"Things have improved over many years[in India]– life expectancy, for example – but there are these deep problems you mention behind these headline numbers. But this isn’t a story that the West wants to hear"

Alpa Shah is a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, specialising in Indian and Nepalese minority and indigenous groups. Her fieldwork embedded her in Maoist rebel movements in Eastern India during counterinsurgency operations and involved her disguising herself as a man within a guerrilla platoon.

Her more recent work has centered on her new book The Incarcerations: BK-16 and the Search for Democracy in India. This work has been shortlisted for the FT's 'What to read in 2024' and charts the stories of minority groups' resistance to democratic backsliding in modern India.

"Shah has written a gripping and rigorous crime story about the murder of a once thriving democracy, exposing an arsenal of lethal weapons, some wielded on the streets, others in the courts and press." Naomi Klein