DAILY-WAGE LABOURER Kinker Chandra Das from Kaikala village of Hooghly district in West Bengal is tight-lipped about his political affinities. The middle-aged man treats the question of whom he would vote for in the 2019 election as though it is a brutal assault on his privacy. He raises his eyebrows in disbelief. He isn’t ready … Continue reading Will its Hindu revivalist past haunt West Bengal’s future?
A Report From the 22nd Party Congress of CPM
SPEAKING TO DELEGATES in Hyderabad on the fourth day of the six-day 22nd Party Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), its triennial summit, General Secretary Sitaram Yechury poked fun at what he called the ‘bourgeois media’ for their distorted portrayal of communists. He specifically named the Malayala Manorama, a Kerala daily, for carrying allegedly … Continue reading A Report From the 22nd Party Congress of CPM
West Bengal Verdict 2016: Mamata Marches Forward
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
Mamata Banerjee: What, Me Worry?
AT 1:15 pm on 8 April, Mamata Banerjee arrived in her Hyundai Santro at the Directorate of Land Records & Surveys in South Kolkata’s Alipore area. She would have been pleased, it appeared, if the car had been even smaller, like a Nano, the cheapest Indian car. After all, the West Bengal Chief Minister’s efforts … Continue reading Mamata Banerjee: What, Me Worry?
How the Minority Vote Will Make the Most Decisive Difference in the 2016 Assembly Polls
MOHAMMED SALIM, POLITBURO member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), speaks in non sequiturs and mixed metaphors. He guffaws at his one-liners, a smug look on his face. He tells you that, in hindsight, it would have been a capitulation of all “communist” values to align with the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar because the Congress … Continue reading How the Minority Vote Will Make the Most Decisive Difference in the 2016 Assembly Polls
Kumud Singh: The Royal Commoner
Kumud Singh has had an unusual childhood. Born into the royal family of Darbhanga, also known as the Khandavala dynasty, in the early 1980s, her early childhood memories are of growing up on an estate of 51 bighas in Bargoria, now in West Bengal, along with three elephants and some 100 people, including members of … Continue reading Kumud Singh: The Royal Commoner