'The Hills are Burning': Book narrates Gorkhaland agitation, aftermath

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Set in West Bengal's Kalimpong, author Anirban Bhattacharyya's new book unfolds stories around the Gorkhaland agitation in the hills of West Bengal.


"The Hills Are Burning", though a work of fiction, offers a glimpse into the early years of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and the violent events of the Gorkhaland agitation of the late 1980s.

The book by Fingerprint Publishing is scheduled to release in February.

"I wanted to write about the real stories about the ordinary people of Kalimpong who were caught in the crossfire of the GNLF andolan before these stories vanished from the collective consciousness of the people with passing time.


"My wish was that future generations should be made aware of what had happened. The book is also about my friends and me - a coming-of-age memoir juxtaposed against the agitation," said the author, who draws heavily from his own experience of being a witness to the political unrest that engulfed the region.

The demand for a separate state of 'Gorkhaland' was first made in the 1980s, with the Subhas Ghisingh-led GNLF launching a violent agitation in 1986, which went on for 43 days and led to the death of 1,200 people in the hills.

Bhattacharyya tells the story of three 16-year-old friends -- Tukai, Norong and Rupesh -- who are forced to grow up when they come face-to-face with death, destruction and violence.

The author in the book uncovers the buried reports, details of human rights violations and the heartrending story of a town and its people who were caught in the crossfire of a revolution.

Bhattacharyya, who has previously penned two true crime books, "India’s Money Heist: The Chelembra Bank Robbery" and "The Deadly Dozen: India’s Most Notorious Serial Killers", is also the creator of the hit true-crime TV show "Savdhaan India". PTI MG MAH MAH