From the award-winning author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and The God of Small Things comes a searing frontline exposé of brutal repression in India
In this fiercely reported work of nonfiction, internationally renowned author Arundhati Roy draws on her unprecedented access to a little-known rebel movement in India to pen a work full of earth-shattering revelations. Deep in the forests, under the pretense of battling Maoist guerillas, the Indian government is waging a vicious total war against its own citizens-a war undocumented by a weak domestic press and fostered by corporations eager to exploit the rare minerals buried in tribal lands. Roy takes readers to the unseen front lines of this ongoing battle, chronicling her months spent living with the rebel guerillas in the forests. In documenting their local struggles, Roy addresses the much larger question of whether global capitalism will tolerate any societies existing outside of its colossal control.
"A riveting account . . . a necessary book by one of India’s most distinctive voices." -Washington Post
Acclaimed Indian novelist, essayist and activist Roy (The God of Small Things) exposes the violent contradictions of India's economic miracle in this blistering critique of the Indian government's campaign against the Maoist insurgents in the country's central tribal lands encompassing several states. Roy, who recounts time spent on the move with a cadre of rebels, argues forcefully that Operation Green Hunt launched by the state under the rubric of the threat of terrorism is an all-out war to remove indigenous communities from lands already promised to corporations eager to exploit their extremely valuable resources. While acknowledging the Maoism's "problematic past" and acknowledging atrocities on both sides, Roy sees little alternative beyond armed struggle for these people facing aggressive displacement and dispossession by a corporate-government system of exploitation often operating in tandem with NGOs and other power players. Moreover, she sets the Maoist movement in a much longer history of indigenous resistance, and remains impressed by the dignity and courage of the cadres and the alternative model they offer to passive extinction. Informed, impassioned, at times strident, and fleet and fascinating when describing life on the ground among the rebels, Roy's prose will both rouse and ruffle. When she speaks of the vast "universe" of undeclared stakeholders in the profits to be made by such human and environmental destruction, she ultimately points to a global system in which all we're all crucially involved and implicated.