Samaresh Basu (1924-88) was an uncompromising chronicler of the working class. His gritty fiction featured workers, revolutionaries, and radicals who fought society and their own demons and disenchantment. A prolific writer of more than two hundred stories and a hundred novels, Basu also saw two of his novels briefly banned on charges of obscenity and one win the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award.
Ruhiton Kurmi has been in jail for seven years. Once a notorious Naxalite, he is now a withered shell; a man broken by torture, racked with fevers and sores. The only way he can endure his life is by shutting out the past. But when Ruhiton is moved to a better jail and eventually freed, memories return to haunt him. He looks back upon his youth, his marriage, his home in the Terai foothills—and he remembers too, the friends he has killed, the revolutionary colleagues he made, and the ideals he once believed in.
Dark, powerful and full of ambiguities, the classic Mahakaler Rather Ghoda (1977) questions the human cost of revolution and its inevitable transience. A sensation in its time, it remains one of the greatest novels about the Naxalite movement.