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10 thoughts on “Red Sun

  1. says:

    A surprisingly well written and well researched account on the subjectThe book starts with some detailed maps and statistics regarding the people’s war movement in India and ends with the urban perspective plan 2004 of CPI Maoist attached as an appendix The amount of organisation and how widespread the movement is is both revealing and scaryA travelogue rather than a history as the author himself claims but still he manages to give us a brief historical and ideological perspective regarding the movement since the Naxalbari The author does a good job of exposing the amount of state exploitation poverty rampant corruption caste violence and little or no justice in rural India Something the ruling classes and the middle classes of urban India chose to ignoreThe interviews with Maoists Maoist sympathisers bureaucrats and security personnel provide a lot of insight into the current situationThe future?Peace seems unlikely as the Naxals are dedicated to the Maoist ideology and the path of protracted armed revolution while the state seems determined to ignore the reality and go ahead with their unregulated neoliberal policies leading to further alienation and destitution

  2. says:

    very balanced book on the naxalite movement in india It traces the roots of the maoist insurgency in india as well as their ideology The author has some very interesting if not frightening conclusions about the conseuence of such a revolution to the state the idea of 'In Landcity' states surrounded by ' Out land' areas does not seem so outlandish given the way things are going More than any other book this book really makes a strong case for inclusive growth and investment in development ie education and healthcare in the deep interiors of the country A must read

  3. says:

    Red Sun Sudeep ChakaravartiNaxalbari has not died and it will never die – Charu MujumdarNaxalism is one of the most debated controversial and aggravated threat to India’s national integrity It was also romanticize unnecessarily as a fight against injustice and ineuality Typical stereotypical assessment of Maoism that it is a socio economical issue which can resolve not with guns but with inclusive policy making and uplifting of the tribal by means of good governance is partially correct but not ultimate solution of the problem So many hidden threads are attached to the issue and author had unfolded the same threads in the book ie Red SunSudeep Chakaravarti has travelled through the red corridor especially through Dandkaranya and Saranda second largest area under the command of maoist after dandkaranya He had interacted with the kanu sanyal and abhijeet mujumdar son of charu mujumdar along with many underground comrades of Communist Party of India MarxistLeninist It provides us first hand information about the problems of tribal people and how government officers are ignorant about them Eually author has also depicted the brutal oppression policy by the naxalites over the poor tribal who are unnecessarily suffering between SALAWA JUDUM and naxalites He has assessed unseen facets of Salawa Judumrebellious uprising by adivasis of dandkaranya later supported by the government agencies by providing arms and ammunitionNoteworthy aspect of this book is author has travelled from Naxalbari west Bengal to Bijapur Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh almost through the entire red corridor so how there is also a cast and regional politics for leadership in naxalites organisation how Andhra’s leadership is dominating over the Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand worst condition of women and their exploitation all these thing brilliantly put by author which gives a profound insight of the naxalites movement An interesting anecdote from the book is about a small group of naxalites from Jharkhand separated from main stream organisation fighting against exploitation forest department They don’t want a different country or they are not following Mao’s idealogy Their demands are simple; they want peace and justice from the oppression of forest departmentIn nutshell Red Sun is an interesting and insightful study of india’s internal war which raises many uestions A must read book for all politicians bureaucrats and also for comrades to understand the sombre issue of India

  4. says:

    Middle class India is snug in the belief that India's primary security threats are terrorism emanating from Pakistan and aggressive designs on our territory by the Chinese This book argues that Left Wing Extremism in the form of Maoism aka Naxalism is actually the greatest internal security challenge that India faces However the author puts it in perspective with the following words Maoism is NOT our greatest internal security threat Poverty non governance bad justice and corruption are Maoist presence in a third of our country merely mirrors our failings as a nation In fact as the book shows many in the Administration intelligence and the army also agree with this conclusion Unfortunately there seems to be no easy way to bring good governance lack of corruption and good justice to our land Still this book is an important contribution because it shows middle India a glimpse of the Maoist threat from the viewpoint of the tribal poor who have been largely ignored during the past twenty five years of 'shining India' It is an effective counter point to the view of Maoism as just terrorism isolated to some forested corners of IndiaThe book is in five sections Section one deals with the author's foray into Chattisgarh which faces the biggest Maoist challenge today Bastar district is in the eye of the storm and the author says it is a no brainer because the region has seen no development since the British times and practically everyone in Govt is corrupt and involved in the liuor business and the smuggling of sagun trees The State machinery has responded to Maoist violence here with its own violence through a movement called `Salwa Judum' purification hunt Though the State govt touts it as a popular uprising of the masses against the extortionist excess of the Maoists the author characterizes `Salwa Judum' as follows it is part imagination part administration part intimidation part corruptiona legitimate grouse of a section of the tribal population of Chattisgarh protesting Maoist heavy handedness had been used by the state administration to support and fund a cynical deadly and socially destructive mechanism to counter rebellion with little regard to human life and rights In section two we get to meet current Maoist activists and get appraised of their approach to seizing power eventually in Delhi We get to meet Abhijit Mazumdar son of the legendary Charu Mazumdar the founder of the Maoist movement in India in 1967 as well as Charu Mazumdar`s comrade Kanu Sanyal Unfortunately the rhetoric that comes out of the two stalwarts seems painfully familiar and unchanged as it has been over the past fifty years As before the movement itself is racked by perennial divisions and internecine violence due to its inherent intolerance towards dissentIn section three we see the author having an extensive exchange of views with Varavara Rao another famous Maoist There is an evaluation of the success of the Maoists in Nepal in winning power within fifteen years of the onset of the movement The author says that the success of Maoists in Nepal sends a disturbing message to the marginalized and the poor in Nepal India and elsewhere that unless you commit violent acts the state and the privileged won't care about you In this section the author gives his own views of what it would be like if ever left wing revolution were to succeed in India He says most probably instant justice dogmatic and Puritanical life Soviet style post revolutionary rot vast May Day paradesSection four has details of meetings with high profile officials super cops like KPS Gill and ex maharajas in Andhra Orissa Delhi etc The official view on combating Naxalism emerges as follows the Bodos came home when they were beaten down The ULFA will come home now because they are beaten down fully Everywhere in the world terrorists revolutionaries whatever only talk to you when they have been already beaten on the ground So it looks as though Maoism will be dealt with through a lot of violence and heavy handedness just as in the 1970s in West Bengal and just like what the US does in the `war' against al aeda and ISISThe final chapter finds the author leaving Chattisgarh for the forests of Jharkhand for investigationsThe book is a well balanced one It is neither pro administration nor pro Maoist but mainly pro India's poor It brings out graphically the callous attitude of govt officials the police and the politicians in appropriating the flow of funds into the tribal regions If all the funds spent on Bastar since 1947 were added up and totaled with interest it would come to ten million rupees for each family but there is no evidence of any development still says the author On the other hand history shows that every violent insurgent movement if they don't end up securing power eventually ends up as `extortionist' The Maoist movement also is extortionist after nearly fifty years of struggle I also have doubts about the Maoist threat being so massive yet Everyone says that there is a `red corridor' stretching from Andhra to Nepal and spread over fifteen of the 28 states in India But the numbers from even the most threatened State such as Chattisgarh shows that in 2013 about 130 people died in the insurgency including Maoists police and civilians This belies the image of `a great internal security threat'The book is mandatory reading particularly for those who are interested in this uestion and who also have some background on the history of the Maoist movement in India It is commendable that the author ventured into this investigation as an individual without the backing of any of the major media outlets He even spent his own personal money in traveling deep into Chattisgarh and Jharkhand as well as finding contacts so that he could meet some of the iconic figures on both sides of the divide Since the author has a deep understanding of the uestion and is also compassionate towards the tribal poor who are caught in the midst of this struggle he lets us make our own judgements without offering solutions In fact he must know that real solutions are perhaps not possible because the Maoists are not fighting only for Development for the poor Their campaign will end only when the present `System' is overthrown But then if the Govt manages to bring development good governance and justice to the marginalized and the poor in the `Red Corridor' it will take away the support of the masses to the Maoists and make it hard for them to push through with their agenda To that extent there is still a lot of truth in the maxim that `Maoism in India can be countered only through Development

  5. says:

    Red Sun is a travelogue and should not be mistaken as a purely academic foray into Naxalism Sudeep Chakravarti has written a fabulous account of his travels to the oft ignored parts of the country Much of information about Naxalism is provided through interviews of people from both sides of the fence The writer treads cautiously and comes short of making any conclusions thereby leaving the reader to make any judgement Much of the narrative deals with Salwa Judum which at the time of publication of the book was the subject of most of the debates regarding Naxalism Nepal also gets a lot of reportage than it would have had the book been written in today's time majorly because of the victory of Maoists in the Nepalese elections around that time The book seems to be a good introduction to Naxalism for the uninitiated and keeps the reader engaged However to those seeking a detailed inuiry into the ideology the present situation on the ground and the future of the movement Red Sun will prove short of expectations

  6. says:

    Brave repetitive dry thought provoking and sometimes incoherent The author talks of his travels thru areas infested with Naxalism Talks with both rural and urban ideologues police officers etc get repetitiveI liked narration style of Rahul Pandita 's books Hello Bastar The Untold Story of India's Maoist Movement and The Absent State Insurgency as an Excuse for Misgovernance

  7. says:

    Would have liked background on CPIMaoist

  8. says:

    If you want to understand the history and practice of the Maoist revolution in India try Hello Bastar or Arundhati Roy's extraordinary Walking With the Comrades If you want to understand the particular and peculiar anxieties of Indian liberals read this

  9. says:

    Red Sun Sudeep ChakravartiRed Sun Travels in Naxalite country is a great travelogue in a true sense as the title suggests The uniueness lies in the fact that the author himself has travelled throughout the red corridor putting his life at risk in incidents such as Police ambushes Great style of writing beautiful use of imagery and enormous research makes it a must read book for students legislators administrators policy makers and analysts who live either in willful or inadvertent denial of the Maoist phenomenon as the author rightly says His genuine journalistic observations and impartiality have made this book different from others for not getting carried away while you are travelling in these areas or staying with Maoists for a longer duration is very important Rather than portraying Naxalites as Anti India lumpen elements Sudeep Chakravarti has described them as “misguided citizens driven to despair” Author’s direct interactions with former Maoist leaders Senior IPS officers and people like Charu Majumdar’s son; Abhijit Majumdar make this book a complete readI am absolutely stunned by Sudeep Chakravarti’s style of writing Looking forward to read all his books in next few days“Let the real power flow through the pages of books”

  10. says:

    The book portrays an unbiased view of the issue of naxalism A travelogue primarily the book captures the thoughts of the author as he visits and subseuently introspects trying to make sense of what he sees and hears from the people concerned with the issue The interviews with different people be it within the structure of 'state' the figurative demon according to leftists or the minds of the radical movement provide the reader with the insights from both the sides leaving it for himher to draw conclusions The writers dealing with the issue of naxalism or of the sorry state of development tend to become too sympathetic towards radical movements seeing no other alternative But the travels and hence the writing of the author in Nepal where the maoists have formed their own government by ending the monarchy and the state of the nation after the transfer of power speaks volumes of authors unbiasedness Overall the book was a very interesting read and was not just a history of naxalism in India or an account of how life is in a 'naxalite country'

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  • Paperback
  • 428 pages
  • Red Sun
  • Sudeep Chakravarti
  • 23 October 2016
  • 9780143066538