The Quest for Integrity by Jaswinder Singh
Purshottam Gill is determined to address a growing problem at Amlawar Clock Tower. As the new manager of this Bank of the Nation branch, Purshottam not only learns that there has been a high turnover of managers, but also that political corruption has been a major cause of the Indian bank’s dilemma. Standing firm in his belief of transparency, Purshottam slowly builds integrity back into the branch by ridding corruption one honest handshake at a time. But when upper management circulates a false complaint against him, Purshottam is unaware of what he is truly up against.
Rising author Jaswinder Singh writes a fictional story that does not veer far from the truth. Covering two decades in the latter portion of the 20th Century, Singh offers readers a vivid picture of the power and deceptive grip the political arena has on banks. Set in India, Singh opens his third person narrative in the present time (Purshottam Gill’s new branch manager position) before delving into the past. Deftly portraying Gill’s unquestionable veracity–a man who is moved by the starkly diverse and deplorable economic conditions of his environs, Singh quickly shifts over to the story’s background. Incorporating a few distinct literary elements, Singh devotes many chapters to key characters. Whether innocent, devious, or innocent-turned-devious, each character plays principal roles in the evolution of bank corruption. Singh keeps his audience engaged by alternating character scenes within and between chapters, including rich dialogue that reflects Indian culture, and weaving in a flurry of unexpected scenes. Powerfully written, Singh aptly states: “This novel expresses the strong view that we must stop considering corruption as a value and recognize that through it, we are only torturing each other.” Kudos to Singh for creating an eye-opening debut novel!
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