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'Every day, millions of people -- the rich, the poor and the many foreign visitors -- are hunting for ways to get their business done in modern India. If they search in the right places and offer the appropriate price, there is always a facilitator who can get the job done. This book is a sneak preview of those searches, the middlemen who do those jobs, and the many opport 'Every day, millions of people -- the rich, the poor and the many foreign visitors -- are hunting for ways to get their business done in modern India. If they search in the right places and offer the appropriate price, there is always a facilitator who can get the job done. This book is a sneak preview of those searches, the middlemen who do those jobs, and the many opportunities that the fast-growing economy offers.' Josy Joseph draws upon two decades as an investigative journalist to expose a problem so pervasive that we do not have the words to speak of it. The story is big: that of treacherous business rivalries, of how some industrial houses practically own the country, of the shadowy men who run the nation's politics. The story is small: a village needs a road and a hospital, a graveyard needs a wall, people need toilets. A Feast of Vultures is an unprecedented, multiple-level inquiry into modern India, and the picture it reveals is both explosive and frightening. Within these covers is unimpeachable evidence against some of the country's biggest business houses and political figures, and the reopening of major scandals that have shaped its political narratives. Through hard-nosed investigations and the meticulous gathering of documentary evidence, Joseph clinically examines and irrefutably documents the non-reportable. It is a troubling narrative, but also a call to action and a cry for change. A tour de force through the wildly beating heart of post-socialist India, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the large, unwieldy truth about this nation.


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'Every day, millions of people -- the rich, the poor and the many foreign visitors -- are hunting for ways to get their business done in modern India. If they search in the right places and offer the appropriate price, there is always a facilitator who can get the job done. This book is a sneak preview of those searches, the middlemen who do those jobs, and the many opport 'Every day, millions of people -- the rich, the poor and the many foreign visitors -- are hunting for ways to get their business done in modern India. If they search in the right places and offer the appropriate price, there is always a facilitator who can get the job done. This book is a sneak preview of those searches, the middlemen who do those jobs, and the many opportunities that the fast-growing economy offers.' Josy Joseph draws upon two decades as an investigative journalist to expose a problem so pervasive that we do not have the words to speak of it. The story is big: that of treacherous business rivalries, of how some industrial houses practically own the country, of the shadowy men who run the nation's politics. The story is small: a village needs a road and a hospital, a graveyard needs a wall, people need toilets. A Feast of Vultures is an unprecedented, multiple-level inquiry into modern India, and the picture it reveals is both explosive and frightening. Within these covers is unimpeachable evidence against some of the country's biggest business houses and political figures, and the reopening of major scandals that have shaped its political narratives. Through hard-nosed investigations and the meticulous gathering of documentary evidence, Joseph clinically examines and irrefutably documents the non-reportable. It is a troubling narrative, but also a call to action and a cry for change. A tour de force through the wildly beating heart of post-socialist India, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the large, unwieldy truth about this nation.

30 review for A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India

  1. 5 out of 5

    Arun Divakar

    There are a few words hardwired into the Indian psyche that only float to the surface at the time of elections. Some that I can think of are - development, secularism, anti-corruption, growth, anti-fundamentalism etc. These words lavishly peppered with other well-worn ones like democracy and freedom are used and abused in speeches and other promotional material during the elections. The amusing thing about these words is that they disappear into thin air once someone wins and comes to power, onl There are a few words hardwired into the Indian psyche that only float to the surface at the time of elections. Some that I can think of are - development, secularism, anti-corruption, growth, anti-fundamentalism etc. These words lavishly peppered with other well-worn ones like democracy and freedom are used and abused in speeches and other promotional material during the elections. The amusing thing about these words is that they disappear into thin air once someone wins and comes to power, only to be dusted off and brandished again during the next round. The actual value of the words themselves have been trampled into the dust a long time ago and yet kids still learn about them in social sciences classes as the constituent elements of what keeps India together. The real India, seven decades after its independence from the British is a long way away from these words and its meanings across its length and breadth. A feast of Vultures is a long, hard and cold look at some of the facts about the huge gap across social strata in India and also in how to get things done here. There are a few areas that the book focusses on – corruption, the role of middle men, the cost of doing business in India and the price to be paid by the commoner for infrastructural development. The end result is a very hard hitting account of the ground realities. The mainstream media has a very flimsy approach to reporting the specifics of crimes. If a crime is perpetrated by an individual who is from a background sans political connections, financial backing or supporters in high places then all of his/her details including vital physical statistics and perhaps even the home address will be published by the media. If on the other hand, the person in question is a ‘big shot’ then the media calls this person as only a ‘prominent’ individual. Two entirely different forms of treatment for individuals from different social strata for similar crimes ! Josy Joseph however does not spare any punches and calls out the names of every individual who finds mention here which include the ruling elite, opposition parties, industrialists and celebrities. What makes the cases more persuasive is that the author travels to some of the affected locations which the government has almost forgotten. There are villages and rural hamlets in Bihar where electricity is yet to make an appearance and the most sought after item by everyone is a road which a motor vehicle can pass through safely. There are people living on the fringes of a coal mine which has permanently polluted their home lands and water bodies and these are all literally droplets in the huge ocean of India’s populace. To these people, high-strung words like development and growth are pretty much hot air and nothing more. For the simple reason that they lack money and powerful connections, they are one among the many forgotten chapters of India’s multitudes. For getting anything done through the government or associated agencies, the people living on the lower rungs of the society need to rely on the middle men. These are the people who grease palms, move the right cogs and talk to the right people to ensure that the giant bureaucratic machinery keeps moving. Joseph writes : In short, he (the middleman) must ensure that the government keeps running in the sinister and corrupt way that has become the norm. It would be no exaggeration to say that these powerful intermediaries play a critical role in ensuring that the Indian government does not grind to a halt, its armed forces modernize regularly, that highways are constructed, and the economy keeps growing at a robust rate rather than stagnate. In a perverse way, these middlemen are the answer to an inept and stagnating government. The contents are rather bleak as reality is wont to be and the author does not shy away from the hard facts. Also he does not take a stand that favours any of the prominent political powerhouses of India and examines almost all of them in critical detail. Highly recommended for a reality check on how India functions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Raji

    This has been a difficult book to read. As a citizen of the country, you cannot be ignorant of the corruption and injustice festering through its length and breadth. However, this books offers the jarring realisation that we have only seen a somewhat sanitised version of it. It fills me with despair, guilt, shame, anger and helplessness. That urban India, which gripes daily about infrastructure woes, is largely ignorant of the many struggles of its rural counterpart is brought home rather effect This has been a difficult book to read. As a citizen of the country, you cannot be ignorant of the corruption and injustice festering through its length and breadth. However, this books offers the jarring realisation that we have only seen a somewhat sanitised version of it. It fills me with despair, guilt, shame, anger and helplessness. That urban India, which gripes daily about infrastructure woes, is largely ignorant of the many struggles of its rural counterpart is brought home rather effectively here. At the same time, I am filled with a sense of awe. I realise that every achievement we hasten to celebrate and claim as ‘national’ is in spite of what our country has become and not because of it; that every honest person who is a part of the system fights a daily battle with his/her environment; that those chronicling the injustice and attempting to fight it keep on despite little hope. The perseverance necessary to prevail in a world of undisguised and seemingly endless greed has to be lauded. However, I am now suspicious of every corporate and political success. In fact, I am suspicious of the very nature of the ‘truth’ we encounter on a daily basis. Joseph must be lauded on his courage. These are not stories that make it in their entirety to mainstream media. I am a little surprised that media is not x-rayed here, given its more materialistic bent over the past few years. But then there are only 200-odd pages here or maybe there is a sense of fraternity that is difficult to turn against. As I mentioned earlier, this is a difficult book. Well-written, well-thought out, well-presented, its content seems to suggest that things might never change, at least not in my lifetime. The battle seems to be against a finely-honed system that thrives regardless of caste, creed, religion or political affiliation and speaks only the language of wealth. Since the vultures are feasting, maybe Indian democracy is already dead.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Soni Somarajan

    And the poor continue to beg for their inalienable rights ---------------------------------------------- A dazzling piece of non-fiction, A Feast of Vultures lays bare the problems that confound India. India s best-known investigative reporter, Josy Joseph, writes with moral conviction, yet never denigrates to pontification as he piles up evidence of corruption in high places. The truth is conveyed through a searing prose an alarm for the citizens to wake up and take notice. Corruption is everywhe And the poor continue to beg for their inalienable rights ---------------------------------------------- A dazzling piece of non-fiction, A Feast of Vultures lays bare the problems that confound India. India s best-known investigative reporter, Josy Joseph, writes with moral conviction, yet never denigrates to pontification as he piles up evidence of corruption in high places. The truth is conveyed through a searing prose an alarm for the citizens to wake up and take notice. Corruption is everywhere, more so in India with the aid of the ubiquitous middleman , and the book exposes the morass at the heart of the world s biggest democracy. While the rich get richer, and the poor continue to beg for their inalienable rights, the book displays immense courage in exposing the offenders, who are abetted by India s political class for a price. While it criticizes the decaying system with impunity, the passion to see a resurgent India - minus its ills - is evident throughout the book. One of the stories is about an airline tycoon, who s daylight murder in the 90 s was shabbily investigated and hushed up to abet the rise of a leading rival airline today. The book is a reminder to us, not to look away, but to take notice of what can kill the very idea of India as a nation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Umesh Kesavan

    A brilliant overview of the multiple actors who run our country from behind the screens. The author will be facing litigations from big corps and they are the best reviews for this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashish Iyer

    Nothing new to offer. Dullish read. I read this book with a lot of expectations. Those who read newspaper or magazine on regular basis already know all these things which are mentioned in this book. Its basically like article is written in elaborate versions. No genuine new research. This book is just like a rant. Avoid it. Not recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rohit Enghakat

    An explosive book which explores the underbelly of Indian democracy and the loopholes exploited by business houses to conduct and expand their businesses, by hook or by crook. Every democracy has its own black sheep and legacies steeped in corruption. Reading this book validates your suspicion in how the entire business of running industries and conglomerates in India is nothing but the art of dealing with corrupt bureaucrats and politicians and exploiting the poor and the marginalised. The autho An explosive book which explores the underbelly of Indian democracy and the loopholes exploited by business houses to conduct and expand their businesses, by hook or by crook. Every democracy has its own black sheep and legacies steeped in corruption. Reading this book validates your suspicion in how the entire business of running industries and conglomerates in India is nothing but the art of dealing with corrupt bureaucrats and politicians and exploiting the poor and the marginalised. The author brings out the stories of corruption in infrastructure projects, setting up businesses, allotting mining and telecom licences. How industrialists are involved in parliamentary standing committees concerning their respective businesses which are sheer conflicts interests, how the Indian middleman is the go-to guy for any person setting up enterprises which require licences and how the politicians and bureaucrats are involved and have to be bribed right from the lowest to the highest echelons in the power corridors of the parliament. The author calls out the names of industrialists and ministers in the book who have indulged in malpractices and shady deals. Special mention to the detailed stories of India's arms dealers and corrupt military leaders who have a say in India's huge military spends. There is also the detailed story of the rise of East-West Airlines and its promoter Thakiyuddin Wahid and the circumstances which led to its fall from grace to bankruptcy. The author could also have given details of other much-publicised scandals like the 2G telecom scam (it is given in brief in the book without any detailed investigation), Commonwealth Games scam and the Adarsh housing scam. This was, however, a truly satisfying read and the next time I read about a factory being set up or a business house winning deals, I have a fair idea of what went behind the scenes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Harsimran Khural

    One line summary: "yeh bik gayi hai gormint!" One line summary: "yeh bik gayi hai gormint!"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Annie Zaidi

    This is a brave book, based on some good, old-fashioned journalism. It serves as a reminder of the processes that are eating up our democracy from within - the black money that not only leaves but also returns to the country, via tax havens, in the form of 'investment'; the businessmen who are no longer content with simply lobbying elected representatives and are increasingly buying their way into both houses of Parliament and blatantly sitting on committees and in ministries where the conflict This is a brave book, based on some good, old-fashioned journalism. It serves as a reminder of the processes that are eating up our democracy from within - the black money that not only leaves but also returns to the country, via tax havens, in the form of 'investment'; the businessmen who are no longer content with simply lobbying elected representatives and are increasingly buying their way into both houses of Parliament and blatantly sitting on committees and in ministries where the conflict of interest is obvious and direct; and the incessant miscarriage of justice and silence of the media. I was shocked to learn that the government intelligence forces did have reason to believe that Mr Goyal/Jet Airways had ties with Dawood Ibrahim. I continue to be shocked that this is not a line of investigation being pursued given the murder of his nearest competitor Thakiuddin of East West Airlines, who was wrongly, cruelly linked to Ibrahim instead. It tells us a lot about the workings of business and media, police and the middlemen who manage, invisibly, the corruption that is all around us.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ajay

    Okayish. Not that good read. Maybe i had expectation from this book. It was just collection of information that we already know. Almost everything is pictured to be black and disorienting. Too left leaning and without convincing arguments. The author seems deliberately trying not to look biased and fails to do so with confusing and contradicting views.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashok Krishna

    Riveting. Revealing. Revolting. Will share the full review soon.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ekita Parmar

    Same old Typical Crony Capitalism rant by a Left-Liberal.. And shows some clear biases at times..

  12. 5 out of 5

    ajay Kumar

    while it picks up the right topics but the sense of detailing is so low that you fell like you are reading a long format newspaper article than a book...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raghuram V

    Too stark and difficult a read - not from a writing style perspective but from the presentation of the core theme. Nothing new/different from articles in most dailies.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pooja

    I watched an interview of the author talking about the book and he said "I hope that this book makes people of India angry." Well, it certainly did. I'm more aware about my country now, its hidden businesses and unsung acts of honesty. I need to ponder and take action to ensure a better India now. As for the book, read it if you are an Indian millennial because there is so much at stake. I watched an interview of the author talking about the book and he said "I hope that this book makes people of India angry." Well, it certainly did. I'm more aware about my country now, its hidden businesses and unsung acts of honesty. I need to ponder and take action to ensure a better India now. As for the book, read it if you are an Indian millennial because there is so much at stake.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sriram

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not what I like.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Yash Sharma

    The People Who Are Running India : The Dalal’s (middlemen) Of Hindustan ------------------------------------- Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. -Aristotle A feast of vultures, the hidden business of democracy in India is a stellar piece of investigative journalism. And before I write on this topic I wanna salute to the author of this book for being courageous and honest in his thoughts. And the USP of this brilliantly written book is that within few hundred The People Who Are Running India : The Dalal’s (middlemen) Of Hindustan ------------------------------------- Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. -Aristotle A feast of vultures, the hidden business of democracy in India is a stellar piece of investigative journalism. And before I write on this topic I wanna salute to the author of this book for being courageous and honest in his thoughts. And the USP of this brilliantly written book is that within few hundred pages he unravelled the dark reality of the world’s largest democratic country, India. So, let’s start with some basic questions. What is democracy? Who are those people who are running this country (India)? And how dangerous is the lethal combination of Politicians-businessmen-criminals-middlemen, for India and it’s inhabitants? And what are the solutions to save India and it’s institutions from such kind of vultures? Theoretically speaking, Democracy means ‘People’s Rule’, but in reality it’s an another form of exploitation of the common man by the elected representatives. And the people who are running this country are the heinous combination of Politicians-businessmen-criminals-middlemen. These people decide the fate of the 1.3 billion People. From the shady defense deals to the construction of an airport are decided by these people who sometimes works below the radar. And the best example to show that how dangerous these people for the country can be gauged by the fact that ‘India is a rich country with too many poor people’. These narrow minded people always put their self interest first and they also make sure that all the wealth of this country resides in their hands only. They promote their own family members to the top position of this country. They have the habit to fool the people of this great country in the name of pseduo-socialism and pseduo-secularism. And to save this country from these vultures we have to shed the slave mentality which sadly ingrained in most of the Indians who foolishly accepts the hereditary transition in Politics as well as in bollywood too. I will end with these lines of Dr BR Ambedkar :- Democracy in India is only a ‘top dressing on an Indian soil, which is essentially undemocratic’. My Ratings : ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) I hope you like this, thanks for reading, Jai Hind.

  17. 5 out of 5

    A Man Called Ove

    A very courageous book that names and shames India's top industrialists for their illegal and inhuman paths to riches. Also gives a glimpse into how the political machinery works at all levels. However, the book seems to be written in a haste and it should have been longer and indepth. A very courageous book that names and shames India's top industrialists for their illegal and inhuman paths to riches. Also gives a glimpse into how the political machinery works at all levels. However, the book seems to be written in a haste and it should have been longer and indepth.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sainath Sunil

    this book is a troubling reportage of the state of affairs of governance and its the various arms that are meant to keep corruption and malpractice in check. sadly we have seen a cohabitation of both. this book explores the role of middle men who could be anything for ex military to politicians to stenos or personal assistants of ministers and bureaucrats who would the real power. this book also discusses the rapid rise of how corporate India remains a benefactor of which ever party that comes t this book is a troubling reportage of the state of affairs of governance and its the various arms that are meant to keep corruption and malpractice in check. sadly we have seen a cohabitation of both. this book explores the role of middle men who could be anything for ex military to politicians to stenos or personal assistants of ministers and bureaucrats who would the real power. this book also discusses the rapid rise of how corporate India remains a benefactor of which ever party that comes to power and thus have to be nimble footed. it also recounts the role of activists and civil society in ensuring that some modicum of justice can be preserved often at terrible personal costs. all in all an amazing book, not those for the light hearted for sure...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sankarshan

    The book does not provide any material new information or, surprise if the reader is familiar with publicly available data and books on the topics viz. petrochemical deals; Air India and private players and such. The chapter which has been excerpted and concerns the 'backroom individuals' is an interesting one. In the sense that it manages to not have much while providing a great deal of insight about the manipulations and machinations. And yet again, a book like this needs a companion web-site The book does not provide any material new information or, surprise if the reader is familiar with publicly available data and books on the topics viz. petrochemical deals; Air India and private players and such. The chapter which has been excerpted and concerns the 'backroom individuals' is an interesting one. In the sense that it manages to not have much while providing a great deal of insight about the manipulations and machinations. And yet again, a book like this needs a companion web-site of notes, references, secondary research material and so forth. That makes it easy to discover one's own path.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kaśyap

    A journalistic work on how the rapacity and greed of the Government-Businessmen-crime nexus rules this nation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vaishnavi Devshatwar

    Truth is bitter to read, but it's time to accept and try to do something to make India's democracy more stronger and efficient. Truth is bitter to read, but it's time to accept and try to do something to make India's democracy more stronger and efficient.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Puneet Shetty

    Of the few lines that stuck with me after reading the book 'A feast of vultures' this one is probably the most moving - "Our cities are lit up with their tears." Their refers to the villagers who have for a very long time been fighting a losing battle against Indian conglomerates who have been exploiting the nation's natural resources for their personal gains. This book gives an immense understanding into the " business of democracy" since India has attained Independence and the kind of country Of the few lines that stuck with me after reading the book 'A feast of vultures' this one is probably the most moving - "Our cities are lit up with their tears." Their refers to the villagers who have for a very long time been fighting a losing battle against Indian conglomerates who have been exploiting the nation's natural resources for their personal gains. This book gives an immense understanding into the " business of democracy" since India has attained Independence and the kind of country that we have inherited today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abhinandan

    Deeply anguished by the state of India's democracy. A brave book by Josy Joseph. Deeply anguished by the state of India's democracy. A brave book by Josy Joseph.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Fernandes

    Through The Feast of Vultures, Joseph articulates much of what we know but fail to acknowledge. He brings to the light what we’ve for so long swept under the rug, hoping that the ever-growing not-so-well disguised pile of garbage can hither go unnoticed. That junk that we’ve let accumulate is a sorry representation of our political, social and economic system - a mere rubber stamp of democracy that buried under by corruption, crony capitalism and criminals. We need investigative journalism of th Through The Feast of Vultures, Joseph articulates much of what we know but fail to acknowledge. He brings to the light what we’ve for so long swept under the rug, hoping that the ever-growing not-so-well disguised pile of garbage can hither go unnoticed. That junk that we’ve let accumulate is a sorry representation of our political, social and economic system - a mere rubber stamp of democracy that buried under by corruption, crony capitalism and criminals. We need investigative journalism of this stature leading our public discourse. Not the virile, screechy sycophants that have become evening show time features. Maybe then we stand a chance? Oh and yes, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Please read it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashish

    The book is the culmination of the information and knowledge that the author has gathered over an illustrious journalistic career, about the way our country works and what it takes to get anything done. It showcases the sheer amount of crony capitalism, rampant corruption and excessive greed which feeds the engine of "growth" at the cost of the environment, social justice and fair play. It's an eye-opening account for someone unfamiliar with how India works and provides a lot of insight to show The book is the culmination of the information and knowledge that the author has gathered over an illustrious journalistic career, about the way our country works and what it takes to get anything done. It showcases the sheer amount of crony capitalism, rampant corruption and excessive greed which feeds the engine of "growth" at the cost of the environment, social justice and fair play. It's an eye-opening account for someone unfamiliar with how India works and provides a lot of insight to show how far the rot goes to someone who is aware of its existence. Power-play, buying people, influencing decisions, arm twisting and other nefarious means are employed on a regular basis to favour capitalism as we know it, leading to an increased social and economic inequalities, disenfranchisement of a majority of the poor and the tribals and further dividing an increasingly fragmented society. It is also the driving force behind the Naxalite movement. The author doesn't spare any party or person as he writes of the frustrations and hopes of the people and especially of the expectations from the new government, but he reiterates that there isn't show of much intention by actual work and not just empty rhetoric. The author shows really well, showing us the apathy and hopelessness that past events fester in peoples' hearts. It also shows us the undying spirit of the people who she doing all they can to fight this cancer. He ends it at a somewhat positive note, celebrating the undying efforts from activists and whistle-blowers and the need for better reforms to protect, encourage and enable them to bring these issues out in the open, inform the public, incentivise popular support and engagement as they actively participate for their rights. He remains cautiously optimistic as the problems seem to be too extensive and too far engrained in the psyche of a country which has seen and been through so much.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rohith

    'A Feast of Vultures' is a collection of articles and some additional material by noted investigative journalist and national security editor of The Hindu, Josy Joseph. In three parts, Joseph describes the grime that lubricates India's business and governance. In the first part, he deals with the middle man, the guy who thrives in the space that the average joe feels too intimidated to traverse as the state is too big and nasty. The middleman gets the job done and greases his pockets in the proc 'A Feast of Vultures' is a collection of articles and some additional material by noted investigative journalist and national security editor of The Hindu, Josy Joseph. In three parts, Joseph describes the grime that lubricates India's business and governance. In the first part, he deals with the middle man, the guy who thrives in the space that the average joe feels too intimidated to traverse as the state is too big and nasty. The middleman gets the job done and greases his pockets in the process as well. Indian history hasn't seen many 'famous' middlemen, as they lurk in the shadows. Occasionally, when one of them breaks kayfabe to write a book like the infamous M.O. Mathai, private secretary to Jawaharlal Nehru, they are taken care of by their political masters. Part 2 deals with the cutthroat aviation industry particularly the dramatic rise and fall of Thakiyuddin Abdul Wahid's East West Airlines as well as his eventually successful competitor, Jet Airways' Naresh Goyal and their murky dealings with the underworld. Part 3 consists of Ambanis, Adanis, Mallya, Jindal and other popular names in India's business space who have captured politics and governance of the country. It is telling how tax havens and the state machinery have amped up corruption since the 1990s when India's economy was opened up. The radical revelations over several decades show that the game remains the same, only the players change. With the recent digital talk, we are getting to see the capture of digital resources in a similar fashion to how the rest of the country's resources have become oligopolistic. The only hope throughout are groups of people who have decided that they will not let this feast of vultures continue. Fantastic read by Josy Joseph on how a select few have captured India's business and politics and are maneuvering the country's resources for private greed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shanavas Pn

    A COURAGEOUS PROFILE OF INDIA'S GROWING CORRUPTION Josy, an investigative journalist behind India’s recent journalism scoops, effectively straddles his makeover as a leading non-fiction writer. While his work through the years chronicles the brutal saga behind India’s leading problems of corruption and ‘middle-man’ equations—Josy courageously names politicians and businessmen, who are complicit in the art of undermining India’s progress for their selfish agenda. As the country’s image suffers in A COURAGEOUS PROFILE OF INDIA'S GROWING CORRUPTION Josy, an investigative journalist behind India’s recent journalism scoops, effectively straddles his makeover as a leading non-fiction writer. While his work through the years chronicles the brutal saga behind India’s leading problems of corruption and ‘middle-man’ equations—Josy courageously names politicians and businessmen, who are complicit in the art of undermining India’s progress for their selfish agenda. As the country’s image suffers in the international media – for its suffocating corruption, lagging infrastructure development and the burgeoning divide between the poor and the rich – the truth is the national media has become a conniving accomplice in furthering these negative interests. The story of real India is yet to be told, submerged as it is by increasing instances of commercial houses silencing their critics, with the lure of the lucre and sheer muscle power. In A Feast of Vultures, Josy effectively unplugs the nation’s nauseating drain of carefully hidden secrets and its unholy nexuses—a historic account of the many devastating truths that are a by-product of the economic liberalisation which began in the 90’s. The facts are brilliantly presented, while the real-life characters add to the narrative – lifted by an incisive, observant, and smooth prose.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ankur Vohra

    If you want to get depressed about state of affairs for us in India-pick up this book. I think you can call the book more a piece of narrative journalism which lays bare the well known but rarely told ways in which the Indian democracy and its institutions work. The writer raise some pertinent questions about- why the most important questions facing our democracy like Funding of our Political Parties, The politician-corporate-criminal nexus and so on, can only find limited coverage in our mainst If you want to get depressed about state of affairs for us in India-pick up this book. I think you can call the book more a piece of narrative journalism which lays bare the well known but rarely told ways in which the Indian democracy and its institutions work. The writer raise some pertinent questions about- why the most important questions facing our democracy like Funding of our Political Parties, The politician-corporate-criminal nexus and so on, can only find limited coverage in our mainstream media while we are bombarded with daily dose of gossips on our Film stars, cricketers and others which is not going to have any effect on our daily life's and although this book does not talk about any particular case in detail but it does a good job of showing us mirror to the hypocrisy of times and society we live in. Read this book just to understand how our country is run- A cause which should have been taken up by our main stream media but unfortunately, which gets lost in the din of them running after TRP's and advertisement revenues.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anal Ghosh

    The deep-rooted business of corruption in India as seen through the years of investigative journalism by Josy Joseph. There are eye-opening revelations about middlemen whom we never hear about (typists & acquaintances of the ruling clan, arms deal brokers, tax haven logistics providers, etc.) and the enormous power they wield in policy decisions and government deals. The book dedicates a significant portion to the private aviation sector, the meteoric rise of East West airlines, and how a certai The deep-rooted business of corruption in India as seen through the years of investigative journalism by Josy Joseph. There are eye-opening revelations about middlemen whom we never hear about (typists & acquaintances of the ruling clan, arms deal brokers, tax haven logistics providers, etc.) and the enormous power they wield in policy decisions and government deals. The book dedicates a significant portion to the private aviation sector, the meteoric rise of East West airlines, and how a certain Naresh Goyal used the system (government and underworld) to grind it to a halt to fuel the growth of his own airlines. The lucid writing makes it easy to breeze through the pages. Despite this, large parts of the book don't divulge anything new as such, and Joseph uses other stories he has covered (Jindal, Vendanta, Ambani, Adani) just to fill up the pages. Also, though he has categorized the content into distinct chapters, they are not very coherent and there is quite a bit of overlap. A must read, nonetheless, if you are interested in the topic.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shafeeque Suhail

    Questions that arose in my mind each time a scandal or scam broke, finds a place in Josy’s book. “ The duty of the new officers was to push aside all kinds of obstacles and facilitate industries, and if there were laws for protecting the tribals and the forest, and for land acquisition their duty was to help the entrepreneurs overcome them, because India wanted all these thousands of megawatts of electricity and ores.” A Feast of Vultures, a terrifying read on corruption in India, is testimony t Questions that arose in my mind each time a scandal or scam broke, finds a place in Josy’s book. “ The duty of the new officers was to push aside all kinds of obstacles and facilitate industries, and if there were laws for protecting the tribals and the forest, and for land acquisition their duty was to help the entrepreneurs overcome them, because India wanted all these thousands of megawatts of electricity and ores.” A Feast of Vultures, a terrifying read on corruption in India, is testimony to how modern civilization is only destined to fail.

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