“Prisoners of hate” is a story on how the claws of hatred brought out in the name of religion tears apart the innocence and life of three lead characters – Farhan, Madhav and Sanjay.
Farhan’s father choose to stay back in Mumbai during partition while Sanjay’s grandparents leave behind their life in Karachi and migrate to Mumbai. Madhav’s father is a staunch Gandhian and a freedom fighter. Their life like any ordinary kids have their own travails but a certain incident in each one’s life turns to be decisive. From the pre-partition days to the modern Mumbai the story traces the small tremors in the social fabric that violently erupts into the 1993 Mumbai riots and the Gujarat riots later and how the families of the three protagonist are pulled into it by a quirk of fate. Three generations, different mindsets and the events in their life and time has been briefly narrated and prepares you to understand the simmering hate that is mindlessly been unleashed. Farhan and Madhav have their own sorry yet cruel justifications for their action and Sanjay fails to understand the burden of hatred people carry but could not escape from it. Farhan, Madhav and Sanjay meet on one eventful day in Shivaji Park, Mumbai only to meet again at the same place fifteen years later to settle scores for one final time. Within that 15 years their life changes it’s course with Farhan and Madhav leading a double life in society.
The story is dark and hits you hard. We all read about terrorism , see the horrific outburst of terrorism in TV sitting within our own comfort zone. As a society we talk about it in close circles but chose to remain silent collectively. The brilliance of this story is that it takes you into the mindset of those who gets affected by hatred and blinded by it and shakes you.
C V Murali has chosen a subject that is very relevant to the current time. In between the story line, he echoes his concerns, questions and anguish in the form of Sutradhar or Vidhushak rolled into one. (that is how he chose to describe his voice that echoes in between the events)
An intense dark subject well written in a fluent easy language.The subject hits you hard, shakes your conscience, pains you as well as stirs you to make an collective voice against the baggage of hatred we all knowingly or unknowingly carry.