Bestselling author, actor and TV producer Anirban Bhattacharyya’s ‘The Hills Are Burning’ (Fingerprint) offers a glimpse into the early years of the formation of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and the atrocities and human rights violations the locals suffered at the hands of the ruling CPI-M government and the police to quash the movement and to project the Gorkhas as the antagonists.
Set in Kalimpong, the story recounts actual events of the Gorkhaland Agitation of the late 1980s in the hills of West Bengal. The book narrates the most violent days during those years and uncovers the heart-rending times when the people of the town had to choose between the GNLF protests or becoming the next victims at the hands of the CRPF.
Three 16-year-old friends studying in a boarding school in Kalimpong – Tukai, Norong and Rupesh experience love, friendship, loyalty but are forced to grow up when they come face-to-face with death, destruction and violence.
The author uncovers the buried reports, details of the human rights violations and the heart-rending story of a town and its people who were caught in the crossfire of a revolution.
The Wonder Years meets The Killing Fields in this emotional, sensitive, funny, heart-breaking true story of love, loss, memories, longing and a revolution.
Commenting on the book, Bhattacharyya said, “Memories are ephemeral. They have the tendency to dissipate with age, or tend to attach a different meaning as it ages. I wanted to write about the real stories about the ordinary people of Kalimpong who were caught in the crossfire of the GNLF andolan – before these stories vanished from the collective consciousness of the people with passing time. Many of the brutal stories had been buried or erased by the powers of that era. My wish was that future generations should be made aware of what had happened. The book is also about my friends and me – a coming-of-age memoir juxtaposed against the agitation.”
Anirban Bhattacharya is the creator, producer, and writer of the hit true-crime TV show ‘Savdhaan India’ as well as the producer of the hit series ‘Crime Patrol’ and ‘Fear Files’.
Besides, he has penned two true-crime books, ‘India’s Money Heist: The Chelembra Bank Robbery’ and ‘The Deadly Dozen: India’s Most Notorious Serial Killers’, as well as written a children’s book, ‘The Adventurous 6: The Sinister Summer Holiday’. He has also served as the Content Head at Channel [V] and The Walt Disney Company (India), and acted in movies like ‘Sui Dhaaga’ and ‘Mission Mangal’.