In The Last Day of Ramadan by Gandharva raja, a new novel by Gandharva raja, university student Gora and his friends in Delhi, India, are bystanders as Kabir Jain, a professor of comparative religion, carries out his mission to end religious violence and close the religious divide.
I found the book fascinating as the plot revolves around the idea of the need for religious beliefs to change with the times. Woman university students argue for the full equality of
women.. Others are virulent in calling for an end to Jihad.
“Simply brilliant,” says Dr. Donald B. Gibson, English Department, Rutgers Univ. “What Gandharva raja has written is an outline of the history, the social psychology, and the anthropology of religion.”
As a young boy, Kabir Humayan Jain lost his Muslim parents in a religious riot. He is adopted by his father’s Hindu friend and colleague, but his adoptive father falls victim to another riot and dies in a burning train. Jain vows to bestow meaning to his dead parents’ lives.
During a trip to the Himalayas, Jain suffers a concussion and as he recovers believes that the Prophet Muhammad is speaking to him, saying Jihad is outdated and irrelevant in modern times. Jain encourages his students to consider and question religious beliefs.
With a tycoon's assistance, Jain hires a helicopter to reveal the Prophet's message to a large crowd in Delhi. Will he succeed in his mission to end jihad? Can religious beliefs be changed? Will he survive or become another martyr?
Author Rea Keach says, “Telling the story through the eyes of Gora, grounds its philosophy in the reality of present times. The novel is written in a simple, elegant style. There can be no doubt that its message is important.”
Gandharva raja, aka Dr. Tapendu K. Basu, a nephrologist, is a member of the American Academy of Poets and the Maryland Writers’ Association. He is also editor of the MWA literary journal, Pen in Hand. His novel The Nisha Trilogy was produced as a Bengali movie, Tadanto (investigation), in Tollywood. His novel I, Kanishka will be published soon.
The Last Day of Ramadan is available as print and e-book. ISBN is 978-0-9991565-3-7. Price for the print book is $17.95.