‘Triumph of satire at its most elemental’: Shashi Tharoor reviews Unni R’s ‘The Cock is the Culprit’ - ALL Jobs News

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Saturday, 19 September 2020

‘Triumph of satire at its most elemental’: Shashi Tharoor reviews Unni R’s ‘The Cock is the Culprit’

If there is one literary form that is truly indispensable in a democracy, it is political satire. Sadly, that is also the one form we have far too little of in the annals of contemporary Indian literature – at a time when the events in our country scream out to be satirised.

The rare exceptions are all the more to be welcomed, and it is therefore with delight that I read the first novel of award-winning Malayalam short-story writer Unni R, ably and fluidly translated by J Devika under the arresting title The Cock is the Culprit.

The Cock is the Culprit is a triumph of satire at its most elemental. Unni has taken a seemingly simple story – that of a rooster which crows at inconvenient times and disturbs important events in a Kerala village – and written it brilliantly to work at multiple levels of meaning and resonance that go well beyond the surface details of the story itself.

The village that isn’t India

The tale unfolds with the simplicity of fable. The rooster crows inappropriately at a memorial ceremony for former soldiers, interrupts the singing of the national anthem in the village school, and disturbs the religious ceremonies of all three religions in the village, Hindu, Muslim...

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from Scroll.in https://scroll.in/article/973414/triumph-of-satire-at-its-most-elemental-shashi-tharoor-reviews-unni-rs-the-cock-is-the-culprit?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=public

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