Book Title: The Dad of Conspiracy Theories
Author: Amlan Bhattacharya
Total Number of Pages: 138
Publisher: Notion Press
Publication Date: 1 Jan 2018
…That World War-I was planned by the Christian nations to control the rise of Muslims in the form of the Ottomans, or the idea that the entire Congress Party was a British plot in India – are unheard of. More unheard are concepts like Netaji Subhash Bose secretly aimed to become a dictator in independent India and also something like Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao, not the ‘Gandhis’, were the true makers of the modern-day India. More like such ideas, commonly known in intellectual circles as ‘conspiracy theories’ are discussed, between an aging father and his teenage son. The conversations put light on issues pertaining to India’s freedom struggle, world politics, social and cultural paradigm and also wars (WWI, II and even III). It travels from Naxalite movements to Modi’s reforms and even covers the Clinton sex-scandal and the Nobel Prize awarding issues to names like Malala as well as Obama. A book that gives you an India Tour, with a brief World Tour too, spanning different timelines – is this one.
Facts have been known all along. We are all very well acquainted with them from our textbooks, given that, the facts and figures were actually ingrained in our brains. Speaking of me, eh, not so much. While it’s an undeniable fact that facts, figures and dates do present a picture of our history and politics to us in the modern day, it can also not be neglected that there is always a much bigger picture than the one we see, or might I say, are shown. It has always been Appearances versus Reality, and it still is to this day.
Who knows if the lies are the truths or the truths are the lies. We, as the public, as the audience, are only in so much power to see what we are shown. Conspiracy theories have always been of great interest and are still as mind boggling as ever. Amlan Bhattacharya has compiled some of the greatest conspiracy theories that have bothered most of the people of the nations, the ones who are in a habit to question everything that they see. While most of the conspiracy theories are already known to many, it is always good to see things from another person’s perspective.
The conspiracy theories are discussed between a father and his son in a fictional way. Through dialogues, Bhattacharya successfully introduced all about the theories into the novel. ‘Dad of Conspiracy Theories’ can be read solely as a belief system of a particular group of people but at the same time, we must remember that there’s always more to what meets the eye.
It is not an unknown fact that lies, deception and trickery are parts of politics. Yes it is true that today people are much more aware of their government and their country. But back in the days, due to the lack of various modes of media, people had to depend on their leader’s words.
With effortless transitions in the tone of the narrative, Amlan had switched from religion to World Wars to political unrests to the inter-parliamentary affairs. Some people might find the theories offensive but condoning them would only mean to turn a blind eye.
‘Dad of Conspiracy Theories’ appealed to me because of its unique concept and presentation. On reading the book, I noticed some grammatical errors which had the effect of speed breakers on my reading journey. Since the book is part fiction and part non-fiction, I would have loved if Bhattacharya confronted the fictional side a bit more. I do have to admit that even though most of the theories were known to me, it felt nice to read about them again, albeit some new and additional theories would have pleased me more. The title itself gives away the theme of the novel, so readers wouldn’t be leaping straight to the dead end if they took a chance upon the book.
Truth or not, a human being is capable of vast array of imaginations. With the plenitude of perceptions and notions, it would be sad not to have conceptualized, believed and anticipated certain convictions.
If conspiracy theories are up your radar, you may as well take your chances with the book. Just a word of advice for the people who are contemplating on whether they would find ‘Dad of Conspiracy Theories’ offensive, there’s always two sides of a coin.
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