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Walking with the Comrades

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  733 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
From the award-winning author of The God of Small Things comes a searing frontline exposé of brutal repression in IndiaIn her latest book, internationally renowned author Arundhati Roy draws on her unprecedented access to a little-known rebel movement in India to pen a work full of earth-shattering revelations. Deep in the forests, under the pretense of battling Maoist gue ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Soumen Daschoudhury
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who are interested in revolutionary movements
It is five stars even before I have touched it. I hold the small book like a sacred text. There is an element of fear - what if the writing is not as soul stirring as 'The God Of Small Things'? I worship Arundhati Roy's writing, her madness. But this is non-fiction I remind myself. So Comrade Rahel and Comrade Estha will not drench me in their torrential emotions, the extremely irritable and idiosyncratic Chacko will be missing, Sophie Mol will still be sleeping peacefully and wild Ammu and her ...more
The-vault
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By Arundhati Roy. Grade: A+
I have heard a lot of things about Arundhati Roy. Surprisingly, all of them very good. However, the only piece I’d read up till this novel was years ago, when I was too young to fully understand – and appreciate the language of the novel. Walking With The Comrades was a pleasant surprise.
The terse, typewritten note slipped under my door in a sealed envelope confirmed my appointment with India’s Gravest Internal Security Threat. I’d been waiting for months to hear from
...more
Shaun Duke
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's something stirring in India. A specter, if you will, of a dark time arisen and a dark time to come. Whether we call it capitalism, corporatism, or new (neo) Imperialism, the fact remains that those most affected by the shifting dynamics of contemporary industrialization will be the disenfranchised and the disinherited.

Arundhati Roy's (The God of Small Things, etc.) Walking with the Comrades waltzes straight into this new Indian world with passion and focus, chronicling her journey into t
...more
ATJG
May 04, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016
I have told myself many times I shouldn't be shocked by what people do, by what we do to each other, but I always am. Perhaps it's better not to adjust? To retain that vulnerability? Every time I call my mom she asks me if I've heard about this or that local atrocity--the murder, the rape, even the car accident. Everybody I know (myself included) is hardened to these things. It's too bad but how could anybody stand it otherwise? Not my mother. She's never developed that hardness to the world, an ...more
Ayesha
One can never stop gushing about the wonderful Arundhati Roy. Thorn in the side of the Indian government-corporate nexus, a humane voice amidst the apathetic media and so called 'intellectuals' , she write firmly from the side of the powerless.

This piece of writing is an example of journalism that has not sold it's soul to the devil. A clear and extremely informative account of the lives of a group of Maoists of Central India, people regarded as infestations by the State and surely by majority o
...more
Jaenani
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
story about the comrades and their routine live in the jungle evovlved with fear, hunger and grieve. Amazingly reported by arundhati.R
Stephen
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a better understanding of how crony capitalism is screwing up the world
A powerful and damning indictment of Indian democracy. I returned from a month-long trip to India in mid-January, and during that trip I started reading Roy's powerful novel, her first attempt at writing fiction, "The God of Small Things." I had attempted to read the book twice before and never got past the first chapter, but something clicked this time. You can read my GR review if you like:
https://www.goodreads.com/owned_books....
On the trip we met family in Amritsar, after my wife and I trave
...more
Zak
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, essays
------------- "There’s nothing small about what’s going on. We are watching a democracy turning on itself, trying to eat its own limbs. We’re watching incredulously as those limbs refuse to be eaten."

------------- "If there is any hope for the world at all, it does not live in climate change conference rooms or in cities with tall buildings. It lives low down on the ground, with its arms around the people who go to battle every day to protect their forests, their mountains and their rivers becau
...more
Sarah
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
"There is nothing small about what's going on. We are watching a democracy turning on itself, trying to eat its own limbs. We're watching incredulously as those limbs refuse to be eaten."

Gone is the poetry of her fiction--replaced with clear, dispassionate prose. She is angry, she is horrified, and she is determined to give a voice to the people who are being silenced. Despite her calm, her anger is clear, and her voice is powerful, as is her message.

"The day capitalism is forced to tolerate non
...more
Erica
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's a lot going on in this little book, and some of it I'm not informed enough about Indian politics to understand, but the concluding section illustrates the significance of the movement(s) Roy explores with such articulate power that could reach any audience concerned with justice. From the final pages:

"Can we expect that an alternative to what looks like certain death for the planet will come from the imagination that has brought about the crisis in the first place? It seems unlikely. th
...more
Ricado
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arundhati Roy in my view is arguably one of the most important writers today. In Walking With The Comrades she enters into the lives and emotions of perhaps the biggest guerrilla army in the world today. Roy reveals her journey with the maoist guerilla's in the forest an army composed of the marginalized, excluded and poor of India and their struggle for dignity and their land. While exposing the desires and hopes of this group she also challenges society not to be too quick to judge the way in ...more
Anugrah Nagaich
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an excellent read for knowing the perspective from the other side of cross-line. Having lived (& born as well) in the same Indian State of Chattisgarh & slightly inclined towards the Left wing in my premitive study years, I always wondered about their ideologies & tactics for survival, apart from their real reason for this bloodshed.
Well, being in the most interior/remotest & inaccessible areas without any provision of infrastructure must've made the lives of native adivasi
...more
Amina
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
In India, the word “Maoist” is thrown around like “terrorist” in America. Anyone who fits the profile–physical, geographic, socioeconomic–falls into the Maoist bucket, just another drop in the undercurrent of revolution flowing through the subcontinent. While some Americans peg people as terrorists for their looks and supposed faith, many Indians imagine that anyone who fights the system, for better pay or food or civil liberties, is a Maoist, no matter their actual political affiliation...

...De
...more
Sam
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the crux of this short powerful book is the question of whether there is room within the contemporary version of the Indian state for all of its communities, including those that are rural, non-industrial, and not hindi. Will the political and business class succeed in extinguishing those communities that continue to insist on the integrity of their land and lifeways, and who challenge the dominant agenda of development economics? Will the character of Indian democracy and the protections aff ...more
Liz Minette
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Arudhati Roy. I saw this book at my local library on the new non-fiction shelves and had to check it out. I like how the book is divided in to three (3) parts, background history of the Indian region she is writing about; walking with the comrades where she is reporting from the forest and the peoples fight to save their forest & mountains from the mining corporations that want to mine bauxite; and the follow up about dam projects in India and how they will displace people and their lan ...more
Vaibhav
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read
As an Indian it is very difficult for me to identify the truthfulness of the claims Arundhati Roy makes but she surely raises enough doubts on the whole premise. The fundamental question is "State vs. Individual" - the question of tribal population being pushed to the edge so that the companies can exploit the mineral wealth.

A must read for every Indian. For every one else she is doing what Noam Chomsky was doing in US. If you have heard about Vietnam War and never heard about the Indonesia's wa
...more
Urvi Sharma
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arundhati Roy's works have the full potential to take you by awe if you are a dedicated reader but this one. I cried along! I gave up food for a week and the kind of grotesque facts that have been described just can't let you breathe easily. It is this heaviness that you start carrying along you everytime you are reminded of those lines. Although only one side of the coin has been described but I'll still give this book 5 out of 5 for the simple reason that Roy's mixture of complications and sim ...more
Aaminah Shakur
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a very informative book dealing with on-the-ground issues in India, most specifically related to abuse of adivasi & Dalit peoples' land, resources, and autonomy. Though it would probably be termed a sympathetic portrayal of Maoist revolutionary efforts, Roy does also raise questions about some Maoist practices & if they offer sufficient change from what is currently an exploitative & corrupt government, or if they would perhaps fall to the same habits due to lack of better mo ...more
Prasanth
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read. A paragon of courageous journalism written in Ms. Roy's trademark style. The language is almost lyrical. In the beginning of the book, she admits that it's a partisan telling of the naxal saga. But it's a version that's never been told before in mainstream writing/ electronic media - press or otherwise. It's a version that everyone should hear before making their minds up on left wing extremism in India
Anthony
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if i were braver, more principaled, and a better writer, i would write like arundhati roy. a great eyewitness account of a guerilla army, and a country overrun by capitalism - democracy made rotten by the marriage of money, industry, military (including police), and media along with politics. roy eloquently discusses the details of the many abuses of power of the rich over the poor, and does a good job of framing "progress" as a war against the poor. options for resistance included.
Delaney Ozmun
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"For sure, it's a partisan's version. But then, what history isn't? In any case, the secret history must be made public if it is to be contested, argued with, instead of merely being lied about, which is what is happening now."

A really important read, accessible even for those not well-versed in the issues of India's development.
tim
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
There were a couple of great magazine articles in this book. It wasn't a great book, unfortunately. I did appreciate the way the book peeled away the layers of life in India for people who aren't in the elite. Like every true story about India it is hard to figure out who the villains are.

Ken
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ridiculously fast and engaging read. I want more Arundhati Roys & Angela Davis' writing about struggle!
Jordi Sellarès
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lectura imprescindible per conèixer un conflicte totalment desconegut per al gran públic.

Com l'Estat indi s'acarnissa de forma impune contra els més pobres i les tribus dels boscos d'Índia central per poder explotar les seves riqueses minerals i com les guerrilles maoistes hereves del moviment naxalita són dels únics que han plantat cara a aquesta injustícia.

Una lluita a mort on "la democràcia més gran del món" no dubta a utilitzar el terrorisme d'Estat per massacrar camperols indefensos.

A esto
...more
Kriti Nagrath
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History is written by the victor. What happens to the other side? In a democracy who are the winners? Shouldn't the people win? And what happens when they don't?

War is imminent? No, it is already happening? And we are all losing but we dont even know?

So many questions.... And I am not sure where the answers lie. But this book has set me thinking, searching....
Muhammad Murad
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't expect anything better than this from Arundhati.
charlotte
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arundhati Roy may be the best person alive.
Animesh Mitra
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maoist masterpiece, after along time I have read a good book. Hail to Maoist, Hail to Arundhati Roy for writing the bitter and sour truth which no body wants to hear. A Five star. Salute and respect.
Yumna Hari
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant, impassioned glimpse of a struggle that's obscured in the media and nationalist wars.
Nuno Ribeiro
An impressive account in the first person of something that the current rulers of India have managed to keep reasonably quiet. Massacres. Fear. blood money. This is not being executed by a dictatorship. India is a democracy. As Arundhati Roy points out, it's the biggest (the most populated) democracy in the world. And it carries the heritage of Mahatma Gandhi, of his uncompromising pacifism. But it's a weak democracy. It trembles at the sight and smell of money. For instance, the Orissa bauxite ...more
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Arundhati Roy is an Indian writer who is also an activist who focuses on issues related to social justice and economic inequality. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays.

For her work as an activist she received the Cultural Freedom Prize awarded by the Lannan Foundation in 2002.

More about Arundhati Roy...

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“I soon learned that Dandakaranya, the forest I was about to enter, was full of people who had many names and fluid identities. It was like balm to me, that idea. How lovely not to be stuck with yourself, to become someone else for a while. We” 1 likes
“But for now, it even has a Gandhian approach to sabotage; before a police vehicle is burnt for example, it is stripped down and every part is cannibalized. The steering wheel is straightened out and made into a bharmaar barrel, the rexine upholstery stripped and used for ammunition pouches, the battery for solar charging. Should I write a play I wonder- Gandhi Get Your Gun. Or will I be lynched?” 1 likes
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