In a country where one in five people live under the shadow of insurgency, it is a battle far tougher than Kashmir or Iraq or Afghanistan. India's richest lands, home to its poorest people, are set to become the country's main theatre of conflict in a massive new push against Maoist rebels over the next five years and beyond, in impossible terrain and in impossible conditions.
India has finally decided to take the 42-year-old insurgency head-on. In terms of scale and terrain, it is set to be one of the world's toughest battles against insurgency. The main battleground, Chhattisgarh's remote, deeply forested Bastar region - home to some of the world's best iron ore -is ten times the size of Kashmir Valley and has vast swathes under the domination of the rebels for at least two decades.
In a seven-part series, HT travels into the heartland of conflict, where India is at war with itself. It is a battle against the country’s biggest internal security crisis, the fire-like spread of the insurgency that will shape politics, impact the economy and has brought the New India and the Other India face to face in a sharp-edged conflict.