Nightmarch: Among India's Revolutionary Guerrillas

Nightmarch: Among India's Revolutionary Guerrillas

by Alpa Shah

Paperback(First Edition)

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Anthropologist Alpa Shah found herself in an active platoon of Naxalites—one of the longest-running guerrilla insurgencies in the world. The only woman, and the only person without a weapon, she walked alongside the militants for seven nights across 150 miles of dense, hilly forests in eastern India. Nightmarch is the riveting story of Shah's journey, grounded in her years of living with India’s tribal people, an eye-opening exploration of the movement’s history and future and a powerful contemplation of how disadvantaged people fight back against unjust systems in today’s world.
The Naxalites have fought for a communist society for the past fifty years, caught in a conflict that has so far claimed at least forty thousand lives. Yet surprisingly little is known about these fighters in the West. Framed by the Indian state as a deadly terrorist group, the movement is actually made up of Marxist ideologues and lower-caste and tribal combatants, all of whom seek to overthrow a system that has abused them for decades. In Nightmarch, Shah shares some of their gritty untold stories: here we meet a high-caste leader who spent almost thirty years underground, a young Adivasi foot soldier, and an Adivasi youth who defected. Speaking with them and living for years with villagers in guerrilla strongholds, Shah has sought to understand why some of India’s poor have shunned the world’s largest democracy and taken up arms to fight for a fairer society—and asks whether they might be undermining their own aims.
By shining a light on this largely ignored corner of the world, Shah raises important questions about the uncaring advance of capitalism and offers a compelling reflection on dispossession and conflict at the heart of contemporary India.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226590332
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alpa Shah is associate professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of In the Shadows of the State and a coauthor of Ground Down by Growth.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Going Underground
1. Following the Call
2. Half a Century of Armed Resistance
3. Living in a Mud Hut
PART TWO: Prashant, the Kid among the Goats
4. Meeting the Guerrillas
5. The City in the Forest
6. Dressing as a Man
PART THREE: Gyanji, an Agile Mind
7. Night One
8. Sacrifice, Renunciation, Liberation and Violence
9. Morning One
PART FOUR: Kohli’s Home Away from Home
10. Night Two
11. Egalitarian Ideals, Humaneness and Intimacy
12. Night Three
PART FIVE: Vikas, Frankenstein’s Monster
13. Night Four
14. Accelerating the Reach of the State and Capital
15. Night Five
PART SIX: Somwari’s Autonomy from the Shackles of Patriarchy
16. Night Five, Continued
17. Gender, Generation, Class and Caste
18. Night Six
PART SEVEN: What Came to Pass
19. Night Seven
20. Incarnations
Fieldnotes on Making New Futures
A Bibliographic Essay on the Naxalites
About the Author

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