The Anatomy of Hate

The Anatomy of Hate

“The twenty-eighth was not a calendar day. It was a black hole that bent time. In the lives of Suresh, Dungar and Pranav, it re-arranged all previous days and experiences. There were always many choices to be made: what part of their identities to sharpen, what to suppress. Choice is a vexing word. What part of choice applies when a tidal wave of anger tears through a state?”

Why I picked up this book?

I wanted to read a well-researched book about the Gujrat riots of 2002 and this book seems to fit the bill . It is a result of a decade long research and interviews by the author with the victims as well as the perpetrators of 2002. The book tries to understand what goes inside the brains of the people who commit violence in the name of religion. I also wanted to know what makes people kill each other in the name of religion. 

This made me choose this book to read.

The Book

The book tries to understand the hate from the perspective of three men who took part in the post 28 Feburary 2002 riots, which killed thousands of people and left lakhs of people homeless, with their houses and businesses burnt to ashes. The author made these three people, who comes from different background, representatives of the mob and tried to understand what goes inside the mind of the people who commit violence, some more than others.

The book is a result of the research and interviews over a decade by the author. She goes to tell us about the background of these three people, just to give the readers a perspective of who are or can be the part of a violent mob. She tells what happened before the night of 28th February and how that led these man to react and take action. It tells the readers how the system/state lures the vulnerable and weak sections of the society into committing such crimes. Also, how it brainwashes general public through propaganda and fanning religious sentiments and uses them to further their agenda.

The book also talks about the aftermath of the riots and how each of the three people reacted. Did they realize that they committed a heinous crime? Were there any remorse? Did they accept the wrongs they do? Did they try to make amends? All these and many more such questions are answered by the author. She has dissected hate and opened the mind of a mob and presented what are the ingredients which can turn an individual into a violent and brainless mob.

About the Author

Revati Laul is an independent journalist and film-maker based in New Delhi. She started her career in television with NDTV, and has more recently shifted to print, writing for Tehelka, The Quint, the Hindustan Times among others. This is her first book.

Our Verdict

A must read for everyone who want to know about the 2002 Gujrat riots and also wants to understand what is it that turns an individual into a frenzied mob.

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