For people of India, he was a culprit. He dared to challenge the Indian democracy by conspiring for the attack on Indian parliament on 13th December 2001. On this date, five terrorists infiltrated the Indian Parliament with a vehicle, full of bombs and ammunition; five terrorists gunned down eight security personnel including a gardener and got killed in the process. In an unprecedented manner, Delhi Police Special Cell caught Delhi University professor S.A.R. Gilani as the mastermind in just twenty four hours. This is the story that Indian media & government fed to Indians. In an environment of horrified nationalism, Indian citizens trusted blindly on this story without even conducting a mental scrutiny before relying on media reports with normal logics.
The book “The Hanging of Afzal Guru”, with a note of introduction by ‘Arundhati Roy’, carries the articles, interviews, opinions, and essays of lawyers, journalists, academicians, and social activists. It introduces untapped angles of the attack on Indian parliament. There are straight to the point articles that talk about the unfair trial of Afzal Guru’s. However, these people do not distrust the ruling of the apex court but use their right to raise their voice. It is a good point about the book that it does not try to impose its findings, view points, and opinions on the readers. On the other hand, it empowers the reader with facts to know the complete truth behind this attack on democracy, which never came in public view. It reports the heinous crimes, conducted by security forces during custody of Kashmiri youngsters, who live in & out of valley.
My Experience as an Avid Reader: It has been one of the most shocking & troubling reading experiences for me. To read about someone, who was being tortured inhumanly for extraction of truth by security forces is undoubtedly painful. I was shocked to read the way security personnel treat surrendered militants and other Kashmiri local. The book starts from two elusive articles of Arundhati Roy. Both articles require a re-read to get close to the soul of book because it tries to empower the reader with a right to question. With this right, the natives of any democratic society can question their democratic representatives in handling of such an event of national interest. I understood the fine line between an informed nationalism and a blind nationalism, which every patriot should understand.
50 Word Verdict: It is a book for stabilizing thoughts on the most mind troubling and sensational news happenings, taking place across the world. Every aspiring journalist should read this book to understand the fine line between the truth and hype. It can empower the readers with an eye for detail and vigilance.
- Why My Afzal is Not Your Afzal (zainabahmed150389.wordpress.com)
- Arundhati Roy: Never, never to forget (linusfernandes.com)
- Political is Personal – Arundhati Roy interviewed by Stephen Moss (irresponsibility.wordpress.com)
- Arundhati Roy writing her second novel (thehindu.com)
- Arundhati Roy: “And never, never to forget.” (childreninprison.wordpress.com)