Title– Khaki in a Dust Storm
Author– Amod K. Kanth
Publisher– Bloomsbury India
Genre– Non Fiction
Publication date– 18th December 2020
My ratings– 4.5/5
Khaki in Dust Storm is a gripping story of immersive investigations led by the celebrated police officer Amod K. Kanth who found himself at the vortex of India’s tumultuous period of the 1980s and early 1990s. An era of dramatic crime, assassinations and terrorism, this period witnessed the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and the horrific riots that followed; the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi; the murder of Lalit Maken and General Vaidya; public attacks by terrorists and bloodbaths at the peak of the Khalistani militancy; India’s first-ever organised mass explosions through improvised electronic device in 1985, popularly known as ‘transistor bombs’; and the growing influence of drug abuse and financial frauds. Leading into the minefield of these most sensational crime investigations that rocked India, he reveals in this book facts, stories and anecdotes that have hitherto remained outside the public discourse. He pieces together the details, narrates behind-the-scene manoeuvres, and carefully constructs the psyche of the perpetrators and the backdrop, weaving together a fantastic and powerful tale.
This is also a story of a cathartic evolution of a police officer who, after landing in the coveted Indian Police Service, finds his dreams challenged and confined to the restricted role in the face of India’s myopic conventional policing. This resulted in his eventual metamorphosis, overwhelmed by the need to search for a wider and transformative perspective in policing that could lay the groundwork for more expanded and gratifying interactions between the police and the community.
Khakhi the dust storm was my first non-fiction pick of this year and I’m glad to have read such a detailed and informative collection.
It is an amalgamation of stories from the experiences of a dedicated police officer Amod K. Kanth who has been in the police department for almost a decade. In this, Kanth has shared about his work experiences, the inspiration that made his to choose this department and how difficult it becomes to work with honesty in a broken and despicable system. The era of the 70s-80s was complete political turmoil for India, this book covers much of that political commotion in it. The assassination of prominent political leaders, Mahatma Gandhi followed by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi shook the whole country. The following riots and terrorist activities disrupted the already turbulent country even more and through this book, Kanth has given a distinct yet honest arc to India’s one of the darkest periods.
The language used is lucid but audacious at the same time. Narration in form of a memoir didn’t felt formal at all and there wasn’t any dull moment in the entire book rather it was quite a bold and adventurous read for me.
A vivid, profound and instructive book highlighting some controversial events that clattered the entire nation back then. It was a kind of book that I didn’t know I should be reading until I actually finished reading, would suggest it to read it to gather some peculiar yet honest lens of that era and the impacts it had.
Thanks to @bloomsburyindia for the proof copy.
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