A few days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, the writer Paro Anand was surprised to hear a statement from a young student “I hate Muslims.” As students near the group of girls, nodded and agreed, Anand, who was a workshop at the school, noticed a student of ash standing a few steps away. “It was clear he was a Muslim,” Anand said. “I wondered what to do in this kid’s head. I knew it was a story I had to write.”
The story of Anand inspired this gathering, “The Yellow Flowers of August”, is part of a collection of stories from his book like Smoke. The story begins with its Hindu protagonist, Nitya, uttering the same words Anand heard at school. In history, Nitya’s hatred of the Muslim community reflects a tragedy: her father was killed in an explosion orchestrated by Muslim militants in an unnamed city.
Later, the teenager met a Muslim child, Khalid, she is attracted despite her religion. He learns that Khalid’s father in the Indian army and begins to learn to give up prejudices. “Bombs have no religion,” Khalid said angrily the day. “Terrorists have no religion.”
This is not the first time Anand has written about sensitive issues such as Kashmir from the perspective of the child. One of the most popular Anand books, there are guns at my son’s funeral is about how an Aftab Kashmir boy is introduced to money, weapons and a new emotion that ultimately leads to join a terrorist group.
But this type of literature that Anand believes is important for children to read to become familiar with the realities of the world in which they live, seems to find fewer registrars in educational institutions. On June 2, Anand wrote an editorial about how some of his books, such as “No Guns to My Son’s Funeral and Smoke Like,” were “subjected to a new test.”
No guns … had already been on the recommended reading list of several schools and, since 2011, even on the Central Board of Education’s list of books to promote reading habits. He was removed from the list during the academic year 2016-2017.
Anand, who wrote books for children for more than two decades, often chooses to write on such topics as religion, violence and terrorism, as well as books full of magic, talking animals and eccentric but loving families. However, the most serious issues are rare in the genre of young adult fiction in India, which speaks only of urban adolescents living in metropolitan areas such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.
While some international bestsellers like RJ Palacio Wonder and Failure in Our Stars by John Green, Disabilities or Diseases Handled Terminology, India books for this age group, like the Durjoy Datta or Ravinder Singh, primarily exploring romantic relationships. (There are exceptions, and these are some of the writers who Anand, the most interesting result of the current generation of writers – adult authors such as Payal Dhar, author Slightly Burned and Rukhsana Khan who wrote The Mor want to explore topics such as nontraditional sexuality, Conflict and war.)