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The old, who had seen peaceful times, rightly predicted, 'So much blood will seep through our land that someday we will have red kernels of maize instead of yellow. The day is not far when the hills will start to grow red maize, season after season.' As gun-toting militants of the Tanzeem swarm the hills of Morha Madana by the river Chenab, the joys of the harvesting season leach out of that once-idyllic village. Terrorists take over in the name of azadi, commanding, in equal measure, respect and fear from the villagers. Drawn by their call to jihad, Shakeel, second of the widow Kausar Jan's three sons, becomes Morha Madana's first mujahid - and, soon enough, the Tanzeem's dreaded area commander. Back in the Indian Army camp in the village, Major Rathore decides that Shakeel's decimation is his ticket back to a peace station and an impending marriage that awaits him in Jaipur. And Kausar Jan, like Kashmir itself, is caught in the crossfire between the militants and the army, even as the maize crops in her backyard are stained with the blood of her sons. Red Maize is a searing chronicle of the relentless siege of Kashmir, of the human cost of war, and of a way of life, forever lost.

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