Death of a Moneylender

Death of a Moneylender

Product ID: 26384

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Author: Kota Neelima
Publisher: Roli Books
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 223
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788186939505

Description

Falak, a young journalist from Delhi, is assigned to a remote village in south-central India where a moneylender is found dead, hung from a lamppost in front of his house by an entire village united against injustice. Falak coldly hunts the story for a page-one byline. He does not allow a corrective conscience, an attitude that had in the past cost him his relationship with Vani, a journalist from rival newspaper. Within hours of reaching the village, his story is ready – a villainous moneylender killed by long-suffering villagers. But Falak has also unearthed a disconcerting fact: the moneylender was a kind-hearted, generous man whose death was being used to intimidate other moneylenders.

Outstanding loans are written off to buy peace with villagers, but the politically well-connected and dangerous moneylenders plan a brutal retribution. Shambu, a farmer, seems to have masterminded the death with Bhanu, the moneylender’s son. Falak hates the villagers for committing the crime but also sympathizes with them. He hates the half-truth he reports, but covets the byline it gets him. Truth rescues him from this twilight of dilemma. It devastates him, transforms him. And ironically, also makes him lie.

REVIEW:

‘It is not easy to write good fiction journalism, some of which is fiction anyway. The genius of Kota Neelima’s book on a modern Kabuliwallah lies in the dexterity with which she weaves perceived notions through multiple hypocrisies. At its best, writing is the bridge between India and freedom, between a moneylender and his truth. Death of a Moneylender brings this link to life.’
- M J AKBAR

‘A well-crafted murder mystery that is simultaneously a searing inquiry into the plight of Indian farmers and a moving narrative of a cynical journalist’s self-discovery-a compelling read and a remarkable achievement.’
- SHASHI THAROOR