Sunetra Choudhury briefs her book ‘Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous’. Through the words of a book, she beautifully defines an interesting difference between a common prisoner and a VIP prisoner.
‘If you steal 1,000 rupees, the havaldar will beat the shit out of you and lock you up in a prison with no bulb or ventilation. If you steal crores then you will get to stay in a 40-feet cell which has four split units, internet, fax, mobile phones and a staff of 10 to cook your food and clean your shoes’.
Based on extensive first-hand interviews with some of India’s most well-known prisoners, award-winning journalist Sunetra Choudhury gives you a peek into the VIP prison life. ‘Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous’ includes some interesting incident about the lives of the rich and powerful prisoners: What does Peter Mukherjea do all day in his 4 x 4 cell in Arthur Road Jail? How does a 70-year-old Doon school alumnus who has spent more than 7 years in jail find a will to continue appealing the state and fight his cases? Who came to visit Amar Singh during those 4 fateful days and why this scared him and his wife for life, determining his future friends and allies?
Apart from certain depictions in popular culture or the occasional news reports, there is little information about how rules are bent and law takes a backseat when it comes to people like Sanjeev Nanda, Vikas and Vishal Yadav, Anca Varma and Manu Sharma, who were given special benefits and often sent out on parole and vacations for their good behaviour.
Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous provides for unbelievable details of the life inside prison and the sorry state of hundreds of undertrials languishing in jails, this book questions the primary purpose of imprisonment – is it actually reform, punishment or just misusing the system of which we are a part.
Sunetra Choudhury as a metro reporter she started her career at The Indian Express in 1999. In 2000, with her good achievement, she was sent for Japan’s Foreign Press Centre Fellowship by the paper. She became Indian Express’ youngest Deputy Chief Reporter at the age of 24 and also brought out Newsline, the pull-out city section. In 2002, Sunetra joined the launch team of Star News, a 24-hour Hindi news channel. Within a year, she moved to NDTV. After the success of one of her assignments at NDTV, covering the 2009 election campaign, she authored Braking News.