There has been accusations that Bhyrappa is a Hindu fundamentalist who wants to divide society on the basis of history, an allegation which Bhyrappa himself anticipates and tries to refute in the novel. Ananthamurthy , well known in Kannada literature , has criticised Bhyrappa and his works, terming Aavarana as dangerous. Bhyrappa himself: swallowed by his weakest novel, passed over for the Jnanpith the traditional crown for the bhasha writer , and in danger of having a fanbase composed entirely of bigots. But it is also self-serving, divisive and short-sighted, if not wilfully blind to the pitfalls of chest-thumping majoritarianism.

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More so in the case of those narrating history. Unfortunately, of late, several historians have chosen the latter. Few years ago, S. Even without reading it completely, few eminent writers termed it controversial.

But underlying that layer is the story of the difficulties faced due to marriage under Sharia Law. Despite the couple proudly calling themselves progressives, Amir convinces Lakshmi to convert to Islam Love Jihad? Although skeptical initially, Lakshmi falls for the bait finally, in the pretext of love, much against the wishes of her father, who in turn disowns her from the family.

After marriage, her troubles with the husband due to religious incompatibility slowly start taking shape. Her in-laws expect her to be orthodox, with full clothing including burqa and avoid going outdoors. Her husband expects her to eat beef. The situation turns hostile to the extent of Lakshmi going back to her village and living alone. The strategy used by Bhyrappa to construct situations through which he exposes the hollowness of such progressive intellectuals is simply commendable!!

Some of the events mentioned in the book sound unbelievable, but thanks to the internet, one can now verify all those from reliable sources. What is the point in reading this book? Why should you read the book? Secondly, learning true history helps one remain equipped so that the same mistakes are not repeated.


ಆವರಣ [Aavarana]

AvaraNa is a term used in Vedantic and Buddhist literature to denote that aspect of nescience avidyA that obscures all things. This word has been used with the same intention by SL Bhyrappa as the title of his latest novel. AvaraNa - the novel has created history in the Kannada publishing industry. No other recent book has been sold out as soon as this book. However, I was able to procure a copy directly from the publisher - Sahitya Bhandara. Needless to say, I then devoured the book in less than two days, in spite of hectic work.


S. L. Bhyrappa

He lost his mother and brothers to Bubonic plague in his early childhood and took on odd jobs to pay for his education. During his childhood, he was influenced by the writings of Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar. Bhyrappa completed his primary education in Channarayapatna taluk before moving to Mysore where he completed the rest of his education. In his autobiography, Bhitti Wall he wrote that he took a break during his high school education. His sojourn led him to Mumbai , where he worked as a railway porter. In Mumbai he met a group of sadhus and joined them to seek spiritual solace.

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