1st Edition

Left Radicalism in India

By Bidyut Chakrabarty Copyright 2015
    262 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Left radicalism in India was rooted in the nationalist movement and was set in motion in the 1920s with the formation of the communist party. The communist movement manifested itself differently in each phase of India’s political history and Communism continues to remain a meaningful alternative ideological discourse in India.

    This book examines left politics in India focusing on its rise, consolidation and relative decline in the present century. Left radicalism in India is a distinct ideological phenomenon which is articulated in two complementary ways: while the parliamentary left remains social democratic in character, its bête noire, the left wing extremists, continue to uphold the classical Marxist, Leninist and Maoist notion of violent revolution. By concentrating on the nature and also activities of these two versions of left radicalism, this book is a thorough study of the phenomenon. The author analyses the states of Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura and presents a variety of case studies of communist movements. He argues that the political power of the left parties depends on the degree to which they have built organizational strength, political hegemony and a broad social base through legal and extra-parliamentary struggles.

    An in-depth study of socio-economic circumstances that remain critical in conceptualizing radical extremism, Left Radicalism in India will be of interest to those studying Indian Politics, South Asian History, Development Studies and Global Politics.


    Part I : setting the scene: consolidation left radicalism in India

    Chapter 1: socio-economic contexts of left radicalism

    Chapter 2: constituents of left radicalism

    Part II: Parliamentary Left in India: articulating social democracy as a universal theoretical design

    Chapter3: Parliamentary Left in Tripura: social democracy in a new mould

    Chapter 4: Parliamentary Left in West Bengal: the rise and fall of a hegemonic regime

    Chapter 5: Parliamentary Left in Kerala : redesigning parliamentary democracy amidst ideological elasticity

    Part III: Left-Wing Extremism in India: an indigenous endeavour at ideological innovation (?)

    Chapter 6: Historical Roots and gradual consolidation of the Maoist left radicalism

    Chapter 7: Left Wing Radicalism in practice in Orissa: a field-based analysis



    Bidyut Chakrabarty is Professor in Political Science, University of Delhi, India. His publications include Corporate Social Responsibility (Routledge 2011), Maoism in India (Routledge 2010), Social and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi (Routledge 2006), and Indian Society and Politics (Routledge 2008).