Soul Force: Gandhi Satyagraha History in South Africa/India (Book Review)

Suzanne Franco the South African author of the highly acclaimed novel Exile Child in her latest book tells the untold story of Valliamma Mudliar, a young 16 year old girl who became an integral part of the Indian resistance against the English rule in South Africa and the white supremacists alike.

Suzanne beautifully combines Valliamma’s innocence with the struggle of the South African community, or more specifically the Indian community in South Africa against apartheid. In the age and atmosphere where everyone was scared of the oppression of the Regime; Valliamma became a proud member of Gandhi’s South African Satyagraha.

“Valliamma was a girl way ahead of her age. She was a feminist when the word wasn’t even known to most people; She was a Satyagrahi at the innocent age of 16 years.”

Valliamma’s commitment to the Satyagraha for equality, justice and freedom had consumed her life so much that her childhood was a memory of the past

Becoming a part of Gandhi’s Satyagraha “Valliamma no longer found herself a child, not yet a woman, but an activist”. She was proud and felt privileged to be a part of Gandhi’s unique resistance against the unjust treatment of Indians in South Africa.

Her commitment to the cause was so much that later Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi himself wrote “The name Valliamma will live as long as India lives” which coming from anyone was high praise but coming from Gandhi himself, was a testament to her courage and her commitment.

About the Author

More than twenty four years have passed since the birth of democracy in South Africa and Suzanne Franco is proud and inspired by the commitment to equality and compassion of her Rainbow Nation.

Suzanne believes our modern society will be equally inspired by true stories of, sometimes forgotten, heroines. Uncovering real-life dramas intrigues Suzanne, and historical novels provide a platform for her inspiring story telling.

“I’m passionate about bringing real characters to life in my novels. I believe people in today’s world will live in hope by recognizing women who have sacrificed so much to have an impact on history, and therefore, humanity."

Suzanne’s debut historical novel, Exile Child, received exceptional reviews from major newspapers and magazines. 

Suzanne has featured on many radio and TV shows and is often a guest motivational speaker at many South African government initiatives.


Anuj Chauhan


Anuj Chauhan is a Economics student who fell in love with writing by chance and has been delivering quality content in different genres across various media platforms and has also been a contributor on a number of blogs during the period.