Author Sumant Batra Launches his Best Selling Book “Anarkali” at The Astor Kolkata

Saturday, March 16, Kolkata: Best selling author Sumant Batra launched his best selling book “Anarkali” at The Astor Hotel Kolkata on Saturday March 16 at a panel discussion moderated by writer and social activist Saira Shah Halim and in the presence of esteemed panelists namely, writer, editor, festival director Anjum Katyal, National Award winning director and theatre personality Ashoke Vishwanathan, and editor-in-chief Om Books International Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri.

During the panel discussion, Anjum Katyal remarked, “…what I found very interesting was sort of the nitty gritty detail of historical research that came through and this is something I talked to Sumant ji about.” Ashok Viswanathan added, “If a book called Anarkali has been written it would be enough provocation to look it up you know. And I think the book is extremely well written, firstly, let me congratulate Sumant ji for that.” Reflecting on the process, Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, editor-in-chief of Om Books International said, “…I have seen Sumant’s junoon for this subject for the last 7-8 years since I have known him…” Saira Shah Halim also praised Batra’s approach, saying, “…when we see deeply toxic films where women are told to lick a man’s shoe, he(Sumant Batra) has given a lot of grace to the character(Anarkali) and also tried to find a closure to it.”

“Astounded by the enriching experience of hosting Sumant Batra’s book launch for ‘Anarkali’, we at The Astor Kolkata are delighted to witness such literary brilliance unfolding within our walls, marking yet another memorable chapter in our journey.” – Amit Kobat, General Manager of The Astor Kolkata

Sumant Batra says, “In Anarkali, I have tried to piece together the puzzle that surrounds this woman whose silhouette is all that we have known, giving her an identity, a name, a family, and a life beyond the tragic love affair she has come to be identified with. What comes forth is a saga, fresh and compelling, reflecting the experience of a woman navigating social structures in the Mughal Empire and bearing the consequences of asserting her desires. At the same time, it honours the romance that originally earned Anarkali her name in history and in myth, inspiring within the narrative a treatise on a love earnest and pure, all-consuming and transcendental.”

Anarkali has been an unprecedented success having become a national bestseller. The first print run of 3000 copies of Anarkali was sold out within 45 days of the launch of the book on 9th December, 2023. The book was launched by eminent filmmaker, Vishal Bhardwaj on 9th December, 2023. Impressed by the story, Bhardwaj has offered to make a film on the book.

Sumant Batra is an insolvency lawyer of global eminence. An International Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, Distinguished Fellow of the Government of India Think Tank, the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, and Visiting Professor of National Law University, Delhi, Batra is ranked amongst the top 30 restructuring lawyers in the world.  He is the Founder of Insolvency Law Academy,  the country’s first institute of excellence in insolvency. As senior consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, OECD, and Asian Development Bank, he has been deeply involved in insolvency reforms, globally. He is considered the grandfather of insolvency reforms in India. Batra is the founder of Kumaon Literary Festival, the country’s premier traveling literary festival with five successful editions and many literary retreats to its credit.

His coffee table book, The Indians, was a bestseller and received rave reviews.  His most recent book was the late actor Sanjeev Kumar’s biography, An Actor’s Actor, An Authorised Biography, co-authored with Hanif Zaveri, and published by Penguin, which featured on the popular show, Kaun Banega Karorpati.

Sumant has established Indian Cinema Heritage Foundation, a public trust, to document the rich history and heritage of Indian cinema. Cinemaazi – the first dedicated research centre on Indian cinema in the country set up by the Foundation is curating the first comprehensive research based freely accessible digital encyclopedia of Indian films and its people.

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