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A journalist’s account of investigating Gurmeet Ram Rahim and his empire of exploitation
How did a nondescript young man from a farming family become the head of a quasi-religious sect with a million followers willing to die and kill for their ‘Pitaji’?
The story of the rise of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan of the wildly popular Dera Sacha Sauda is anything but ordinary. It allegedly involved sexual exploitation, forced castrations, private militias, illegal trade in arms and opium, and land grab on an untold scale-until the self-styled godman was convicted for one of his many crimes in August 2017.
Wearer of many hats-philanthropist, entrepreneur, computer scientist, engineer, teacher-Sudha Murty has above all always been a storyteller extraordinaire. Winner of the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature, the Padma Shri, the Attimabbe Award from the government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature, and the Raymond Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award, her repertoire includes adult non-fiction, adult fiction, children’s books, travelogues and technical books. Here, There and Everywhere is a celebration of her literary journey and is her 200th title across genres and languages. Bringing together her best-loved stories from various collections alongside some new ones and a thoughtful introduction, here is a book that is, in every sense, as multifaceted as its author.
Kannur, a sleepy coastal district in the scenic south Indian state of Kerala, has metamorphosed into a hotbed of political bloodshed in the past few decades. Even as India heaves into the age of technology and economic growth, the town has been making it to the national news for horrific crimes and brutal murders with sickening regularity. Ullekh N.P.’s latest book, Kannur: Inside India’s Bloodiest Revenge Politics draws a modern-day graph that charts out the reasons, motivations and the local lore behind the turmoil.
As Sumantra Bose, Professor of international and comparative politics, London School of Economics and Political Science, mentions in his foreword for the book, “Ullekh N.P. is uniquely placed to write this chronicle of Kannur, both as a native of the place and as the son of the late Marxist leader Pattiam Gopalan. Being an ‘insider’— and a politically connected insider…Ullekh tells the story of unending horror with deadpan factuality, tinged with compassion in his latest book, Kannur: Inside India’s Bloodiest Revenge Politics.”
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