Festering Wounds – The 1984 Riots
Hardeep Singh Puri, Kanwaljit Deol, NS Madhavan with Preeti Gill
Hardeep Singh Puri
Hardeep Singh Puri is the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs. He has written the book ‘Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos’. Former Vice-President of the International Peace Institute (a nonprofit think tank headquartered in New York) and Secretary General of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism, he was also head of the Indian delegation to the UN Security Council and ambassador and permanent representative of India to the UN, New York. From 2008 to 2009 he was secretary (economic relations), Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kanwaljit Deol is the author of the novel ‘The Year of the Hawks’ and also ‘101 Tips to Survive the City’. She was appointed into the Indian Police Service in 1977 and assigned to the Union Territories cadre. During 38 years of service in the police she has been posted in Delhi, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh in various capacities. As Deputy Commissioner Police in the Crime against Women Cellin Delhi, she was responsible for setting up the very first police response meant exclusively for women. She was posted as Deputy Commissioner of Police New Delhi District during the challenging time of the Mandal Commission and twice in the Delhi Traffic Police. She also served as Additional Secretary in charge of Parliament Security in the Lok Sabha. In 2010 she headed the police force of the state of Arunachal Pradesh as its Director General of Police. In 2012 she was appointed as Director General in charge of investigations with the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, until her retirement in 2014. During her career
she was awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious Service and the President’s Police Medal for
distinguished services in addition to a host of other public awards.
Madhavan is a Malayalam writer of short fiction and novel, a columnist and football and travel writer.
The Kochi-born Madhavan began writing during his college days while doing his Masters in economics by winning top prize for his short story ‘Sisu’, in a contest organised by the Malayalam literary magazine Mathrubhumi.
His first story collection, ‘Choolaimede Savangal’ (Corpses of Choolaimedu) was published in 1981. Thereafter he lapsed into a decade long silence. His come-back story in 1991 was hugely successful and critically acclaimed ‘Higuita’ .. The story weaves around the unconventional playing style of the eponymous Colombian goalkeeper for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Since then he has published four more collections of stories, a novel, a collection of plays, a collection of travelogues and a book of literary criticism.
Some of his stories like ‘Thiruthu’ (The Correction; on Babri Masjid demolition), ‘Van Marangal Veezhumpol’ (When Big Trees Fall; on the 1984 Sikh Riots) etc. are widely read and discussed for their “sharp political content and literary finesse.”
His only novel ‘Lanthan Batheriyile Luthiniyakal’ came out in 2003 traces the story on the life of the Latin Christians of coastal Kerala. The novel’s English translation ‘Litanies of Dutch Battery’ came out in 2010 and subsequently won the Crossword award for Best Indian Fiction in translation.
Madhavan also enjoys a wide readership for his non-fiction writing; some examples of which are his coverages of FIFA Football World Cup in South Africa in 2010, Cuba immediately after Fidel Castro and the Bihar and Bengal elections in 2015.
In 1975, he joined the Indian Administrative Service and was seconded to the Bihar cadre. After long tenure in civil service, Madhavan presently lives in Kochi.
Preeti Gill is an independent literary agent who has more than 20 years experience in the publishing industry as a commissioning editor and rights director.
She has travelled extensively in the North East of India and written on issues of conflict and women. She is the editor of The Peripheral Centre: Voices from India’s Northeast as well as Bearing Witness: A Report on the Impact of Conflict on Women in Nagaland and Assam. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including 1984 in Memory and Imagination (2016). Her documentary Rambuai: Mizoram’s ‘Trouble’ Years (co-produced with Sanjoy Hazarika) was released in September 2016. She has edited She Stoops To Kill, an anthology of murder stories by women as well as Insider/ Outsider: Belonging and Unbelonging in India’s Northeast both published in 2019.
She has built up an eclectic list of women writers from the Northeast when she worked as Commissioning Editor at Zubaan, a feminist publisher based in Delhi. As an independent literary agent she represents many of the best known, most respected, award winning writers from the region.
She spends her times between Delhi and Amritsar where she has set up a literary and cultural hub, the first of its kind, called Majha House (www.majhahouse.com) which regularly holds literary and cultural events and festivals. Her new forthcoming publication is an edited volume of non-fiction essays on Punjab.