Left Politics in Bengal  -  Time Travels among Bhadralok Marxists

Left Politics in Bengal - Time Travels among Bhadralok Marxists

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Author: Monobina Gupta
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Monobina Gupta
Publisher: Orient Blackswan
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 287
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788125040248


This remarkable book traces the Left Front government’s rise to power in the wake of the Emergency.

It tells the story of how a communist almost became India’s Prime Minister; and how the CPI-M powering its way to electoral victory through promises of empowerment to the most wretched, began gradually to betray its followers and abandon its ideology.

Tracking the heady 60s and 70s, Left Politics in Bengal describes the CPI-M’s evolution from a party leading peasant movements to one that unleashed violence to take land away from the peasantry; from a party of unstinted opposition to the Congress to one keeping its former adversary in power at the Centre.

The author narrates a tale both deeply personal and objective. Through academic histories, literature, music, films, narratives of former comrades and her own journalistic and personal experience, she explores the structures and relations of power; specific not just to the CPI-M but communist parties in general.

Emphasising both the representation of the Left in popular mentality, and the institutional changes wrought by the party in government, she creates a nuanced, well-observed portrait of a government’s fall from grace.

This is a must-read for all those interested in the comtemporary politics of India.




Author’s Note

1. Oh! Calcutta: A Thousand Desires

2. The Romance of Power

3. The Summer of 1996: Coalition-making

at the Centre

4. The Forked Tongue

5. Techniques of Control

6. Violence: A Metaphor of Transition

7. Hochhe Ta Ki? (What the hell is going on?)

8. Songs of Resistance

9. From the Margins, A Postcard of Democracy

10. Time-Travels Among Bhadralok Marxists