Havan is about the Lambada people who have been a wandering tribe since ages and who, perhaps, originally belonged to Rajasthan. Literally, Havan is the name of a settlement of Lambadas near Kalluru. The novel describes the lives of a few people of this settlement and faithfully recreates the history of the tribe, its characteristic social events and celebrations, songs and dances, beliefs and customs; and their exploitation by landlords and the police. The first part of the novel is narrated by one Basappa who comes to the Thanda (settlement) as a schoolteacher, and the second part is narrated by Loku, Zimri, Had and Kasanu - members of the tribe.
`Two streams of thoughts are prevalent in India about the concept of progress among the hundreds of tribes in the country who are culturally rich but suffer from poverty and lack of education. One thought persuades all the communities to join the mainstream by changing their lifestyle, food, clothing, etc., and getting access to modern education and jobs. The other stream argues that the government should provide these people with adequate facilities whereby they can retain their traditional lifestyle as well as food habits and other cultural practices. The first stream is "interventionist" and the second "non-interventionist". Neither the social scientists nor the politicians have been able to decide which of the two is "correct". Both the approaches are not without limitations. Havan is emphatic in convincing us that there are no easy solutions to such dilemmas.'
MALLIKARJUN HIREMATH (b. 1946) retired as principal from First Grade College, Hungund. Sri Hiremath lives in Dharwad and has published a collection of poetry, collections of stories, a novel, a travelogue, a collection of personal essays and three collections of criticism. He is a recipient of the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Honorary Award (2008) among other literary awards. Professor Hiremath is at present the co-editor of Samahita - a Kannada literary journal. He has been appointed the president of Basavaraj Kattimani Trust by the Government of Karnataka and has also been working as an Advisor to the Dharwar Sahitya Sambhrama.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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