Author: Hamid Dalwai
Translator(s): Dilip Chitre
Publisher: National Book Trust
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8123739524
Fuel was originally published as Indhan in Marathi. The narrator of Indhan-like the novel's author himself-is a Marathi-speaking Muslim from the rural Konkan coast of Maharashtra. He has evolved into an atheist, a liberal, a humanist, and a socialist activist committed to a secular democratic India. However, his relationship with his family, the local Muslim community, and the larger society surrounding him is full of latent conflicts and contradictions. Returning home after fifteen years, he is compelled to negotiate with people whose values and perceptions conflict with his own.
A changing social order has made its impact on the narrator's hometown in the meanwhile. There are communal tensions building up towards explosive mob fury that result in a riot during a traditional Hindu folk festival.
Although Indhan is a short novel, its canvas is wide as a mural and richly layered like that of an intense cinematic work. Indhan won the Maharastra State Literary Award in 1966. Reprinted more than once, it is still under print in Marathi and has acquired the status of a modern classic.