Travels In Naxalite Country
By Sudeep Chakravarti
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This is a must-read book. Actually it should be compulsory reading in all high schools and colleges in India. A real eye-opener as well as a page-turner. If you believed for a moment that now is India’s moment in the sun, believed the “India Shining” campaigns, thought India is soon to be a global superpower – well you are wrong, misinformed and unrealistic. India, most of it, is in absolute misery. Great pain and destitution is the common factor for half the population of the nation we are so proud of.
Firstly let’s clarify about Naxalites – they like to be called “Maoists” And no they are in no way interested in Chinese occupation of India. Maoists of India are patriots by default – they love their nation of India more than anything else, hence they have taken up desperate measures to bring India’s citizens their birthrights, their constitutional rights, their right to be free from oppression, right to justice and equality, right to be a human.
This book is an easy read in terms of language but a really thought-provoking, insightful and many times painful read in terms of content. If it doesn’t make your blood boil at the inequities in this “modern India” then you are not even alive. Any sane educated citizen would be depressed and agitated at the wrongs of our civil society, our industrialised nation, our global pacts – because these things are not what we believed them to be – they are means of repression and exploitation.
The book takes us to the remotest parts of rural India. The author has travelled and contacted people at great risks. He has explored the grounds were revolt takes hold. The people who have suffered at the hands of either the Government, the police, the administration, the landlords or the moneylenders. These are real people and the book chronicles real conversations of real lives. These are people who have known nothing but struggle and obstructions in their life and finally turned to Maoism as a final solution to their problems. No man, woman or child takes up armed struggle out of choice, they have been pushed and they have been beaten and they have had no option left but to fight back against a corrupt administration and cruel society.
The book takes us through the known strongholds of the Maoists and has views and opinions of not just Maoist leaders but also bureaucrats, senior police officers (including KPS Gill), politicians and local villagers. This is a book of the common man for the common man. It is a book that will keep you awake long after you have turned the last page. The injustices of corporate India, the desperation of rural India, the corruption of every single one in power, these are bitter truths that we as Indians need to face. It is high time we face these harsh realities instead of ignoring their proximity and growth. This is a revolution for the common man. A book that mirrors the true face of 21st century India.
If there is only one book you would bother reading on the subject of Maoist Revolutionaries (not the lay terminology of Naxalites) make it this one. It will show you and prove to you that these revolutionaries are fighting for you and me and not for any petty cause.