On 25 May 1967, in an obscure village of Bengal, nine men, women, and children died in police firing, while trying to take possession of the surplus land of a big landlord. It was a shock for a complacent nation that was oblivious to the plight of its peasants. It marked the beginning of the Naxalbari Movement. But why did they launch a battle against the mighty state? Had they read Marx, Lenin, and Mao? Were they sure of what they were fighting for?
Prisoners of Revolution recounts this tempestuous movement as it unravelled through six momentous years from 1967 to 1973 in Babulpur, a microcosmic representation of thousands of other villages in Bengal. Fifty years hence, Adivasis have become the mainstay of this armed resistance—in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh. Why is the fire of revolution still ablaze in their hearts, though it has dissipated from the urban climate? This novel offers a hypothesis.