In the year 1930 during in the Civil Disobedience Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi millions of Indians bought and publically set British goods on fire. Among them was the author of the book 'My Days in Prison', Urmila Shastri, who joined the movement as a volunteer for the Congress. She was arrested on the grounds of both picketing and instigating university students against the Government with the words- 'Who knows whom the shining rays of tomorrow's sun will awaken with the golden chains of imprisonment and the sacrifices demanded of mother-love?' The British magistrate asked her to apologise so that he could acquit her under a facade of justice. Instead, she chose to go to jail for six months.
Shastri soon comes to know about the atrocities faced by prisoners in other jails, especially the women. Mohmadi, a transfer from Fatehgarh Central Jail tells her about how conditions were there, about how 'they were hit at the drop of a hat' and some of her revelations were so shocking that they've not even been included in the book. Mohmadi's words- 'there is nothing in this world more powerful than bribe' are felt poignantly by the author.
Regular fights, the obscene forms of entertainment, the beatings, the blatant abuse of authority, the constant need to escape reality, Shastri describes her personal experience and observations in the prison. The naked face of cruelty and barbarism which is revealed through the treatment of prisoners has a far reaching effect on the
03:43 PM, May 08, 2012