Read Red Sun by Sudeep Chakravarti Online


Spread over fifteen of the country's twenty-eight states, India's Maoist movement is now one of the world's biggest and most sophisticated extreme-left movements....

Title : Red Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143066538
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 428 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Red Sun Reviews

  • kaśyap
    2019-01-09 09:37

    A surprisingly well written and well researched account on the subject.The 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 scary.A 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 ignore.The interviews with Maoists, Maoist sympathisers, bureaucrats, and security personnel provide a lot of insight into the current situation.The 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.

  • Anand
    2019-01-20 04:38

    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 consequence of such a revolution to the state -the idea of 'In-Land(city)' 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 more investment in development (i.e. education and healthcare) in the deep interiors of the country. A must read...

  • Raghu
    2019-01-05 10:42

    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 India.The 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 liquor 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: " is part imagination, part administration, part intimidation, part corruption...a 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 dissent.In 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 parades...."!Section 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-Qaeda and ISIS.The final chapter finds the author leaving Chattisgarh for the forests of Jharkhand for more investigations.The 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 question 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 question 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".

  • Rohit Harip
    2019-01-10 05:23

    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 inequality. 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 i.e. Red Sun.Sudeep 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 (Marxist/Leninist). It provides us first-hand information about the problems of tribal people and how government officers are ignorant about them. Equally, 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 Judum,(rebellious uprising by adivasis of dandkaranya ), later supported by the government agencies by providing arms and ammunition.Noteworthy 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 department.In nutshell, Red Sun is an interesting and insightful study of india’s internal war which raises many questions. A must read book for all politicians, bureaucrats and also for comrades to understand the sombre issue of India.

  • Avijeet Boparai
    2019-01-21 10:26

    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 more detailed inquiry into the ideology, the present situation on the ground and the future of the movement, Red Sun will prove short of expectations.

  • Arvind
    2019-01-14 10:28

    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 repetitive.I 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

  • Ritesh Randhir
    2019-01-07 10:23

    Red Sun- Sudeep ChakravartiRed Sun- Travels in Naxalite country is a great travelogue in a true sense as the title suggests. The uniqueness 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 read.I 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.”

  • Palash Bansal
    2019-01-04 05:34

    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 subsequently 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 him/her 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'.

  • Dayanand Prabhu
    2019-01-09 05:22

    Getting a balanced view on a very controversial topic like the 'Internal security threat' of Naxlism is a very rare thing. The reason being that the balance of right and wrong here hangs where your ideologues lay. Do you believe in a class violence or do you believe in a flawed democracy. Either ways you can convince yourself of your righteousness only by taking a hypocritical moral high ground. Such is the issue of any writings on Naxalism. At one end we have the likes of Arundathi Roy peddling hollow arguments of revolution to the comrades and at the other end we have Government backing organizations portraying the Maoists as traitors. The truth more often then not lies between the black and white. That is the grey story of the Red revolution Sudeep Chakravarti has attempted to tell. And he does an amazing neutral and lucid job at it. A must read to understand Naxalism from both the perspectives.

  • Sarrvesh
    2019-01-10 07:15

    This is truly a masterpiece by Sudeep Chakravarti. This is a wonderful piece of writing based on numerous interviews with politicians, police officers, and maoists/naxals in India. As South Indians, it is quite surprising and shocking how ignorant we are (at least I am) about the socio-economic problems outside of peninsular India. Here is a quote from the book by an India intelligence officer that summarises the book: "You know, I haven't seen a single minister who is not corrupt, MLA who is not corrupt. There is corruption everywhere... everywhere... Sometimes I wish I could take a gun and just... These naxal chaps, they break the law, for which I will fight them and kill them. But they are fighting for the right things. Isn't it?"

  • Rohit
    2019-01-11 10:29

    Fantastic, engaging, and immersive travel diary of a journalist travelling through the regions of India affected by the ongoing communist insurgency. The author does an excellent job of presenting a relatively balanced view of a highly controversial conflict, and smoothly synthesizes interviews, observations, and data into a very readable and very interesting narrative that paints an extremely vivid picture of the situation, and of the region's society in general.

  • Akshay Narayanan
    2018-12-25 07:37

    The book gives a nice introduction to hard left movements in India, primarily through meetings undertaken by the author on both sides of the political spectrum. The author seems slightly biased towards the left ideology and towards non-violence from the book and the book is also dated. Overall a good read for understanding the hard left movements, the hard right movements undertaken in opposition and the state and official stand towards the ideology.

  • Manu Bhat
    2019-01-16 09:30

    I've set myself a rule against reading books authored by journalists. But this one was a good casual read. But too dramatized at certain parts.It would have made a good read in 2006, but it's difficult to take his Red Doomsday predictions now in 2015, with it nowhere as strong as it was then. Even elections were held peacefully last year.The author sees conspiracy by state officials when there probably isn't any.

  • Ankit Agrawal
    2019-01-15 05:23

    THE book to be read by anyone trying to make sense of the Naxalist/Maoist insurgency in India. Extremely well-researched, this book offers a wholesome perspective of the issue and reveals the extent of the threat, ignored for so long by an establishment breaking its head over dealing with Islamic terrorism. A must-read for our policy-makers and security czars.

  • Subramanian
    2019-01-14 06:42

    This is the best book in the genre. It takes on both the extremists and the administration head-on. Delves deep in to the ideology of naxals. Filled with important interviews and observations. Sudeep Chakravarti has researched well for his book. A must-read for Indians especially if they have not experienced the horrors of the red corridor.

  • Ravijot Chugh
    2019-01-10 11:31

    A good, if slightly biased, account of the Naxal movement in India. It traces the beginnings of the movement and discusses the socio-economic reasons for its growth through interviews and observations.

  • Shruti Parija
    2019-01-10 06:40

    Amazing read. Very objectively, it outlines the ideology of the Maoists, the trajectory of its spread in India, the state's attitude towards Naxalism and the international influences on Maoism in India. Very comprehensive.

  • Ig-88
    2019-01-21 07:36

    Reprehenderit neque qui consequuntur sit ratione facere accusamus. Numquam earum qui expedita rerum consequatur vero atque. Quis soluta iure. Repellendus eius maiores repellat soluta dolores. Saepe quos est vero ipsa ut.

  • Manan Shamihoke
    2019-01-18 05:32

    Didn't like it... We do have very well written books of such genre. The writer hasn't even tried to make it interesting. The narrative and editing of book could have been much much better.

  • Rajat Bansal
    2019-01-21 08:14


  • Vijay Bhaskar
    2019-01-05 11:22

    Naxalism is not the biggest Internal Security threat to India.Poverty, Malnutrition , Hunger are.ust read. An Eye opener.

  • Giri Billu
    2019-01-18 06:16

    Good Book to know about the Extreme left revolutions

  • Anant Singh
    2019-01-14 06:36

    best book to understand ideologies that moaist carry and where the government had failed ! Author has traveled good amount to collect stories and people !Nice work i love the book !

  • Vighnesh Rege
    2018-12-27 11:17

    A graduate Introduction to Naxal India.

  • Muroose
    2018-12-29 04:19

    really superb creation.everyone who curious to know about moists should read..