They say a writer’s best books are written in the most trying of times, and this may just hold true for Hardik Patel too.
The firebrand founder of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), lodged at the Rajpore Central Jail in Surat since mid-October, has decided to use the time at his disposal to do something he always desired – write on social issues. In fact, scouting for a publisher is the first thing he plans to do after being released from prison.
Arrested on charges of sedition, the 22-year-old commerce graduate is penning a book on India’s social and caste system. He plans to publish the work in two volumes.
“Hardik was always interested in reading and writing. But he could not do so because he hardly got any spare time. After completing his graduation, he took to social work. Then the OBC quota movement happened. Now that he has some time in jail, he is writing,” his father Bharatbhai Patel told Hindustan Times.
Remarking that a lot of Hardik’s time goes into reading, Bharatbhai said that he has finished over 350 books since he was put behind bars on October 18. The Patel leader also goes through newspapers and magazines to keep himself updated on affairs of the outside world, and delves in the Ramayana and Mahabharata to nurture his spiritual side.
Bharatbhai, a resident of Viramgam, goes to meet his son in jail twice a month.
Hardik was first arrested on October 18 for conspiring to disrupt a one-day international cricket match between India and South Africa at Rajkot. Later, two cases of sedition – one for instigating a youngster to kill policemen and the other for making inflammatory speeches – were further piled on him. His bail pleas were rejected by the high court as well as lower judicial institutions.
Hardik and his wife Ushaben, along with relatives and close aides, are planning to go on a fast from January 6 to demand his release.