Book Review: Blood Island: An Oral History of the Marichjhapi Massacre

Blood Island: An Oral History of the Mirichjhapi Massacre is a raw account of the planned genocide where more than 10,000 people were brutally killed by the state-sponsored Police force in Bengal.

Though with time and passing of generation many may have forgotten this dark truth engineered by the Left Front government of West Bengal in the year 1979, when in the name of saving ecology man, woman and children were in humanly killed.

The recent book by eminent Journalist Deep Halder delves deep into the dark history of the Marichjhapi Massacre incorporating the direct accounts of the victims, who luckily survived the brutality to tell the truth to the future generation.

Those killed and survived the massacre are still waiting for the justice in spite of promises by the following government of West Bengal, Trinamool Congress, whose supremo Mamata Banerjee too have promised to see the matter, when she will be in power. Her government is in power for nearly a decade since then, but justice in favor of the victims of the Marichjhapi Massacre is yet to be delivered.

The book may help the governments both at the centre and the state by once again remind in what has happened with the people who came to India for its support but were killed and ignite in them a sense of justice.

About the Book: In 1978, around 1.5 lakh Hindu refugees from Bangladesh settled in Marichjhapi, an island in the Sundarbans, to start their lives a new. However, by May 1979, the island was said to have been cleared by the West Bengal government. An economic blockade and police violence allegedly took place, resulting in diseases, malnutrition and several deaths. Survivors say that the number of those who lost their lives in Marichjhapi could be as high as 10,000, while the government officials of the time maintain that there were less than ten victims.

How does one unearth the truth behind one of the most controversial atrocities in post-Independence India? Journalist Deep Halder reconstructs the buried history through his interviews with survivors, erstwhile reporters, government officials and activists with a rare combination of courage, conscientiousness and empathy.

About the Author : Deep Halder has been a journalist for almost twenty years, writing on issues of development at the intersection of religion, caste and politics. Currently, he is executive editor at India Today Group.

Book: Blood Island: An Oral History of the Marichjhapi Massacre | Author: Deep Halder | Publisher: HarperCollins | Pages: 176 | Price: INR 399/-