Let’s Talk About: Naxalism – Part 1

Let’s Talk About: Naxalism – Part 1

The podcast where we take a deep dive into a subject.

By NL Team

Published on :

In 2010, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh famously described Naxalism as India’s “biggest internal security challenge”. But what is Naxalism? From the very beginning, the term has been marred by violence and resistance. While some perceive it as a struggle for the rights of adivasis and landless peasants, others see it as a bloodthirsty ideology that needs to be strangled.

But these are only two sides of a complicated prism. Naxalism can be interpreted through multiple perspectives: ideological, historical, political, among others. However, no interpretation can leave out the human wreckage that Naxalite and anti-Naxalite forces have left behind in the past half-century.

In this episode, Amit Bhardwaj speaks to politicians, members of security forces, activists, reporters and a former Naxal to lay out flat the story of Naxalism in the jungles of India. How did a peasant uprising in a small village in Bengal spread throughout the Indian heartland? Why did people take up arms and wage a war against the state? And how did the government try to quell this insurgency?

Hop on to Amit’s journey to discover the answers to these timely questions. Tune in to this latest episode of Let’s Talk About.


Gaon Chhodab Nahi by Meghnath, AKHRA

Red Ant Dream (2013) by Sanjay Kak

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Brigadier BK Ponwar is a retired brigadier and Director of Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College (CTJW) and Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chattisgarh. He had also served as a Commandant of the Indian army, Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare College (CIJW) between 2003 and 2005.

Dipankar Bhattacharya is an Indian politician and general secretary of CPI (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation. He has also worked for the Indian People’s Front and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) as its general secretary.

Hemant Soren is the former Chief Minister of Jharkhand and was a member of Rajya Sabha between 2009 and 2010. He is also the president of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

IPS K Durga Prasad is a 1981 batch IPS Officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre. He has also served as a Director General (DG) of CRPF. He was the Director of Special Protection Group (SPG).

Meghnath is a renowned documentary filmmaker and producer. He was awarded the 58th National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Environment/Conservation/Preservation Film for Iron is Hot (2009).

Narayan Singh Chauhan is a former Naxalite and was active in the insurgency between 1968 and 1971.

Snigdhendu Bhattacharya is the principal correspondent of Hindustan Times (Kolkata) and has been covering politics, socio-economic and cultural affairs for over 10 years. He is the author of Lalgarh and the Legend of Kishenji: Tales from India’s Maoist Movement (2016, HarperCollins).


HostAmit Bhardwaj

ProducersKartik Nijhawan

Parikshit Sanyal

Ayush Tiwari

EditingSamarendra Kr. Dash

RecordingAnil Kumar

Script & ResearchAmit Bhardwaj

Hritik Mishra

Aena Thakur

Nithin Chacko Mathew

Ayush Tiwari