Book review: Ampashayya Naveen, Socialism Dreams Shattered in India: The Perspective of An Experimental Novelist

AuthorBala Ramulu Chinnala
Published date01 June 2021
Date01 June 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
268 Book Reviews
Ampashayya Naveen, Socialism Dreams Shattered in India: The
Perspective of An Experimental Novelist. New Delhi: Authors Press,
2020, 448 pp., `695/$35.
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211016279
Dreams Shattered (Chedirina Swapanalu in Telugu) is one of the three famous
novels of Dr Naveen, popularly known as Ampashayya Naveen. The other two
novels include Kalarekhalu (Imprints of Time) and Bandhyavyalu (Relationships).
Naveen is a prolific novelist and short story writer in Telugu language. Dreams
Shattered is written against the feudal backdrop of Telangana region of South
India during 1950s–1970s. The region, being part of the Princely State of
Hyderabad under Asaf Jahi Dynasty, witnessed oppressive domination under the
local landed gentry and Zamindars. The contradictions between caste-ridden soci-
etal values coupled with the economic inequalities and aspirations/goals envi-
sioned in the Constitution, on the one hand and the inability of the government to
realise the dreams of people, have impelled the writer to pen the novel which
reflects his strong desire to eradicate poverty, inequalities, superstitions and other
problems to build a just and humane society.
Dreams Shattered depicts the life of protagonist Raju (seems to be the author
himself) right from the days of his childhood to a grown-up young individual.
The book is an effort to codify the contemporary rural social customs, culture, art,
literature, language, economic and political environment that prevailed during that
period. Raju is being depicted as a young, intelligent boy who faced many hurdles
in his life to pursue education and step up in life. He belonged to the farming com-
munity, and his family consisted of seven members—parents and five children. He
was the eldest son of the family. After completion of class X, his father Narasaiah
insisted that he should take up a government job or join the traditional agricultural
profession as he cannot support him to continue education and also manage the
family due to the drought conditions. Raju, therefore, was compelled to join the
government service as a Village Level Worker. He could not, however, continue
in the job due to the hard, physical agricultural work during the training period
and decided to pursue higher education. His mother Radhamma supported Raju’s
desire for higher education despite the poor economic conditions of the family.
Raju proved himself as one of the intelligent students throughout his college
education—both graduation and post-graduation. He was not only good at class-
room subjects but also an active participant in literary competitions winning the
awards and appreciation from the teachers and students. In the process, he devel-
oped association with the acknowledged writers such as Kaloji Narayana Rao and
actively involved himself in the Mitra Mandali (Writers Association) activities,
becoming its Secretary. A voracious reader of popular literary books, he was influ-
enced by the writings of Chalam, Buchhibabu, Sri Sri, Sigmund Freud and others.
His story ‘Vikasinchina Jeevitham’ (‘A Life in Bloom’), published in college
magazine, received accolades from the teachers, students and others. Education
was not, however, an easy task for Raju. His friends, particularly Purushotham,
helped him in paying the college fees. There were instances of selling the books
he received as prizes in different literary competitions, both in the college and
outside the college, to pay examination fee and repay his debts to the friends.

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