India's 'Maoist movement', erupting in the village of Naxalbari in 1967, claims to struggle for the rights of exploited tribal people and poor peasants. To Indian governments, however, the movement is fomented by crazed ideologues exploiting vulnerable citizens. Since 2003 when a landmine nearly killed the Chief Minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh, hundreds have died in clashes between armed police , guerrillas and rival militias.
Why should a movement that takes its name from a dead Chinese dictator lead the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, to dub it 'the greatest threat to our national security'?
There is much more than Maoism to this story. Drawing on rich veins of scholarship and journalism, this book brings together diverse perspectives on a bloody struggle. Its two dozen contributors analyze and reflect on Maoist ideas, organizations and history across South Asia. The 35 contributions include interviews with policemen, administrators and Maoists, as well as essays by journalists and scholars of South Asian society, politics and economics. Specially drawn maps, and photographs from the places of conflict, make the book a valuable tool and an engaging companion.