Comeuppance: My Experiences in an Indian Prison
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In March 2014, James Tooley, a champion of low-cost private schools across South Asia and Africa, was enjoying a well-deserved break in Hyderabad, reunited with his girlfriend Sara and niece Alissa. One evening he was visited by the ‘friendly’ Mrs Mantra, Deputy Superintendent, CID who was concerned about alleged irregularities in the funding of his NGO, the Educare Trust. Tooley clarified that he had already given a statement to the CID and shutthe NGO down years ago. However, not to be brushed off, Mantra returned to his hotel later that nightÃ‘this time with a posse of subordinatesÃ‘to arrest him without a warrant.
Conditions in prison were dire, and the jailers typically cruel and violent, but the other prisoners were extraordinarily kind. Appallingly, many had been inside for years, never charged with anything, often victims of police corruption and too poor to go to court.
In this disturbing yet gripping book, Tooley recounts his time in prisonand his Kafkaesque struggle against Indian bureaucracy. Even after securing bail, he was subjected to humiliating interrogations, threats from armed goons and demoralizing visits to the court.
A searing memoir and a chilling indictment of the Indian prison system,the police, and the judiciary which allows them discretion to act with impunity, Comeuppance: My Experiences in an Indian Prison is a timely reminder about the terrifying reality of twenty-first-century India.
James Tooley is a professor of education policy at the University of Newcastle, where he directs the E. G. West Centre. An award-winning scholar, he has published widely on the role of government in education with a particular focus on the phenomenon of low-cost private schools in developing countries. His books include The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves (2009); Reclaiming Education (2000) and others. In recent years he has dedicated himself to creating models of innovation in low-cost private education, including chains of schools in Ghana, India and Honduras, and federations of schools in Africa and South Asia. This work has been covered in Newsweek, the Atlantic, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times as well as in documentaries for the BBC and PBS. Professor Tooley has been visiting India for twenty years, and lived in Hyderabad for two. Currently, he is involved in low-cost private education projects across India.