Kannur: Inside India’s Bloodiest Revenge Politics (Penguin Viking)

Kannur book cover.jpg

A sleepy coastal district in the scenic south Indian state of Kerala, Kannur has metamorphosed into a hotbed of political violence in the past few decades. Even as India heaves into the age of technology and economic growth, the town has been making it to the national news for brutal murders with sickening regularity.

What makes this region so susceptible to vendetta politics and such deadly violence? How is it an anomaly in Kerala, the state with the highest social development parameters in India? Born in Kannur and brought up amidst some of the tallest political leaders of the state, author Ullekh NP delves into his personal experiences while constructing a modern-day graph that charts out the reasons, motivations and local lore behind it. He analyzes the numbers that lay bare the truth behind the hype, studies the area’s political and cultural heritage, and speaks to the main protagonists and victims. With his journalistic skill and years of on-the-field reporting, he paints a gripping narrative of the ongoing bloodbath and perceptions around it.

His investigations and interviews reveal a bigger game at work, with players who will stop at nothing to win.

The book is available on Amazon.


Comments about Kannur


“It is to this writer’s credit that he has managed to avoid the pitfalls of being an insider with deep connections to the politics of Kerala and of Kannur. His account is admirably unbiased and impartial. He also writes with an ideal mixture of empathy and detachment… At the same time, he fully exploits his profound, native-born knowledge of the history, culture, society and politics of Kannur—and beyond that of Malabar and Kerala—to produce a finely textured, illuminating narrative.”

— Professor Sumantra Bose, The London School of Economics and Political Science


“A riveting, necessary and deeply personal account of what is perhaps the most brutal battle being waged between Left and Right in India today.”

— Dr Faisal Devji, University of Oxford

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