From the Ramparts

From the Ramparts

Product ID: 18156

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Author: Ashok Mitra
Publisher: Tulika
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 268
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8189487051


A selection from Ashok Mitra’s famed Calcutta Diary in the Economic and Political Weekly, these short essays chronicle the troubled times on the subcontinent from 1999 to 2003. Ashok Mitra’s column in the Weekly had run from the early 1970s, with important gaps during which Mitra held political office, and each single piece had taken up one or more of the burning issues of the day and subjected them to a remorseless and incisive dissection.

Ranging from politics to sports, commoners to corporations, poetry to processions, global to local-these taut, tense, disturbing meditations bring out what has always been the uppermost concern in Mitra’s chequered career: an overriding sympathy for the underdog and a corrosive contempt for the forces poisoning the existence of man.

Many of the earlier essays had been anthologized; the present collection brings the latest-and some of the best-pieces together in a series of linked reflections on out life and subcontinent-and India of course gets the most attention-but Mitra makes it clear in nearly all the pieces that contemporary reality weaves intriguing narrative patters involving lives all over the globe, and that encountering the imperialism of the day should be the first concern of all who have claims to be citizens of the world.


To be as free as the Caribbeans
Books: the great alibi
Re-writing history
The miracle-maker
Facets of civilization
The colonial bug for ever
The conundrum of Nepal

Two staying away from the nitty-gritty
An imperial NGO?
Re-dreaming futile drams
Calculations, calculations
The left-behind parents
Cricket, the spitting image
The mounting reformers
Sovereigny and the WTO
The raison d’etre
Trade and hyposcrisy
Dump food in the sea
What the love-Iorns talk these days
The level of awareness
The hand of the super-bosses
A layman asks
The political transiting
The hokum of economics
No right to live
Aha, securitization
Cross-subsidies, out, out
The great harlotland
The excuse-mongers
Once more, the third market

A single category
Their own agenda
Hindu kingdom gone away
A dress rehearsal?
Into an impossible corner
The boss does the choosing
The greater fundamentalist
The new lexicographers

A friend remembers
A homage to Sweezy
A forgotten visionary
One who tried to de-class himself
The forgotten don
In defence of Bihar
Death of a gentleman
Suicide bombs, early India edition
Sarvajaya is dead
The rebel with too many causes
The survival kit
Somebodies and nobodies

They flock together
Stability? Forget about it
The taciturn functionary
Unless of brilliant nephews
The notion of inalienability
The old solider retires
Calamities and classes
Crookes’ opera
A decimating thought
The new activists
The revolutionary departure
Dance of the Marionettes
A disunited nation
We hate, therefore we are
A paradigm?
ISI in every bush
Crime and punishment
Borderline cases
The police uber alles
The carpetbaggers are a-coming
Remember Zohra and Uzra?