A story set in 2002-2003 Gujarat. Political fiction. The publishers thought it was an idea whose time had come.
From the lens of Peggy Mohan’s involvement in a POTA trial in Ahmedabad a story grows, one that gives her space to connect the dots and look at the things that had only been hinted at in the ‘confessions’. An imagined boy, Adil, a jailed suspect with eyes that saw it all. Godhra, the worst days of 2002, the insides of the police lock-up, Sabarmati Jail.
People around him keep hope alive. Family. Lawyers. Civil society, partly driven by guilt. Women seeing a parallel between violence visited on a minority group and domestic violence. Believers who are not communal. Others who refuse to fall in with the goose-stepping crowd.
This is a story seen in shots. A boy busy putting 2002 behind him when they come for him. A legal team in a back room using quantitative analysis to discredit POTA ‘confessions’. A distraught mother taking refuge in her ghazals. Comrades in jail protecting their youngest. And all around them a glittering new world of certainty, with a shadow side of doubt, stress and a need to hide.
About the Author
Peggy Mohan was born in Trinidad, West Indies. She has taught linguistics, made television programmes for children, been a cartoon animator, and has twice been an expert witness responsible for analyzing confessional statements in terrorism trials. She now teaches music at the Vasant Valley School, New Delhi.