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Books Of The Week - Saturday, 23rd March 2024

The Fall of Kabul: Despatches from Chaos

 by Nayanima Basu

About the Book

Journalist Nayanima Basu had a ringside view of the total collapse of the republic of Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban. From 8 to 17 August 2021, based in Kabul but travelling outside and talking to Afghans across the political spectrum, she sent despatches of the Taliban sweeping through the country, with provinces falling one after another. Covering a hostile war zone, a woman all alone, she saw the fall of Kabul in real time and managed to get out on the last flight by negotiating with Taliban bosses. Basu transports us to the heart of the action with her vivid narration and precise descriptions of what was happening in Afghanistan at large and Kabul in particular.

Through her astonishing account of how she did her reporting - from asking gun-toting civilians for help to find her way back to her hotel and being chided by the hotel employees to stay safe in an iron room to being the only Indian journalist to ever interview the 'Butcher of Kabul' - Basu tells the story of not just the wreckage of the country's present but also of the contentious past that lead to it.

About the Author

Nayanima Basu is a New Delhi-based journalist covering foreign policy and strategic and security affairs with nearly two decades of experience. A major in history from the University of Delhi, Nayanima has been professionally associated with several media organisations such as the IANS, Business Standard, The Hindu Group, ThePrint and ABP Network. 

She has covered stories such as the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, India's crucial years at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the global financial recession, India's evolving ties with its difficult neighbours like Pakistan and China, and bilateral and multilateral summits. In the course of her reportage, she has also interviewed several key Indian and international political and military figures.


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