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PRAISE FOR “HELLO, BASTAR”:
“Rahul Pandita had done something unusual – He had studied the Maoist movement at ground level for more than a decade, growing ever more interested in the way it functioned, travelling through the remoter jungles of Central India for weeks on end and spending time with the tribal people”: PATRICK FRENCH, British writer and historian.
“This book could be useful for any future dialogue between the government and the Maoists which is an urgent necessity”: Jailed Maoist ideologue KOBAD GHANDY
“Angry, restrained, detailed, circumspect…a strongly felt portrait of the Maoists of Bastar”: BUSINESS STANDARD
“Pandita achieves a sensitive and humane account of the real lives of the people in the Maoist movement by cutting through not just State and media propaganda but also through Maoist ideology”: TEHELKA
“Read this book if you love India. Read it to understand what it means when the name India is evoked, the reality of the term is certainly much vaster than your own journey through it”: BUSINESS WORLD
With direct access to the top Maoist leadership, Rahul Pandita provides an authoritative account of how a handful of men and women, who believed in the idea of revolution, entered Bastar in Central India in 1980 and created a powerful movement that New Delhi now terms as India’s biggest internal security threat. It traces the circumstances due to which the Maoist movement entrenched itself in about 10 states of India, carrying out deadly attacks against the Indian establishment in the name of the poor and the marginalised. It offers rare insight into the lives of Maoist guerillas and also of the Adivasi tribals living in the Red zone.
Based on extensive on-ground reportage and exhaustive interviews with Maoist leaders including their supreme commander Ganapathi, Kobad Ghandy and others who are jailed or have been killed in police encounters, this book is a combination of firsthand storytelling and intrepid analysis.
PRAISE FOR “THE ABSENT STATE”:
“It doesn’t flinch from uncomfortable truths, it is not bound by compulsions of political posturing or taking fashionable stands”: SUDHIR MISHRA, Filmmaker, in the Hindustan Times
“An extremely readable and timely book. It will be of considerable interest to both lay readers and experts and should be compulsory reading”: TEHELKA
“Highly readable and accessible to an uninformed audience—effectively highlights a Roshomon-like picture of the insurgency—the state’s view, the Naxal cadre’s view, and the villager’s view—and the complex relationship between the absent state, the growing power of the insurgents, and the impact on the everyday lives of the citizens in those areas”: THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS