A Book Review

Hello Bastar

Hello Bastar , a book by journalist Rahul Pandita is a story of the Maoist movement in India. The author presents a vivid and firsthand account of how the revolutionary movement started and is shaping up and the way they are gaining support among the poor masses. No surprises then that the Prime Minister of India recently termed the Maoists as the biggest danger from within to the country.

This is a story of an India hardly seen or perceived by a majority of us in this country owing to the illusion created by economic development that in fact is enriching only a few.  This tells us how the poor in this country survive on wild berries they collect from forest and how some poor  women around Delhi earn 60 paise to rupees 1.25 after a day of sifting through paper garbage for making a kilo of cardboard.

The book details the ideological and strategic thinking of the leadership of the movement. The revolution they believe should start from rural bases and gradually spread to the cities. The genesis of the struggle lies in unfair distribution of land and exploitation of the mineral wealth and natural resources.

The sordid tale of the atrocities committed on the tribals and the downtrodden by the State’s repressive machinery – the security forces, and the apathy shown by the civil authorities by ignoring their genuine demands makes a rational mind think many times over before dubbing the movement terrorist.

An eye opener indeed