Rana Ayuub’s Book on Gujarat Pogrom Launched in a Grand, Hugely Attended Ceremony

Rana Ayyub at the launch of his much awaited book, The Gujarat, at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on Friday.
Rana Ayuub at the launch of his much awaited book, Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up at India Habitat Center in New Delhi on Friday.–Image credit: Mayank Austen Soofi

There was almost no room to breathe at Rana Ayyub’s much awaited book launch on the Gujarat pogrom with everybody who’s somebody in Delhi making it. It ended up being the biggest event of the season

Mayank Austen Soofi 

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here was so much room to breathe during the forgettable launch of Tavleen Singh’s book a few weeks ago at the India Habitat Certer. The veteran journalist with 233K followers on Twitter is a passionate devotee of the current regime and there were barely any people in the venue.

There was almost no room to breathe at Rana Ayyub’s memorable book launch. It ended up being the biggest event of the season.

One recent evening The Delhi Walla attended the unveiling of Ms Ayyub’s book Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up. The young journalist with mere 98.8 K followers on Twitter is a passionate critic of the current regime and the hall was filled beyond capacity. A long queue stretched outside the auditorium.

L-R,Rajdeep Sardesai,Barkha Dutt,Shekhar Gupta,Saba Naqvi and Seema Chishti.
Journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Gupta, Saba Naqvi and Seema Chishti were among the galaxy of guests who attended the glittering ceremony. Image: Mayank Austen Soofi

Inside, it was a scene straight out of a Bombay local. The elegant women in hand-woven saris had a hard time making their way through the leftist crowd–most men were unshaven. The hall was so packed that there was no way to watch the author in perfect convenience—her wildish hair looked like a bird sanctuary. Most of the attention on the stage was claimed by lawyer Indira Jaisingh who frowned through the evening. She looked like Indira Gandhi with a daughter-in-law trouble.

Even so, the beautiful people must be noticed. Journalist Saba Naqvi was in a red sari. Historian Zoya Hasan came in a salwar suit with a blue dupatta. Former East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit flaunted a diamond earring. TV news star Rajdeep Sardesai wore a pink shirt and an iPad.

Author Raghu Karnad looked quite solemn.

A lot of famous faces stood in the waiting line outside. Eminent journalists Barkha Dutt and Shekhar Gupta behaved like true Delhiwallas by jumping the queue (see photo 17 below). HarperCollins India publisher Karthika VK walked in muttering about Veerappan. The dreaded sandalwood smuggler was from South India. Ms Karthika, too, comes from somewhere in the South. Author Sankarshan Thakur looked irritated, as always. Rajni Malhotra of Bahrisons Booksellers flashed happiness.

Ellen Barry of The New York Times was also spotted.

Arundhati Roy, too, was sighted. The novelist’s shoulders were scandalously bare (I’m not showing her photo).

Courtesy thedelhiwalla.com


  1. Are on only Mr. Narendra Modiji is responsible for 2002 Gujarat riots pogrom? What role played by Mr. L.K.Advaniji a senior BJP leader of BJP? He was ready for Raj Dharma to resign from CM of Gujarat in 2002.
    Who prevented him not to resign?

  2. Had hoped for a political eye on the book release or something related to the content, who cares who all attended the ceremony and especially what they wore. Such articles don’t need to be reposted, especially containing sentences like these:

    “The novelist’s shoulders were scandalously bare (I’m not showing her photo).”

    Roy is an amazing author and activists and if she or anyone else feels like showing their shoulders, it’s not a scandal at all. Every human has shoulders, we knew that before, nothing to be shocked about.


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