ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India’s Rotten Democracy and the Maoist Movement

Storming the Gates of Heaven: The Maoist Movement in India—A Critical Study, 1972–2014 by Amit Bhattacharyya, Kolkata: Setu Prakashani, 2016; pp v + 557, 1,200.

The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar by Nandini Sundar, New Delhi: Juggernaut Books, 2016; pp xvi + 413, 699.

In India, one cannot hope to be a Maoist and be safe. For the Maoists have thrown in their lot with the wretched of the Indian earth in a revolution, a real one, and therefore one wherein they either live or die. And they seem to be certain that the struggle is worth their lives. For them, the emancipation of the oppressed is a political and an ethical project to be fought for, indeed, even to die for. The damned of the Indian earth need dignity even more than they need bread, but this does not come easy, given the character of the Indian ruling classes and their political representatives.

Amit Bhattacharyya, the author of Storming the Gates, who, in the preface, promises a critical study of the Maoist movement spanning the period 1972 to 2014, has an obvious empathy for the Maoists, an ability to understand and share their feelings, which makes for a certain kind of objectivity that would not have come with the cold stare. He is a democratic scholar who assumes that the Maoists are rational and of good intent, unless otherwise proved to the contrary.

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Updated On : 24th May, 2017
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