God’s Table: The Last Supper by Santosh Avvanavar, Jyothi Byahatti and Dr. Sandeep Huligol is an innovative endeavor to enlighten the mass on several social issues which sometimes enervate us with their vehemence or make us ponder over the decadence of humanity.
For the tagline, “The Last Supper”, the authors are indebted to Leonardo da Vinci and, they have made the connection clear in the ‘Introduction’. The ‘Introduction’ states the purpose of the book as well, that, what our inner conscience has to say on different aspects of life; whether they are right or wrong, purpose they are serving for mankind, so on and so forth.
God’s Table is a collection of twelve articles written mostly in the form of dialogues between a couple, Amrita- a teacher and, Robert- a doctor. The discussion takes place between them on the breakfast table and there is the presence of another character, a Godly man Paul, who speaks on behalf of humanity. Delving deeper into the issues, the three characters try to illuminate the readers with the positive sides of life, ameliorating the grief and grievance with the gospels of God in the process.
The discussion runs on a plethora of topics ranging from education to euthanasia, social media to honour killing. Encompassing a motley of subjects, Robert, Amrita and Paul have dissected the problems, from a social, individualistic, and spiritual point of view.
I’m not going to discuss each and every essay for that would belabor my readers and, also mar the interest to a large extent. Let me have a few words about those, which according to me, have a notch over the others.
The first one, Deemed Universities are Doomed, is an insightful take on the present condition of education in our country. The authors have rightly pointed out to the loopholes of the system, from corruption to nepotism. Education nowadays is not anymore a means to acquire knowledge, not a wholesome process for physical, mental, and spiritual development but merely a shortcut to get a job garnering some superficial knowledge just to satisfy the purpose.
“There are four key elements in education- content, methodology, teachers, and peers.” Nothing could be truer than this and, to our chagrin, most of the schools have failed to ensure the perfect implication of all the four. This article shows the right way to ‘educate’ the children to make not only knowledgeable and wise but also good human beings.
The sixth essay, Honour Killing: Another Name for Murder probes into this barbaric tradition still prevailing in many parts of the country, especially where ‘khap panchayats’ are functioning. The term ‘honour-killing’ itself is an oxymoron; there could never be any justification behind killing any innocent person let alone for raising the honour! The book also provides some fearful statistics in this regard. The persons involved in honour killings seldom show any signs of contrition. A thick mask of false pride and vengeance make them bereft of any sense or sensibility.
This essay has not only lambasted this tradition but also has tried to analyse the system from a psychological point of view.
Besides these two, I also would like to mention the seventh article on child abuse, where apart from the sexual, other forms of child abuse like emotional, negligence and mental tortures have also been highlighted.
The other articles are also quite thought-provoking and in some cases is an eye-opener to the present condition of the society. Simple, lucid language has made the book understandable and acceptable to the masses. God’s Table: The Last Supper is a must read for all where the authors have tried to bring out some solutions to the social problems while discussing them.
From my side, it’s 4/5.
Santosh Avvananvar is working relentlessly for social causes and trying to spread the light of education among all. To have a glimpse of his effort please visit amritafoundation.