For embattled Musharraf, C. N. Anand’s Tarbela Damned – Pakistan Tamed could not have popped up, like a Jack-in-the-box, at a more awlward time. In the novel, Waziristan, Balochistan and the Northern areas are spinning out of control and The King’s party is deserting the ship like rats. The RAW and the Mossad, present the President General with an excuse to declare martial law by damaging the world’s largest earth and rock fill dam.
It has been hardly a month since the novel has hit the stands and it is turning out to be red meat for the wolves on the internet. Google for “Tarbela Damned” or “Pakistan Tamed” and you will be served with a buffet of reviews, blogs and free-for-all forums where one can post anything. Apparently, The Jang of Pakistan has reported on the novel as the Pakistan Defence Forum took off on a hysterical note: “Last time when i was reading the jang sunday magzine i read there that the RAW MOSAD & irish military the three are planning to hit PAkistani DAMS to Destroy The Pakisytani economy & to play desaster to Pakistan. There was a reference about some indian writer who wrote the same idea in his novel to hit Pakistani DAMS To Tell a lesson to PAKISTANIS.
I want u guys to express Yr comments on this.” Subsequent postings are shrill and one Pakistani calmed them by reminding them that it is only a novel. In one free-for-all forum, a virtual war is being waged between Pakistani and Indian supporters with no signs of a cease-fire. In the smoke, fire, noise and fog of war, some are trying to highlight the plight of minorities in Pakistan. One Anti Big Dam activist is highlighting the plight of dam oustees. Arundhati Roy and Medha Patkar could take note.
The Hindu criticized and also praised with, “…the book seeks to traverse too much in too little space…” and “…seeks to invoke the scale of a James Michener novel as it grapples with complex historical issues and simultaneously introduce an Ian Fleming like pace and tautness…” The Tribune mentions, “There is no off-putting jingoism and no cold-bloodedness, and that makes one sympathise with the protagonists’ efforts.”
One blog mentions about the author and the protagonists having studied in St Edmunds, Shillong. Those who have read the novel and want to see pictures of the school can visit the blog website.