How Governments Manipulate Minorities for Political Gain: A Tale of Love and Struggle

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Pune, 12th January 2024: In the backdrop of the 2015–16 Turkish crackdown on the Kurdistan movement, Zîn, a novel published by Penguin Random House India, unfolds an ordinary love story plunged into an unexpected, extraordinary political and historical setting.

Written by Haritha Savithri and translated from Malayalam by Nandakumar K, the novel is currently available for pre-order and is set to release in the last week of January. Zîn narrates the journey of Seetha, an Indian national and a student at the University of Barcelona, who travels to Diyarbakir, Turkey, in search of her Kurdish lover, Devran. Discovering that she is pregnant and desperate to find Devran, who has mysteriously vanished, Seetha unravels disturbing truths upon her arrival.

The state’s attempt to implicate Devran and his family for alleged terrorist links sets the stage for a harrowing conflagration. State-sponsored killings, enforced disappearances, political vendettas, and torture cells become the norm in the region. Seetha, in her pursuit, comes under surveillance by Turkish security forces, leading to her brutal custody and torture. The scramble to rescue Seetha entangles many in the conflict between the Kurds and the Turkish government.

As a promising voice in the thriller genre, Haritha Savithri’s fast-paced and emotionally stirring novel sheds light on the systematic reduction of minority communities by governments, exploiting them as a means to seize power—a situation tragically familiar across the globe.

About the Author:
Haritha Savithri is a writer, freelance journalist, human rights activist, and translator. Her translations include works like Iskender Pala’s Tulip of Istanbul, Samar Yazbek’s The Crossing, and Ahmet Umit’s The Cry of a Swallow into Malayalam. Her book Murivettavarute Pathakal received the 2022 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for the best travelogue. The novel Zîn earned her the Udya Sahitya Puraskaram in 2023. Haritha Savithri, currently residing in Spain, is engaged in research in English Philology at the University of Barcelona.