“Have read or heard of the book Who Killed Karkare?,” I asked an avid reader and friend of mine. “The one, written by Mrs. Kamate?,” she questioned instead of answering. “No, the book ‘Who Killed Karkare: The Real Face of Terrorism in India’ is written by former IG Police of Maharashtra, SM Mushrif—the person known for unearthing Telagi Scam”, I replied back. “But I have not read about this book in mainstream media, neither found at display of any book stall”, she complained. There wasn’t any reason to disagree with her, since what she was saying was true. Like my friend, even I have not read anything substantial about this book in ‘mainstream’ print media leave alone the coverage in electronic media. But why, both of us wondered.
In October 2009, one month before the first anniversary of terrorist attack on Mumbai famously known as 26/11, Delhi-based publishing house, Pharos Media published the book ‘Who Killed Karakare?’ The book deals with the issues related to bomb blast investigations, role of intelligence agencies and the entire episode of the Mumbai terror attack and its investigation at length. Unlike popular belief of involvement of ‘Islamic Terrorists’ in all the cases of terror attack in India, the book argues on an altogether different plane. The author claims the role of Brahmanist lobby in all cases as he concludes, “My research tells that all the above-mentioned issues are correlated and interconnected. The main players in this game have been the Brahmanists – a very small section amongst Brahmins and also some highly-indoctrinated non-Brahmins, the Brahmanist-dominated IB, and a section of the media controlled by the Brahmanists” (P.14). The book is based on the author’s experience in the Police service and on the reports published in newspapers and periodicals in respect of communalism and terrorism during the last few years.
Well, come to the main issue—why ‘mainstream’ media preferred to blackout such a provocative book? Why media is afraid to discuss the contents of the book, serialise or publish the most important parts in their publications even after an offer by the publisher of the book? Subhas Gatade, a senior freelance journalist and an expert on issues related to communalism and terrorism in India, has some very important and interesting points to make, which in a way or other answers the questions raised by this reporter. Gatade says, “The mainstream media preferred to ignore this book because, first of all, it has lot to do with mainstream media. In fact, in a way it has exposed the real face of mainstream media. Secondly, the book raises some very uncomfortable questions about the investigation of the cases of bomb blasts and talks about the nexus between mainstream media and security agencies”.
Third edition of the book has already been in the market; in fact publishers will be soon bringing the fourth one. Till now, Urdu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam version of the book is also on stand and Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Marathi version will be hitting the stand soon. Mazin Khan, publisher of the book is satisfied and he has reason for it. “We are yet to reach the common readers, which was our prime intention to publish this sort of book,” he says in a concerned tone while his colleagues are busy dispatching the book ordered by readers from different parts of the country. “We are dispatching, on an average, 10 to 20 copies of the book everyday,” Mazin’s colleague Kausar informs this reporter. Kausar is just back from Hyderabad NCPUL Book Fair, where the book has been taken by hand to hand by visitors and made record sales but not a single ‘mainstream’ media house bothered to report about this book being available while covering the book fair leave alone reporting its being hot-cake or bestseller.
What is most surprising, the mainstream alternative publication also followed the ‘mainstream’ media houses. Both Tehelka weekly and Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) did not bother to share the information about this book with their readers. In fact, a Mumbai based journalist sent a review to EPW but when it was not published, the reviewer sent the same to a lesser known web-portal—Himal Times, where it was published. “It’s really unfortunate”, says Mazin. The multi-edition Urdu daily Rashtriya Sahara also followed the same line. “It can be excused, if book have been only in English or any other language except Urdu. Moreover, I am also unable to understand, why the same Sahara Urdu, which took altogether different stand not following their counterparts on the Mumbai terror attack and other cases of terrorism, did not bother to spare some columns to discuss important parts of the book,” asks Mazin.
Contrary to the book Who Killed Karkare?, the book “To the Last Bullet”, written by Vinita Kamte, wife of the ACP Ashok Kamte, who was killed in Mumbai terror attack, was much publicised. English weekly magazine, The Week did a cover story making this book a lead. It would be unfair to say that, Mrs. Kamte’s book is not something worth reading. However, when you compare this book with Who Killed Karkare, the latter would be preferred. The reason, while S M Mushrif’s book essentially deals with politics of terror, loopholes in investigations, etc, Mrs. Kamte’s book is more focused on life and works of Ashok Kamte along with her harsh experiences with Mumbai police while obtaining details about circumstances in which her husband was killed.
Mazin has all reason to worry as publisher but I have good news for him. Though, like Delhi I could not find the book at stalls, neither any at book stalls of Railway stations between Delhi and Bangalore nor at Banagalore Airport bookstall however, I must confess, a number of people I met both in Bangalore and Mangalore (most of them are either journalists or activists) during my recent visit, had a copy of the book in their bookshelf. Hence, it can be said that the book Who Killed Karkare? might have been killed by ‘mainstream’ media but it is becoming bestseller as once listed as bestseller in Vijayawada edition of The Hindu daily. (Source: TwoCircles.net)