September 1970, Ramchandra Singh enters the Hardoi District Jail in Uttar Pradesh as a naxalite under trial. Barely twenty, his life of expanding prospects-in studies, politics and love-is reduced to the horizon of a life term. The odds are stacked against the survival of his humanity and imagination, but Singh regenerates his gifts of empathy, humour, reflection and, above all, language-in a secret diary smuggled out with the help of friends.
A singular record of recent history and of individual witness, Singh’s prison diary, newly expanded, appears in English for the first time. Offering unprecedented intimacy with the everyday life of the imprisoned everyman, Singh challenges us to look without flinching and question our assumptions about crime and punishment.