Friday, September 30, 2016

The Heart Of The Matter

Investigative journalist Josy Joseph has written a best-selling non-fiction book, A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India

By Shevlin Sebastian

In the past 25 years, noted investigative journalist Josy Joseph has changed jobs eight times. “That is because many of my stories could not get published,” he says. “So I had to move on.” With a touch of bittersweet wit, he saved the rejected stories in a computer folder called 'Morgue'.

Josy recounted this incident during the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s ‘Let’s Talk’ series held in the city on Thursday. He has just published a non-fiction book called, A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India.

Josy was in conversation with Hormis Tharakan, the former Inspector-General of Police in Kerala. “Josy is in eternal quest of the elusive truth,” says Hormis. “He has a racy style of writing, but it does not diminish the importance of what he is writing.”

The book is heading towards the best-sellers lists, and takes a deep look at the endemic corruption at the core of Indian democracy. “It is about the kind of people who have been running India for the past 60 years,” says Josy. “There are many celebrated business leaders who have exploited the poor. Somehow, as a people, we are unable to distinguish between right and wrong.” 

The subjects include a focus on the aviation sector, with its underworld links, the role of middlemen, the shenanigans in the private sector, and a chapter called, 'The Big League'. It took nine years to write, because for every fact that he wrote, he ensured that there are documents to prove its authenticity.

Asked how corruption can end, he says, “The day political funding becomes transparent, corruption will end.” 

As Josy moves around the country, he is enthused by the response of the youth towards his book. “They are very excited by it,” he says. “Everybody feels that the status quo cannot go on, because Indians are losing hope in the various institutions of governance. Things have to change.” 

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