Left Politics in Bengal (Time Travels Among Bhadralok Marxists)

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Item Code: NAF678
Author: Monobina Gupta
Publisher: Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9788125040248
Pages: 290
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 330 gm
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Back of the book

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 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. Emphasizing 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 contemporary politics of India.

About the Author

Monobina Gupta is a veteran journalist. She has worked with The Patriot, The Telegraph, Mail Today and Indo-Asian News Service.




  Acknowledgements ix
  Glossary xii
  List of Abbreviations xv
  Author's Note xvii
1 Oh! Calcutta: A Thousand Desires 1
2 The Romance of Power 30
3 The Summer of 1996: Coalition-making at the Centre 67
4 The Forked Tongue 108
5 Techniques of Control 126
6 Violence: A Metaphor of Transition 144
7 Hochhe Ta Ki?' 168
8 Songs of Resistance 209
9 From the Margins, A Postcard of Democracy 235
10 Time Travels among Bhadralok Marxists 260
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