Social activist cum Management Consultant, Shashi Bakshi, releases his first self-published work, ‘Raising Hell from Peace’
The digital edition is available on Amazon Kindle and Goodreads, from December 2020
The lockdown and pandemic have given many budding authors and artists creative inspirations and Shashi’s book, Raising Hell From Peace is also a product of this. It is a captivating story of the common yet determined fight in the corridors of power. The main characters, Julius, Kalki and Desh’s and Arya are on their individual quests in fighting their respective realities across the globe, while there is an ambient play of how mythology becomes crucial for their answers.
Ecstatic on his book launch, Shashi says, “The current political scenario around the world is concerning, and my story exemplifies the ideal way forward for people and humanity. The idea is to reiterate and reinforce that God is One, secular, plural and populist. While we move ahead being futuristic, this story addresses concepts of majoritarian and nationalism bravado and chauvinism, and how the common man struggles with it. Given my political and religious exposure, the works of authors like Ashwin Sanghi have constantly inspired me. In a similar fashion, my message is to combat the rise of nationalism, megalomania and majoritarianism – which are corrupting the social and political circuit. With my first book, I hope to inculcate a sense of collectivism amongst the mass audience”
The book is already receiving positive and encouraging reviews from its readers and critics. Currently an activist and a management consultant, Shashi aspires for his writing ambition and is interested in writing an engaging sequel to the book already. He hails from a political family with his father being an ex-MLA and an ex-Minister (of State) of Maharashtra. Being an idealist, like his father, Shashi’s work has undertones of pluralism and populism, intertwining the current political scenario with a spiritual realm and thus creating a fictional take on it. He admires the efforts of millennial activists like Kanhaiya Kumar and Gurmehar Kaur as well as idolizes Jawaharlal Nehru with whom he shares his birthday. He is a qualified mechanical engineer, with a keen interest in historical and mythological literature.
About the author and quote from the author on the book:
Shashi is a keen political observer and draws inspiration from mythology in his life and writing. Shashi was born in a political family. His father is an ex-MLA and an ex-Minister (of State) from Maharashtra from the grand old party of India. His father is an idealist and inculcated values of pluralism and populism in Shashi. This is very evident from his writing, especially the latest novel, Raising Hell for Peace. Along with inheriting political interest, he also inherited the religious bent from his parents. Every vacation that they stepped out of town for had a sacred intent. Whether it is Vaishno Devi, Tirupathi, Shirdi, Mathura, or other religiously significant towns, his vacation itinerary would be centred around them. Nonetheless, now that he is in control of his vacations, he doesn’t do an extensive temple-run like his parents did, but he worships the gods in his own way and believes in singularity in the spiritual realm across religions. His travels generated a lot of curiosity in him to read about the Mythical Hindu gods, and he is fascinated with their legends.
Given that the current dispensation follows a very different political and religious ideology than him, it always makes Shashi question 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 dissents minoritarianism; Which was followed in some instances of policymaking in the past. Having said that, in his view, the current dispensation is being fascist in its ways and hence destroying the secular fabric of our society. Like few who have the courage to agitate, Shashi yearns for things to change, hatred to stop, and the divide to heal, and he feels that writing this book is one of the best ways he can contribute.
He idolizes Jawaharlal Nehru with whom he shares his birthday. 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, beyond the grand old party, include Prashant Kishor and Mohua Moitra. Prashant for his scientific temperament and Mohua for her fiery speeches. As per him, the two are bringing 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 latest novel in one way or another. They inspire him to dissent in current times and dissent he does through his novel.
In the writing realm, Shashi enjoys reading his namesake, Shashi Tharoor. He got inspired into writing by reading Ashwin Sanghi. Ashwin’s Chanakya Chants and Krishna Key, in particular, are his favourites. Like those two novels, Shashi also loves intertwining Indian historical characters and events with the present. 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 fictional take on it.
Profession & Education:
Along with writing, Shashi pursues a career in Management Consulting. Academically, Shashi pursued Mechanical Engineering from KJSCE, Mumbai University and is a Master of Business Administration from University of Maryland, USA.
Shashi is a sincere and loyal person who enjoys close relationships in the workplace and takes great ownership of what he says that he will do. As a leader, he himself is very upbeat and gets others excited about what they have to achieve as a team. Being an engineer and management consultant, he is trained in figuring out what is wrong and resolving it by thinking of reasons and causes in any situation. He finds it easy to put his thoughts into words, which helps him a great deal in writing.