The budding author Shashi Bakshi has written a rousing novel – Raising Hell for Peace, his first published work. Raising Hell for Peace is a fictional political thriller with a riveting mythological undertones. Drawing a strong influence from the current political scene, it is an account that weaves together conspiracy theories on how powerful individuals collude to abet global destruction. But there is hope in the form of the destined mythological intervention.
It is a captivating story of a determined fight in the corridors of power. The protagonists are on their quests to counter conniving agendas that have global catastrophic implications. The intrigue is how the contrasting individuals are destined to come together in this fight which is mythically prophesied.
Currently, an activist and a management consultant, Shashi aspires to continue his writing ambition and is interested in writing an engaging sequel to the novel. In the writing realm, Shashi enjoys reading his namesake, Shashi Tharoor. He got his writing inspirations by reading Ashwin Sanghi. Ashwin’s Chanakya Chants and Krishna Key, in particular, which are his favorites. Like those two novels, Shashi loves entwining Indian historical characters or mythical prophecies with the present political scenario in his writing. With the prophecy of Vishnu’s tenth Avatar’s anticipated arrival in the current yuga, Shashi saw the perfect opportunity to intertwine the current political scenario with the spiritual realm and thus create a gripping fictional take on it.
For Shashi, Creativity is to critically examine situations, reading between the lines, and drawing smart inferences. He started to write as he was concerned about the political scenario worldwide — the rise of nationalism, megalomania, and majoritarianism. The method to deliver a message is as important as the message for him; hence, he chose to write this fascinating novel.
Ecstatic on his book launch, Shashi says, “The current political scenario around the world is chaotic, and my story exemplifies the role mythical characters, like the tenth Avatar of Vishnu, would end up playing in the politics of our times to set things right. How and whom would they collaborate with to achieve their objectives? While doing so, the story does have a subliminal hint of pluralism. Given my political exposure and interest in mythological legends, the works of authors like Ashwin Sanghi have constantly inspired me. Similarly, I have banked on the political-mythical genre to say my story. One can say that this is my subtle way of dissenting against the rise of misplaced majoritarianism prevalent in the society right now.”
Shashi idolises Jawaharlal Nehru, with whom he shares his birthday. Hence, it’s not surprising that he emulates similar political ideology. He admires millennial activists like Kanhaiya Kumar and Gurmehar Kaur, who have voiced their dissent with courage in the face of right-wing goons. His favourite politicians include Prashant Kishor and Mohua Moitra. Prashant for his scientific temperament and Mohua for her fiery speeches. The two bring back the narrative of accountability of the incumbent and responsible policymaking in their own unique ways. For that matter, these activists and politicians find a place in Shashi’s novel in a camouflage mode.
Given that the current dispensation follows a very different ideology and functioning than his, most of the time Shashi finds himself questioning their ways. Especially when he saw that religious fault lines are being exploited for electoral gains. Apart from that, he believes Majoritarianism, where the beliefs of the majority and not logic or law take precedence in policymaking, is wrongly becoming the order of the day. While he rejects Majoritarianism, he also disapproves of minoritarianism, followed in some policymaking instances in the past. Like few who have the courage to agitate, Shashi yearns for things to change, hatred to stop, and the divide to heal, and we feel that writing this book is one of the best and most riveting ways he could have contributed to the cause.