Although Vijay had gone to report on the situation dealing with the Christian shrine, it soon becomes for him a symbol of the fight against fundamentalism. With the assistance of a local eccentric, Noah, he tries to rally support against the planned occupation of the shrine by Hindu extremists. Unfortunately, the same apathy that grips most of India around doing anything about preventing violence is prevalent here and he can't rouse anyone into believing that anything serious will happen.
Vijay is no Emperor and in spite of all his efforts ends up only able to record the events of the attempted occupation and not be an active participant in its defence. In fact, like so many others of his generation, he flees the country for Canada to escape. Partly he is looking to escape himself, and partly the violence of his country. In the end, he realizes he can't escape either one.
Mr. Davidar has created a situation and characters that bring a different perspective to the violence that periodically surfaces in India. He does not shy away from the reality of the situation, and in fact manages to make it far more realistic than the majority of authors. His depiction of the leader of the fundamentalist Hindu group as a pillar of society whose arguments in support of his extremist views are ever so reasonable, make him far scarier than the usual wild-eyed fanatic that we find in the pages of a novel.
At heart The Solitude of Emperors is still a novel about the religious conflicts that plague the India, but unlike some of its contemporaries, readers learn that there is more to her than that. Until recent times India was a pluralistic society, the envy of any so-called modern civilization, and that dream is still cherished by a great many people. That's a view we don't often hear expressed, and one we can all look to as inspiration.
I think the world could do with a few more people like Samraat Ashoka, Shahenshah Akbar, and Mahatma Gandhi. Don't you?