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Mahatma ( Jyotirao Phule ) by Ravindra Thakur

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It is indeed a herculean task to write a biography. The writer should possess the qualities of a novelist and a biographer too. The biographer mainly has a mind that of a researcher, at the same time, he is a collector of things. A novelist mainly works on innovative ideas, he creates ideas and the biographer simply puts the past things into words not changing any aspect or not giving any dimension to things. Both the novelist and the biographer have to research a lot before starting on some work, and that too with utmost dedication. An author has to study the character in detail, not only this, he has to study the contemporary situation, the people, the family members of the one whose biography is to be written, his friends, his rivals, his relation with the society as such, his work, its nature, its importance, etc. He has to study everything with a new angle. Even though the ready material is available from the biographer the novelist has to go through it again and again, not missing any single detail. Many a times he has to research again not just for confirmation or verification but to make sure that no false information is quoted anywhere. He prepares himself fully as good as the biographer, but then settles down to give it a form of novel. He does not intend to narrate about the life of the concerned person. On the contrary, he has to reveal the true qualities of the great personality to people. He has to pen down very precisely the events related to the concerned person and the others around him. A researcher does not write anything which has no base. But a biographer cum novelist has to come out of this role, he has to think and act like a creator. When he is an innovator he still has to retain the role of a researcher. When the best out of these two is blended together properly then only the biography cum novel is a success. M. V. Dhond. Mahatma is a biography cum novel, exploring the wonderful blend of the personality, the work done and the revolutionary thinking of Jyotiba Phule.

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