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Friday, 3 April 2015

Book Review: The Silent Scream by Siddhartha Garg

Pages :  199

Read on : Kindle

Review: Anyone and everyone who knows me, knows that one of the core themes of my writing is feminism. Women's and children's 
issues are something I bleed for with words. Although I must admit, I haven't put my foot into something as raw as 'The Silent Scream'. 

Whatever I know about feminism and child rights, comes from my formal education in journalism and everything I observed during my trips in India. We are stringently told how vile child abuse is, we write stories on them, we read stories about them, we hear of them, yet we fumble when it comes to handling them because of how fragile the victim is. It's like trying to erase angry permanent marker lines from a whiteboard. Rub, rub, rub but it still leaves the stain.

'The Silent Scream' is a compilation of similar gruesome tales of the unimaginable adversities no child should ever face, yet it happened. I have ever so often mentioned on my blog, how crimes are not as simple as they seem. Reading this book felt like repeated punches in my gut. There were times when I would get chills and urge to put it down, just so that those heinous crimes would be out of mind but I couldn't. This is reality and this exactly what it feels like. May be even worse. For the sake of knowing more, I had to go on.

It's a fairly quick read, the stories are short and gripping enough to concisely address the severity of the issues looming currently. The author tries to address the concept of abuse from every possible angle there is. However, its known to us that if we were to get into the different forms of abuse that follow, a never ending series would be in order. The language is simple enough, with ample introductory explanations of all the possible crimes a young one might be exposed to. The author tries to delve into how and why people commit such crimes. The conflicts that push these perpetuators to carryout the impermissible, how to identify the possible perpetuators and the first signs of abuse that show in the behavioral shift of your child. Everything that you need to know first-hand is in the book.

 What I find as a major plus in the book are the last few chapters that focus on how parents can shelter their children from such harm, what can be done to avoid the lurking risks and most importantly, how to be open and available to your children when they reach out to you. I say this because till the 90s, Indian parenting was pretty hard. If we look back to our younger days, we are now better equipped to assess what was right or wrong or how we should have handle it.

On another note, even though 'The Silent Scream' is written in third person, I did find it a tad bit more opinionated than how it should have been. Too many opinions at times could be seen as assertive and angsty. Also, as far research content goes, I was expecting stronger and streamlined sources. Details are graphic in places required with which I feel is necessary just because the nature of the crime is so.

I wouldn't call the book a novel or self help. It could probably fit the category of long-form journalism. Just an FYI. 

Nonetheless, I urge people, yes, everyone. Read it. Have an understanding of how simple thing escape our eyes. Its definitely a good place to start.

 Final Rating : 3/5

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