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Novels



Book Title : Memories of a father
eBook download format(s) : pdf
ISBN-10 : 9628314238 
ISBN-13 : 978-9-628314-23-2 
Author(s) : T V Eachara Varier Ti Vi Iccaravariyar Nick Cheesman 
Publisher : Asian Human Rights Commission Jananeethi (19 May 2004)
Section : Novels
Book Review:

The story recounts Professor Varier's desperate and endless attempts to get to the bottom of his son's arrest, torture, murder and disappearance at the hands of the police force in Kerala, India, during a period of emergency rule.

"It was on February 26, 1976 that I last met my son Rajan,"Professor Varier recalls. "On March 1, 1976, when I reached my college as usual, I came to know that the police had taken him into custody."

So begins his terrible and ultimately unsuccessful ordeal to save the life of his child, and then obtain justice. However, the story is much more than a story of what happened at an historical period in India, or to one man's son.

"This is not a story of some event from history; it is a story of today's India, today's Asia,"writes Basil Fernando, Executive Director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, in the foreword. "Across the region, huge numbers of innocent people suffer the cruelest forms of torture and death in custody, and thousands are forcibly disappeared. Most victims do not have a father as educated and vocal as the boy remembered in this book. His story is also the story of the thousands of others whose pain and suffering have never been made public."

Throughout the book, Professor Varier vividly portrays the social and legal breakdown that led to the mass arrests and extrajudicial killings of the time as a backdrop against which his own personal tragedy is intimately and thoroughly explored.

"Memories of a father brings back many poignant memories to me of the traumas that I suffered as a member of one of Sri Lanka's Disappearances Commissions in the nineties, when fathers and mothers came before us, asking us for justice on behalf of their disappeared sons and daughters,"Dr Jayantha de Almeida Guneratne, a senior Sri Lankan lawyer comments. "I hear their cries still echoing in my ears."

Memories of a father is an eloquent, remarkable and moving statement on cruelty, courage and enduring hope, which should be read by anyone concerned with the real meaning of human rights.

The book is published jointly with Jananeethi, based in Kerala, India. A full review is attached.




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