ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Partha Sarathi Banerjee

Does the Left Need to Introspect?

Even in states like West Bengal, which have a long heritage of left politics, the new generation has become apathetic to such politics. Left activists of all shades, from mainstream to radical, need to introspect on the ways in which the left approaches state power. It tends to conform to the capitalist world order instead of using power to provide or seek alternatives. Is the old-generation left prepared for such an introspection?

Party, Power and Political Violence in West Bengal

West Bengal's parliamentary politics has for long been based on a violent control of territory and the exclusion of political rivals. The Congress did it earlier and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) perfected it. Now the Trinamool Congress is challenging the ruling party using similar tactics. This has led to a spiral of violence and bloodshed. It is only the defeat of this politics of violent area domination that can open the space for true democracy.

The Party and the Panchayats of West Bengal

Despite substantial decentralisation of power through panchayati raj institutions in West Bengal, the presence of an entrenched centralised party in power in the state has meant the use of such institutions as instruments of patronage. Violent battles have invariably taken place during panchayat elections, as these are seen as necessary by all political parties to capture or retain hold over the institutions.