Badam Pahar and Lifting forest, the abode of tribal gods, were desecrated by invaders for grabbing fertile land and forest with abundant natural resources. Hundreds of tribal people were killed and many more forcibly taken away to work in mines and tea plantations.
The novel chronicles the struggle of the tribal people to eke out their place in the so called civilized world, for which they had to pay a heavy price. Hari, the grandson of Matu, defied the social order, rebelled against the oppression and joined the left movement, which gained strength in West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh during the sixties. Educated middle class took over the rein of communist parties. Hari and people like him found themselves trapped between warring parties in the age old battle for power. They suddenly found themselves irrelevant in the scenario. Then there was a new savior in Chairman Mao and for them power flowed from the barrel of the gun.