(Illustration: Saurabh Singh) WHEN INDIA WON freedom in 1947, communists were already in power across large swathes of Europe thanks to Joseph Stalin’s puritanical worldview and expansionist politics. Having steered World War II to a triumphant win at a huge cost along with the Allied Powers, the Soviet Union under his watch had the bandwidth … Continue reading The Indian Left may have shrunk politically, but it is still an intellectual force to reckon with
ABBAS SIDDIQUI HAS changed. Abbas Siddiqui is changing. Abbas Siddiqui will change. These are the unlikely but general statements churned out by Left leaders in West Bengal, mostly privately, justifying their collaboration with a new and untested party floated on January 21st by this 34-year-old pirzada, a cleric, of the shrine of Furfura Sharif in West … Continue reading Can the Left in Bengal expect a rainmaker in Abbas Siddiqui, the brash cleric and its new ally?
WITHIN HOURS OF the March 11th victory in Uttar Pradesh, BJP President Amit Shah was contemplating his next moves. As he told his close associates, he wants the party to gain strength in 120 Lok Sabha constituencies across various states where the BJP is a marginal player. A few days later, while speculation was still … Continue reading BJP Begins the Battle for Tougher States
AT THE HEIGHT of the campaign for the seven-phased election in West Bengal, Mohammed Salim, CPM Politburo member and one of the key architects of his party’s ‘alliance’ with the Congress, had told me that he expected the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) to win not more than 134 seats in the state Assembly. He was … Continue reading West Bengal Verdict 2016: Mamata Marches Forward
One of the amendments suggested to the political resolution presented by outgoing CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat in Visakhapatnam at the 21st Party Congress of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), typically a triennial national conclave, was to incorporate the right to work without fear of party honchos. Under the title ‘Tasks’ in the ‘Draft … Continue reading What’s Left, Comrade Yechury?