Alpa Shah is Professor in Anthropology at LSE. She also leads a research theme at the LSE International Inequalities Institute on ‘Global Economies of Care’. Please see https://www.alpashah.co.uk/ for more about Professor Shah’s research, writing and engagement.
Professor Shah’s “Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas” was winner of the 2020 Association of Political and Legal Anthropology Book Prize, shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the New India Foundation Book Prize. It was also a 2018 Book of the Year for the New Statesman, History Workshop, Scroll India, a Hindu Year in Review Book, a Hong Kong Free Press Best Human Rights Book and a Public Anthropologist Must Read. Nightmarch refers to a seven-night trek when Professor Shah found herself dressed as a man amidst a Naxalite guerrilla platoon, walking 250 km across the dense forests of eastern India at the peak of counterinsurgency operations in 2010. Framed by the government and the media as a deadly terrorist group, the Naxalites are Marx, Lenin and Mao-inspired ideologues and tribal combatants, seeking to overthrow a system that has abused them for decades, in what is now the world’s longest running armed insurgency. Based on years of living as an anthropologist with indigenous communities, Shah unveils the many unexpected reasons they have taken up arms to fight for a fairer society and explores how the Naxalites may be undermining their own aims.