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

Articles By Communism

The Early Years of a Communist in a Colonial East Bengal Town

The document is a rendering of excerpts from the autobiographical essay by Poromesh Acharya, “Ak Naasteek Breeddher Jabaanbandee” (“Statement of an Old Atheist”) that appeared in Anustup (Kolkata, Supplement 2, Autumn Issue, Bengali Year 1421 [2014]). The focus is on Acharya’s East Bengal years and his political activism of the 1940s in Mymensingh town—in particular, “baptism” in the communist movement and being thrust willy-nilly into the fire of revolutionary activity in that town in 1948–49 in the midst of ongoing Hindu–Muslim communal tension. Acharya sees individual roles, responsibilities, problems and troubles, including his own, in terms of institutional movements and contradictions. All through, there is an acute awareness that his life can only be meaningfully understood alongside the unfolding history of the society itself, as reflected in the anti-colonial movement, the Bengal Famine of 1943, the political path of Subhas Chandra Bose and his Forward Bloc, communal tension and partition, and the short-lived revolutionary programme of the Communist Party of India following its February 1948 Second Party Congress.

Interrogating Populist Tendencies within the Left Rhetoric in Kerala

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, there has been an increasing shift from class-based politics to politics based on mobilising “people” within the left-wing political praxis and rhetoric. Such tendencies are visible even within the left rhetoric in Kerala. In the particular context of Kerala, this process is enmeshed with sub-nationalist sentiments and concerns around vikasanam (development). It is possible that this tendency can metamorphose into different directions, depending on the tactical priorities of the left in Kerala.

 

Vernacular Communism

Satyabhakta’s engagements with communist politics, the Hindi print public sphere, and workers’ movements in the Gangetic heartland often intermeshed caste, gender, and nationalism, with an indigenous communism. Signifying a strand of the Hindi literary project, he represents some of the suppressed traditions of left dissent, and takes us back to debates between internationalism and nationalism, materialism and spiritualism, class and caste. Even if his ideas were, at times, amateur, they provide us with the everyday lived realities of communist lives, and utopian dreams of equality, which need to be taken into account and historicised seriously.

 

Tebhaga–Telangana to Naxalbari–CPI(ML)

Even as the Naxalbari uprising was quickly crushed, the revolutionary communists painstakingly spread the movement and founded the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries and the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). Naxalbari differed from the Telangana uprising, which did not spread to other provinces and left no immediate trail after the setback mainly because no all-India party was built for the purpose. The movement–party dialectic is explored to better understand the radical communist movement in India.