In the wake of the enormous interest across the globe in the fall of the West Bengal Left Front rule, this book describes the bygone era in West Bengal as one of passive revolution: limited reforms and changes, big compromises, corruption of the commissars, and incomprehension of the Left Front rulers in face of popular discontent and anger – and thus the end of revolution even in passive form. The narration is in the form of collection of articles written by the author in leading national dailies and journals from the period starting in 1977 and ending as late as downfall of left rule in West Bengal. These articles have been duly revised by the author for this book.
Divided in six sections – capital and labour, new issues new perspectives, contentious politics, messy change, perennial themes of politics in West Bengal, and lessons from the epoch of passive revolution – this book describes the bygone era of the Left Front rule over West Bengal as one of passive revolution.
It is a commentary on the era of Left rule- it’s political decisions and their social and economic viability. The questions as to the manner and methods of governability have been asked by the author throughout the text and they become significant from the point of governing and also from the point of legitimacy of socialist ideas and Left rule.
The author has shown by his arguments how Left’s rule and its own governmental style destroyed the hegemony it had built up through assiduous work of decades. Society under its rule got fragmented and how as a result of this a radical left re-emerged.
The work will help understand the reader, better, the re-emergence of the Maoist movement in West Bengal, the governmental techniques of the Left, the dynamics of popular politics and the closures a program of passive resolution faces.
This book is not only a commentary on contemporary history, but an exercise in drawing lessons on popular politics under conditions of passive revolution and democracy.