India’s Forgotten Country : A View From the Margins



Over the course of more than three decades, Bela Bhatia’ s work and concerns have brought her face-to-face with the harsh nature of people’ s lives in India’ s ‘ forgotten country’ — the hamlets, villages and slums— and the oppressive forces that rule and ruin the lives of Dalits, Adivasis, bonded labourers, women and other downtrodden groups. She has also witnessed how their everyday lives are pockmarked with violence and the brutality— often organized— they face when they resist.
India’ s Forgotten Country captures Bela’ s early years as an activist in rural Gujarat, her research on the Naxalite movement, her investigations of violations of democratic rights in different regions, and her recent years dealing with the ongoing conflict between the state and Maoists in Bastar. The essays build on first-hand investigations conducted in states ranging from Bihar and Telangana to Rajasthan and Nagaland, besides Kashmir. People such as Deepa Musahar, Kaliben, Muchaki Sukadi, Zarifa Begum, Tareptsuba and others have ample space in this book to speak for themselves.
These essays are stories of life, death and despair, but also serve as inspiring accounts of resistance, resilience, courage and hope.

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Bela Bhatia

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