Thursday, June 02, 2016

How a self-published book is raking controversy and climbing the bestseller list

As the month ends, every Indian publisher out there must be kicking itself for refusing to publish journalist Rana Ayyub’s book, Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up. Or probably not. The book is a goldmine of controversy, and a potential threat to any established publishing house. At a time when Penguin India had to comply with the protestors, despite a strong media support on its behalf, and pulp the copies of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History, it is perhaps not surprising major publishers did not want to take the risk. Launching the book in Delhi recently, the author said she approached at least 12 publishers and all rejected the book. Finally, she published the book herself and made it available via online retail. And, lo and behold, the book sold out in two days time. So much so that the publisher took to Twitter to urge readers to wait for a few days before a reprint is made available.

In 2010, Ayyub, then working for Tehelka magazine, spent eight months undercover in Gujarat. Posing as a filmmaker, she met bureaucrats and senior police officials. The transcripts of the sting operation, unpublished so far, form the core of her book.

Talking about controversy, do have a look at the book’s page in Amazon. The page is filled with equal amount of praise and vitriol, a documentation how the country reacts to the reality.


Reviews on on 2 June 2016/

Negative Reviews/

Knowing the authors credentials, no sane person wud waste time & money this piece of crap

Trash. Only use is of that you can replace toilet paper with this

A few impressions after reading the book: This is obviously a hit-job by the not-so-closet islamist , Rana aunty .

Di5gusting stuff from paid journalist,, belongs to atankwaadi jamaat,, desh drohi jamaat. Defaming national hero of the nation.

Worst book ever!! DO NOT BUY!!

This is pure junk. Poor writing, poor concepts, poor plot and very poor story telling. The author can't even get basic grammar right.

Pure Fiction Story with Bias and Prejudice !

Got the book from a friend and after reading it I came to know how journalists such as Rana Ayyub have fooled people !

Biased view of author

It is full of lies. Completely biased view of author.

Use it as toilet paper

Cow dung

Total waste of Money & Time

I have read this book, but seems like author has some problem in mindset. She has biased view and fixed mindset. Many others are not covered in this book.


This piece of utter crap should not even be used by Bhelpuri walas as that may poison the whole snack. Terrible ! Disgusting!

Positive Reviews

Excellent work which supports democracy and individualism writ large. The author has come out of recluse and displayed her courage. It won't be possible if it weren't she. Thanks Ayyub!

I feel it is extremely important for everyone, who buys this book to leave a review. Whatever, suits them. It's important for people like Ms Ayyub to know that there are still LOADS of people who are interested in reading reality, and hold great regard for people who bring reality to the forefront of our minds while risking their life. Don't mind the fellow Modi bhakts, our friends are a little drunk and stupid. Keep writing.

Very courageous and honest book. Highly recommended to everyone who likes to know the truth.

I purchased this book within one or two hours of its release on Amazon, and I was amazed to see at the time, already 108 people had given it a one star rating! Obviously, none of these had either purchased or read the book, but were working overtime to discredit it. One would think this in itself should constitute evidence of the veracity of its contents.

I finished reading the book in a day. It was unputdownable. Rana Ayyub develops her plot gradually and its credibility grows as one progresses through the book. I like that she does not vociferously express her personal opinion in the pages Also, she allows the readers to join the dots on their own after presenting a sequence of events, instead of thrusting the conclusion on them. I only wish the book had contained some images from the sting videos.

The revelations are gut wrenching and bear frightening ramifications for the country. Now what remains to be outed in the public domain, are the corroborative audio & video recordings. The author's fearlessness and commitment are commendable indeed!

After finishing Tavleen Singh's India's Broken Tryst...I laid my hands on Rana Ayyub's Gujarat Files! Rana Ayyub's is a journalistic tryst whereas Tavleen's book is fully opinionated, still a good read with insight into Gandhi dynasty. Its more like personal grudge against Sonia. The daring investigation Rana did is unparalleled risking her own life. It needs real guts!

Travel through a raw, gut wrenching narrative unraveling step by step truth about people who stay behind the curtains and play their puppets to gain unlimited power.


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