ANNOUNCING THE MONSTER
A collection of essays written over time, touching upon myriad dimensions of our lives and their layered connections, that are made visible by Shah’s ingenious diagnostic skills, surgical precision, and a poetic power of healing. His conviction in the freedom of speech and creative strength of criticism and his living definition of nationalism – asking the correct questions at the correct time – underlies these essays on Indian society, its politics, communalism, science, media and the medical world.
– Imrana Qadeer, Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi
A powerful critique of the present political dispensation in India that has completely destroyed the idea of India that lived in popular imagination. Shah Alam should be thanked by millions for his cryptic, creative and captivating commentary on the process of this destruction. The complete dismantling of scaffolding of democracy, and laying of the foundation of a fascist Hindu rashtra with de-intellectualization and de-rationalization of the polity; bombardment of lies and falsehoods by the ill-educated demagogues with Goebbelsian zeal and unleashing terror through street mobs under protection of state apparatus is the fastest counterrevolution in a country craving for revolution.
– Anand Teltumbde, Writer, Political Commentator & Civil Rights Activist, Goa
This collection of essays is an antidote against ‘collective amnesia’ . It is a stirring and eloquent riposte to irrationality and growing inequality in the Indian society. Each essay is lucid and easy to comprehend. Shah Alam’s empathy for his patients and his acute observations of life around us lends his essays sublime poignancy.
– Gautam Navlakha, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Activist, New Delhi
About the book
Announcing the Monsteris a collection of essays by an ordinary Indian doctor, written during the most extra-ordinary times which the country saw with the coming to power of a right wing government in 2014. The essyas are on a variety of topics ranging from secularism to science. The book has been written with deep angst, not anger, at the events which unforlded in the country after the present regime took over. It is an incomplete book as it does not attempt to give solutions. It was not meant to. Solutions lie withing the debris of the problem. The book attempts to create that debris. As someone has correctly said, when you find no solution to a problem, it is probably not a problem to be solved but rather a truth to be accepted.
Shah Alam Khanis a Professor of Orthopaedics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He writes on a variety of social, medical and ethical issues and is a regular contributor to a number of online and print media.Man with the White Beard, published in 2018, was his first novel.Announcing the Monsteris his first non-fiction. Shah lives in Delhi.