Roll of Honour:
Amandeep Singh Sandhu's New Novel on 1984
ROLL OF HONOUR, by Amandeep Sandhu. Rupa, Delhi, 2012. English, paperback, pp 252, $4.31. ISBN-13: 9788129120236; ISBN-10: 8129120232
It is a chance that I was born to a certain family, or into a community, or a society, or a nation. But when I parade the dictates I inherited at birth – colour, religion, place, language, family, and other markers of identity – my birth becomes a joke, drawn out through my life. I wonder who laughs at it. For when I live like that or am willing to die for them, I feel like a caricature of what I could be …
Amandeep Singh Sandhu's second book of fiction, Roll of Honour, is out from Rupa Publications.
It's a story of the split loyalties of a Sikh boy in a boarding school in Punjab during the Khalistan movement and is based on the events of the year 1984: Operation Bluestar, Mrs. Gandhi’s assassination, anti-Sikh pogroms …
1984. The assault on the Darbar Sahib has just ended and the Indian Army is arresting and killing innocent Sikhs. Appu is back at military school in Jassabad, Punjab, for his final year. He looks forward to three things: being class in-charge, passing out, and securing a place in the National Defence Academy.
Then ex-student Balraj, now a Khalistani separatist on the run, takes refuge on campus and the violence outside comes to school. Some of the seniors decide to help Balraj, the decision splits the school along sectarian lines, and students are forced to take sides. There is rampant bullying -- sodomy being the preferred tool of domination -- and long-time friends find themselves on opposing sides.
As the situation spirals out of control, Appu, who wants nothing more than to live his dreams, is forced to make the impossible choice between community and nation.
Gritty, honest and tautly paced, Roll of Honour is a frank examination of the consequences of misplaced honour, allegiance and integrity.
You can purchase a copy of the new novel by CLICKING here.
September 15, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Roop Dhillon (London, United Kingdom), September 17, 2012, 10:43 AM.
This novel should be made available in Punjabi.
2: Gurmeet Kaur (Atlanta, Georgia, USA), September 18, 2012, 10:32 AM.
Roop, I am reading a Punjabi novel along the same lines, called 'Bali' - in episodes (published in a Punjabi newspaper 'Sher-e-Punjab' out of the USA. I find it pretty intriguing and can't wait for the next episode(s). It is a fiction set in post-1984 Punjab and unveils the infiltration in the Khalistani movement. If you want to contact the author for a preview copy, here are the details. Harmahinder Singh Chahil 703-362-3239.