am scared of the sun.
So rough and rocky is my road
That am scared of the flowers.
Hate fills my world now
For am scared of love.
What happened was perhaps my destiny
Now am scared of my own fate.
If these are real humans
Then not devils, but am scared of men.
Why only my violators, am scared of this society.
If this is justice, this is law
Then am scared of the just, scared of the law.
If reality is so terrifying
Then am scared to even dream.
What do I rue about others?
When am scared of my own!
I wanted to live, perhaps that was too much to ask
But if this is life, am scared to even breathe.
Yes I am a woman, and that’s my only fault
Will surely ask God if He is scared too!
Yes, Mother....I am very scared!

About the Author. . .

Siddhartha Garg is a techie by profession, a woman and child rights activist by passion and an active blogger. After having published his first book, In Love With Your Friendship, a story of love and friendship and its complications, he now intends to focus on issue-based writing to sensitise the nation on the various problems that plague our society. He believes his writing would be a very potent weapon in his fight against social ills. In this book, he talks about child sexual abuse, one of the filthiest crimes that persist within our society.

He can be reached at sidg1639@gmail.com

Where to grab a copy. . .

Please click here to buy the book from Flipkart

Please click here to buy the book from Amazon

~ Shubh Life . . . OM Sai Ram 

© 2015 Manish Purohit (Reserved)

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