By Dr. NAVRAS JAAT AAFREEDI
Tazpit News Agency
True to its commitment to raise awareness of religious minorities with the aim of breaking the stereotypes that exist about them, Society for Social Regeneration & Equity (SSRE) has honored the only Jewish novelist writing in Hindi the most widely spoken and understood language in India today, Sheela Rohekar, by presenting an award to her for her depiction of the Indian Jewish life in her latest novel Miss Samuel: Ek Yahudi Gatha ,Miss Samuel: A Jewish Saga.
The novel was published last year by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, a state body that gives out the most prestigious award of literature in India every year. The only other Hindi novel that depicted the Indian Jewish life, Apna Ghar (A Home of One’s Own), was published fifty-two years ago in 1961 by Meera Mahadevan, ne Miriam Jacob Mendrekar, who is no more now.
The event was significant as Rohekar suffers from a considerable degree of neglect in the Hindi literary world testified by the fact that she was invited neither to any of three literary festivals held in Lucknow, where she lives, last year nor to the literary festivals held in other Indian cities in spite of the recent publication of her novel, whose importance cannot be overemphasized.