HELLO, BASTAR: The Untold Story of India’s Maoist Movement

Hello Bastar by Rahul Pandita

Hello Bastar by Rahul Pandita

Hello, Bastar is the inside story of the current Maoist movement in India. With an Afterword by jailed Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy.

New Delhi,July 14,2011 – Rahul Pandita launched another book called‘Hello Bastar’ at the capital today.The event was held at the India Habitat Center,Lodhi Road where Mr.Digvijaya Singh(Congress General Secretary) made his honorary presence.

The launch of the book was followed by a panel discussion between Mr.Digvijaya Singh,BD Sharma(Former Commissioner for Scheduled Castes & Schedule Tribes) & Rahul Pandita which was moderated by Sagarika Ghose. The Maoists Movement In India was the topic they discussed at the forum.

About the Book - 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 marginalized. 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.

Hello, Bastar is the story of:

. How the idea of creating a guerilla base in Bastar came up
. What the rebels who entered Dandakaranya had to deal with
. The Jagtial movement that created the ground for the Maoist movement
. The first squad member who died for revolution
. How Maoists and their guerilla squads function
. Their goals, recruitment, party structure and funding
. Their ‘urban agenda’ for cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai
. Their relationship with people and peoples’ movements
. Maoist supremo Ganapathi and other top leaders
. Anuradha Ghandy’s journey from Bombay to Bastar

Release Type: Original
Price: Rs. 250
Binding: Paperback
Imprint: Tranquebar Press
Genre: Non-fiction/Politics
Page Extent: 200 pp + 16 pg colour photo insert
Pub Date: June 2011
Territory: World

Highlights of the book:-

. A topical and timely book about an issue that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as ‘India’s biggest internal security threat’.

. Extremely well researched, with firsthand information and experience; the author has spent several months travelling through Bastar, Dandakaranya, Ghadchiroli and other strongholds of the Maoists.

. Has rare and exclusive interviews with top Maoist leaders including Ganapathi, Kishenji, Varavara Rao etc.

. Has hitherto unpublished material on the Maoist agenda, their funding, how they recruit and train their armies, life inside a Maoist camp.

. Essential reading for all security, defence, army and government personnel

. Written in an accessible, reader-friendly style that even general readers will enjoy – it is a story you cannot put down once you begin.

“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… .” From India: A Portrait by Patrick French

“Rahul has put in enormous effort to produce a work based on an important phenomena in today’s India… this book could be useful for any future dialogue between the government and the Maoists which is an urgent necessity.” Kobad Ghandy, senior Maoist ideologue

About the Author - Rahul Pandita is a senior Special Correspondent with the Open Magazine. He is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book on insurgency: The Absent State. He has extensively reported from conflict zones ranging from Bastar to Baghdad.