India After Naxalbari

Unfinished History

Bernard D'Mello

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Although the 1967 revolutionary armed peasant uprising in Naxalbari, at the foot of the Indian Himalayas, was brutally crushed, the insurgency gained new life elsewhere in India. In fact, this revolt has turned out to be the world's longest-running 'people's war', and Naxalbari has come to stand for the road to revolution in India.

What has gone into the making of this protracted Maoist resistance? Bernard D'Mello's fascinating narrative answers this question by tracing the circumstances that gave rise to India's '1968' decade of revolutionary humanism and those that led to the triumph of the '1989' era of appallingly unequal growth condoned by Hindutva-nationalism, the Indian variant of Nazism.

Will what remains of India's continuing '1968' bring twenty-first-century 'New Democracy' to the collective agenda? Or will the ongoing regression of '1989' lead the way to full-blown semi-fascism and sub-imperialism? India after Naxalbari is far more than a simple history of the ongoing Naxalite/Maoist resistance; it is a deeply passionate and informed work that not only captures the essence of modern Indian history but also tries to comprehend the present in the context of that history – so that the oppressed can exercise their power to influence its shape and outcome.

Bernard D'Mello

Bernard D'Mello is a senior journalist with the Economic & Political Weekly and a civil rights activist with the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai.


A thread of Indian history that mainstream historians have tended to either ignore or misrepresent.

Arundhati Roy