Book Name: Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous
Book Author: Sunetra Choudhury
“If you steal one thousand rupees, the hawaldar will beat the shit out of you and lock you up in a dungeon with no ventilation or bulb. If you steal fifty-five thousand crores then you get to stay in a 40-foot cell which has four split units, fax, internet, mobile phones and a staff of 10 to clean your shoes and cook your food (in case it is not being delivered from Hyatt that particular day).”
They say that prison can be a great leveler – but does this apply if you are a VIP inmate in an Indian prison? Maybe not.
Based on extensive first-hand interviews with some of India’s most well-known inmates, award-winning journalist Sunetra Choudhury gives you a peek into the VIP prison life. It includes some interesting anecdotes about the lives of the powerful and rich prisoners: How does a 70-year-old Doon school alumnus who has spent more than 7 years in jail find a will to continue petitioning the state and fight his cases? What does Peter Mukherjea do all day in his 4 x 4 cell in Arthur Road Jail? Who came to visit Amar Singh during those 4 fateful days and why this scarred him and his wife for life, determining his future friends and allies?
Behind Bars by Sunetra Choudhury
Apart from certain depictions in popular culture or the occasional news reports, there is little information about how rules are bent and law takes a backseat when it comes to people like Sanjeev Nanda, Anca Varma, Vikas and Vishal Yadav, and Manu Sharma, who were given special benefits and often sent out on parole and furlough for their good behaviour.
For the first time, India’s most famous prisoners share their own stories – from air conditioners in cells to food from five-star hotels, from terror tales of ‘bladebaaz’ to torture chambers, from cushy beds to private parties – and how they negotiate life in prison or the so-called ‘jail-ashram’.
With unbelievable details of the life inside prison and the sorry state of hundreds of undertrials languishing in jails, this book Behind Bars questions the primary purpose of imprisonment – is it actually punishment, reform or just misusing the system we are a part of?