01 02 03 Halo of Books - Book Reviews : Hello, Bastar : The Untold Story of India's Maoist Movement By Rahul Pandita - Book Review 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Hello, Bastar : The Untold Story of India's Maoist Movement By Rahul Pandita - Book Review


A hidden account of miserable people  

Book Name: Hello, Bastar: The untold story of India's Maoist Movement
Writer: Rahul Pandita  
Source: Read from Library
Total Pages: 202
Language: English
Genre: Non Fiction/ Current affairs


Naxalism and Maoism is a deep concept and we had very little information to study them or their ideologies. Bastar is a district of the state Chhattisgarh in Central India. Bastar district is bounded on the east by districts of Odia state on the south and southwest by Dantewada district and on the west by Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra state. Bastar possesses a unique blend of tribal and odia culture. Rahul Pandita is an eminent journalist and in this book he has tried to showcase the real aspect of Naxal movement in India.


Rahul Pandita has extensively researched for 12 years in Naxal affected area to produce this book. This book starts with the arrest of Naxal leader Kobad Ghandy.

The writer has showcased the plight of the tribal and below poverty line people who do not even have access to  the basic food and water. The price of daal (Pulses) and other edible goods are just a luxury to them. In one place writer has said that tribal has to crush a handful of ants to eat. The Jamidaars (Landlord) have hundreds of acres land but the tribal people do not even have a small land for agriculture.

They are exploited in various ways either by landlords or the government officials.They do not earn more than 2 rupees a day after working hard for a day. The tendu leaves which they collect throughout the day cost around 400 INR in the international market but the tribal people get only .50 paisa for one bundle of tendu leaves.

There are many instances given in this book where government official forcefully loots the grain of villagers. Police, on the other hand, join hands to the landlords and exploits the poor.

Where government need to understand and solve their problems various government officials are torturing them. The lack of basic education and torture of upper caste society these tribal turned into naxal to seek justice.

The book travels from Charu Majumdar to Anuradha & Kobad Ghandy. There are many cases of fake encounter done by police & CRPF personnel, where innocent teenager or youth lost their lives. The most interesting part of this book is to read about Anuradha Ghandy, who was born in an affluent family of Mumbai but to fight for the justice of Dalits and tribal she become a Naxli.

In this book, you can find the ugly truth of the society where the handful people enjoy luxury and other do not even have two-time meal properly. The inappropriate land allocation is the primary reason for Naxal rise. The guerilla warfare, structure, ideology, recruitment, urban agenda is effectively present in this book.

There are various quotes of world wide revolutionist present in this book which you find interesting to read. The afterword of Kobad Ghandy is sympathetic to read.

Writing Style: 

The language is very easy but the writer has jumped from one scenario to another which left reader confused. The end number of statistic sometime give you boredom. Many a places writer doesn't explain the thing perfectly. In my opinion author can have write a better and well tight book if he had tried to fill the gap between the scenarios.

My perception: 

I took this book to know the truth behind the Naxal movement in India and author has successfully managed to convey the message. This is a first hand account book to know about Naxal movement. The book is a result of vast research and various news reports. This book contains various pictures of the life of guerrillas. Pick this book if you want to know the hidden truth of Maoist movement in India.

Halo of book: Good !!

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