ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Tale of Insurgency and Counter-insurgency

Footprints of Foot Soldiers: Experiences and Recollections of the Naxalite Movement in Eastern India 1960's and 70's by Abhijit Das, Kolkata: Setu Prakashani, 2015; pp 303, Rs 550.

The Naxalite movement has become an organic part of the saga of Indian revolutionary movements and counter-insurgency operations. To put it in the words of Samar Sen: “…nothing remained the same after Naxalbari. People had to readjust their position vis-à-vis every aspect of the system: political, administrative, military, cultural” (Sen 1978).

The Naxalite movement has different dimensions. It is impossible to capture the dynamics of the movement in a single narrative. The book under review is a narrative by a student leader of the movement from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The personal and impersonal dimensions of the movement are well integrated in the author’s narrative. As a small-town boy of English Bazar in the Malda District, he came to Kolkata (then Calcutta), got admitted to the department of chemical engineering in Jadavpur University and became a “foot soldier” in the movement. Abhijit Das has situated his narrative in major political developments in West Bengal in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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