Book Review: Hello Bastar by Rahul Pandita

Hello Bastar by Rahul PanditaDemocracy at its core stands for the last men of the society. This man and millions of others like him gets the opportunity to elect a public servant for handling the affairs of the state. This public servant holds the responsibility to ensure the just and equal distribution of the opportunities among the subjects of the state. In return, the natives of the state make payments in form of taxes as a contribution for sustenance of this system. But when this system go corrupt; public servants forget their employers, begin crushing the angry voices and the unrest grows. This anger of being alienated motivates people to believe in a new idea of governing their society. For the people, who have seen this idea, working in their small worlds, while giving them an identity, is everything. It is far more important than Mera Bharat Mahan because they have been an alien to this mahan bharat concept. To be specific, these socially and economically exploited people can’t buy the power point presentation of shining India at the cost of their lives. So they stand up and go on fighting with the state, knowing they can die next morning. But death is at every step you land in the jungle so it’s better for them to die for a purpose and for people who trusts in you. These very people accept dying in a police party ambush, knowing the fact that big red day won’t come so easily and sacrifices will be required. But for them it seems better to die fighting than dying helplessly.

I narrated this whole story to let you know how this book Hello Bastar by Rahul Pandita introduces the Maoists armed struggle in a simple manner. This struggle has been termed as the biggest internal threat to the nation by former home minister. For the rest of India, this armed struggle is only few numbers and headlines. Every offensive whether against or by the Maoists get the headlines that goes like this: in an ambush five police guards killed in gruesome fashion and police party killed seven top commanders of the people’s war group in an encounter. But such stories deliver no reference of how and why such an ambush took place. In some special press releases, the readers come to know about central government joining hands with the most feared intelligence agency in the world called Mossad to eliminate top brass of Maoist struggle. Good political orators give great speeches on how they will and must act in favor of the nation and how Maoists are the biggest internal threat to India.

But will it change the way people should live in the democratic system. I believe not. People should not and must not accept any crap in the name of nationalism. The author Rahul Pandita has interviewed low key offers to the supreme commander Muppalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathi of Maoist army. The author has asked difficult questions from all the Maoists leaders like sexual exploitation of women in lower ranks and about forming the nexus with corporate and have received the answers right from the top leadership.

Why I loved the book: The best thing about a Rahul Pandita book that you won’t have to face the jargon and alien vocabulary. I like his unique way of portraying the pain of socially and economically isolated people without being biased. He always shows and what must be showed and told by a journalist to his readers. Before this, I have read his ‘Our Moon Has Blood Clots’. But with this book, the respect for him has increased many times. 

50 Words Verdict: As Kobad Ghandy, a senior maoist leader has said this book authentically introduces the maoist armed struggle. So this book works as a source to understand each and every aspect of this struggle. In case, you don’t want to know about this struggle but you must know what’s happening around, especially of such scale.

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