Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail, has decided to write a book in the memory of his wife and comrade Anuradha Shanbag.
On April 12 last year, his wife died due to cerebral malaria while staying ‘underground’ at an undisclosed location in the Naxal stronghold of Chhattisgarh.
The prison authorities have given the politburo member of the banned CPI (Maoist) enough space by giving him a cell completely to himself. Normally, four inmates share a cell in Tihar.
The London-educated leader’s two-room cell also has an attached bathroom and toilet.
Superintendent Manoj Dwivedi of Sub-jail number 3 said, “Kobad Ghandy told us that he needed space and a relative calm, which was not possible in a typical cell for an under trial like him having four inmates, to concentrate on writing the book.”
Acceding to his “request” on “humanitarian grounds”, the jail administration accommodated Ghandy’s cellmates (three) to another cell.
Shanbag, wife of 63-year-old Ghandy, who was in-charge of expanding the party in urban areas and played a crucial role in getting international recognition for the party, was herself a revolutionary, as Ghandy described her to the jail officials.
He told them that she was the lone female member of the central committee of the CPI (Maoist) and had married him in 1983.
Ghandy is expected to reminisce in his book his and Shanbag's years of “struggle for the disempowered” in Maharashtra and Chattisgarh.
Ghandy has already been provided plain sheets of paper and writing material, the jail superintendent said.
He has not sought any reading materials from the sub-jail’s library though.
“Our library is very basic, meant for the semi-educated inmates that usually abound here. It’s not for an intellectual like Ghandy who can write a book himself, not just read them,” said Dwivedi.
He added that Ghandy does not mix much with other inmates.
“They have no time for somebody like Ghandy and call men like him ‘mental’,” he said.
Ghandy, who is afflicted with prostate cancer and cardiac problems, has been referred to the jail’s hospital for “routine treatment” by the doctors at Gobind Ballabh Pant Hospital.
The latter, despite Ghandy’s request, maintained that there was no need as of now to admit him in their hospital, said the jail official.
The official said, “Ghandy alleges the Pant hospital doctors acted at the behest of the Delhi police and fears he might be taken in police custody by the Special Cell.”
Ghandy has been charged with provisions of the central Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.