The Crusaders with its rich cast of characters delves into a host of subjects that the author, Baby Kattackal holds dear to his heart. The novel is divided into three parts and follows the story of Jes Raj, his son Beja and a Chinese girl Xiuying. It explores faith, blind belief, superstition and atheism on one hand. On another it examines the concept of discipline and the negative and positive aspects of it. Then there is the notion of love – a word that is bandied about so much but so misunderstood as well. What is true love? What is the path to true love? What are the illusions and delusions we suffer when we are in love?
But most importantly, the core of the book is really about Communism and Marxism. To put it in the author’s own words: “The aim of this book lies in the answers …which the Marxist theory has sorely failed to address - has the Marxian theory succeeded in abating the poverty of the masses or in bringing in equality and welfare to the people? Has the theory been of any help in abating the poverty of the people of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China? What about freedom of speech in these communist countries? What was the condition of the working class under communism? Comparing the condition of the proletariat under communism with that of capitalism - hasn’t the condition of the working class under capitalism always been far better?”
Kattackal’s message is clear: to enlighten future generations about the poignant story of people who suffered and gave up their lives in despair, unable to withstand the atrocities of the communist regimes. The author says, “I would, like to warn them not to get carried away by the impractical, but alluring, concepts of abatement of poverty, bringing in equality and welfare to all...which Marxism and communism have proved they were incapable of achieving.”
Baby Kattackal, the author of ‘The Crusaders’ is a lawyer by profession and a writer by choice. He is a man of many talents, notwithstanding his profession as a lawyer! He is a painter and a singer to boot. This novel is his first one, but his second titled ‘The Guardians of Evil’ has already been published.