Postwar Revolt of the Rural Poor in Bengal

Memoirs of a Communist Activist

Abani Lahiri


6 x 9 inches, xl +173 pp. 2001

ISBN : 9788170461821

Rs  475.00 (HB)
$25.95 (HB)
£19.95 (HB)

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‘Abani Lahiri's book comes as a much-needed voice from a past in serious danger of oblivion, yet deeply relevant amidst gathering reaction . . [Its] most remarkable feature is the combination of firm adherence to the basic ideals of a lifetime with an unusual capacity for critical introspection’ -Sumit Sarkar.


This is the English translation of the memoirs of Abani Lahiri, a dedicated Communist and one of the foremost leaders of the Tebhaga uprising of' 1946-47, a movement of sharecroppers and the rural poor. It takes the form of an extended interview conducted by the late Ranajit Dasgupta-Communist activist and well-known labour historian-whose discreet yet highly perceptive questioning raises it much above the level of most memoirs. Sharply analytical in approach, Abani Lahiri re-assesses a critical period of postwar, pre-independence nation formation, and raises pertinent questions about the path since taken.


As with virtually all Communists of those times, the transition to Marxism for Abani Lahiri came out of years of active participation in the nationalist movement. Memories of Tehbhaga naturally constitute the core of the book, with both the buildup to this movement and its aftermath discussed in detail. Starting with the carters' strike in 1930, and ending with his withdrawal from full-time involvement in Party work in 1952, this `oral history, with its combination of vivid, moving detail and acute analysis, is invaluable source material for historians. 

Abani Lahiri is a veteran Communist leader and activist who has played an important role in people movements in Bengal since the days of the nationalist struggle.


Culture Studies