Book Review – Urban Naxals

I start the review of this book with apologies to the author, Vivek Agnihotri. I had been reading this book over the past week or so and I had copied the statements that touched me and kept adding them to this blog post to be posted later. While I had scheduled the post for today early morning, I hadn’t written anything in the review yet, it was just a collection of quotes from the book. Inadvertently, the post was published as I had forgotten to change the visibility settings to private. So the email followers of my blog received a bunch of quotes from the book without any review. Well, no harm done and certainly nothing close to what the Urban Naxals have done and are doing.

Every page in this book must be weighed in gold – its truly a fantastic commentary on the Naxalite movement and what it has morphed into. Did it get me scared ? Yes. Did it make my resolve greater to fight these forces that want to break India ? Yes. Did it give me a framework to identify the enemies within? Heck, yes. Vivek has taken the proverbial bow and loaded it with the Brahmastra of truth… no wonder the naxal rats are scurrying.

Funnily enough, we missed the entire drama around the movie “Buddha in a Traffic Jam” that this book is about. While I was on the ISB campus just two years after the movie was shot there, we didn’t hear anything about it. As an alumni, it was great to recognise the apartments and the atrium etc when we watched the movie on You Tube. I started following Vivek Agnihotri on Twitter as I found his views to be sensible and he appeared to be a balanced “bhakt” like me :):) unlike the no-quesstions-asked kind. So when he posted about his book “Urban Naxals” I immediately wanted to read it. It was almost a month after the launch that it became available on Kindle and I bought it immediately. Was reading Khushwant Singh’s autobiography so started reading this right after that.

Vivek has written this book from his heart … that’s quite obvious from the first word, first page onwards. There is an instant connect with the reader, even though he may not be a writer in the traditional sense. I have always felt that every book has got a few lines or a paragraph that sum up its essence and I found that paragraph almost at the end of this book. The following paragraph sums up what Vivek is trying to say throughout the book –

“ढोल गंवार शूद्र पशु नारी, सकल ताडना के अधिकारी.

Dhol ganvar shudra pashu nari, sakal tadana ke adhikari.

The above lines are spoken by the Sea Deity Samudra to Ram. When Lord Ram got angry and took out his weapon in order to evaporate the whole sea, the deity appeared and said the above lines in the context of boundaries that are created by God himself in order to hold his creations.  ‘What Leftists do is that they very cleverly translate it literally in Hindi, ignoring the fact that Ramcharitmanas is written in Awadhi and the same word means one thing in Hindi and another in Awadhi. While the literal meaning of the line in Hindi is ‘Drums, the illiterate, lower caste, animals and women deserve a beating to straighten up and get the acts together’, its real meaning in Awadhi is different. In Awadhi, tadna means to take care, to protect. Whereas, in Hindi, the same word means punishment, torture, oppression. Samudra meant that like drums, the illiterate, Shudra, animals and women need special care and need to be protected in the boundary of a social safety net. In the same way, the sea also needs to reside within the boundaries created by God. And hence, Samudra gave the suggestion to create the iconic Ram Setu.”

The above paragraph not only sums up the book but it also sums up the political scene in India today. Every party opposed to Modi (not BJP, and yes there is a distinction), tries to present their twisted narrative by twisting facts and manipulating the truth. All these years, the Left historians have had a free run in the educational institutions and they have raped our history. They have distorted, manipulated and rewritten history to such an extent that truth appears to be a lie.

Today the break-India brigade wants to paint Aurangzeb as a saint and Khilji as a hero. They are helped by well spoken, steeped-in-communist ideology modern girls like Swara Bhaskar who feels the Rajput women should have enjoyed getting raped rather than choosing to commit jauhar (self-immolation). She obviously has no clue what rape means and is just enjoying the eyeballs and TRPs that come her way by making these so called “bold” statements about being reduced to a vagina. The new type of Karishma Kapoor is here – spend 10 years doing anything, saying anything, wearing anything to earn the big bucks and then get off the gravy train. No one remembers till a decade goes by and then you are a respected senior artist. But this kind of young indoctrinated folk are truly the danger and the enemy within.

I shudder to think if Modi had not happened in 2014 ….. how many parts would my motherland be broken into ?

This book is a must read for everyone who loves our country. It helps you understand the political scenario and the damage that has been done by the CONgress party, the Nehru dynasty and the communist forces (naxalites). That the red corridor is now coloured with the blood of the naxals themselves and that the corridor in many places has roads of tar is changing the narrative – maybe slowly, but certainly. The education system is in the ICU and needs a complete overhaul, especially history. Hoping that happens in Mr. Modi’s second term starting 2019.

Some of the statements from the book that are outstanding are reproduced here –

“More low-income people have surprised me with their honesty than the moneyed ones.” … so true. 

“Why do we love making speed breakers? Maybe it’s a subliminal reflection of our system’s psyche that thrives on creating as many hurdles as possible on our way to success. More hurdles mean more corruption, more money for the law enforcers.”… a huge sore point for us as well. I spent the whole drive from Bangalore to Coorg counting the number of speed breakers and the count went above 100 for a stretch that is 230+ kms. 🙁

“Social disparity in modern India is a function of economic disparity. We have been trying to find socio-political solutions for fundamentally economic problems.”

“Problems bring challenges. Challenges mean new experiments. Experiments bring learnings. Learning means discovery. Discovery means evolution. Evolution is the only purpose of life. A problem is not a curse but a means to actualize life.”

The Red Corridor, one of India’s poorest and ironically the most militarized zone of India, is the ‘nerve centre’ of the Naxal movement. According to the South Asia Terrorism portal, between 2005 and 2011, over two thousand Naxals have lost their lives along with almost the same number of civilians and armed forces personnel. This indeed is the longest, deadliest war in independent India.

Every case I probe indicates that Naxals don’t want any development in their area. They don’t want the children to be educated, they don’t want roads to be built. They want tribals to remain in the dark.”

“Hundreds of eyes would stare at them. Penetrate them. Analyze their anatomy, making their own short, mental blue films. The worst part was that the girls knew they were being filmed by these staring eyes but they were not in a position to stop their visual rape.” … the sickest thing in India. It has changed a little, but during our May trip to U.P and Bihar, the men continue to stare at a woman of any age !!! 

“Jawaharlal Nehru University, Hyderabad Central University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Allahabad University, IIT Madras, Jadavpur University are the citadels of urban Naxalism.”…. I wonder about St. Stephen’s too. 

“No other country can match us in inventing novel ways of corruption.”

“In India, people fight with all their might to kill an idea. The privileged people.”…

‘Leftists present themselves as rational, liberal and supporters of equality; however, they support irrational things like caste reservation and Muslim Personal Law Board. Leftists mostly use the fraud Aryan-Dravidian theory to divide the people on the basis of region and skin colour. Leftists refer to Ambedkar and Periyar to justify hatred against upper castes and Indic religions.’

And I want to close with these lines because no one can say anything more about my country, except that it is timeless and also ever changing

“India is an apt example of social contradictions. India is Ram. India is Ravana. India is Buddha. India is Aurangzeb. India is Gandhi. India is Godse. India is a prophet and a pusher. India is partly truth, partly fiction.”

If you don’t want to read the entire book please start reading from these lines – Vivek has done an outstanding job of capturing the contradictions that make up our ancient country.

Note : Please use the following links to buy the book on For each of your purchases, as an affiliate partner I get a small commission that I pass onto ShikshaDaan.

Urban Naxals – paperback

Urban Naxals on the site



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