- Author: Amod K. Kanth
- Publisher: Bloomsbury India (18 December 2020)
- Language: English
- Hardcover: 368 pages
Khaki in Dust Storm by Amod K. Kanth is a meticulous account of the communal tension brought about by political underpinnings during 1980-1991. The author, who has been a decorated IPS officer, remembers one of the grimmest and unfortunate times in Indian history. He recollects what happened during the intervening years of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. He also throws light on the brewing communal tension and the horrors it led to, eventually.
I have read a couple of fiction books revolving around the 1984 riots. They were heartbreaking and terrifying. However, this time, I read a memoir, set around a time that is counted as a tragic period in Indian history. Along with that, the author also explains the vivid details of the ‘transistor bombs’ event that shook the entire nation in May 1985.
The book comprises instances from the author’s police diaries as he narrates the turbulent times from his past. He shed light on barbaric events, their build-up, and their culmination into high profile investigations. Amidst his reminiscence of the communal riots, terrorism, tearing apart of India’s fragile secularism, he also gives us an insight into how difficult it is to be an honest officer in the corrupt system.
The author discussed how the police had been shamed by the public, every now and then, for its failures. It just turns out to be an ‘easy scapegoat’ for the deeds of the miscreants. He goes on to explain that sometimes, things get out of hand and the political pressure further aggravates the problems. The system has been corrupt forever and through this book, the author provides a reflective and true account of highly volatile times. I could not help but marvel at the candor of the person who has been a part of testing times and flinch at the mention of everything wrong that happened during the mentioned period.
Towards the end of the book, the author shared his thoughts on the reforms that must be introduced in the policing system. He stands for ‘community policing’ and very well elaborates on the need for it. I am glad that I could read a book from a police officer’s perspective. If you’re looking for an impactful read, pick this one right away!
My Rating: 5/ 5
Buy your copy here: Khaki in Dust Storm