ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Ashok MitraSubscribe to Ashok Mitra

A Revolutionary, but an MCP Too?

Secret societies and undercover efforts to receive arms and other material help A Revolutionary, from overseas were common aspects of the anti-imperialist endeavours. Large numbers of young men escaped from native but an MCP Too?

Centre-State Relations

The recent conclave of district magistrates in the capital, organised at the centre?s behest, was summoned to ostensibly discuss issues of development administration and optimising the delivery system. However, by its careless bypassing of state governments, the centre?s gesture has given vent to old suspicions, first aired two decades ago, to raise their heads once again.

Fifty Years Ago

Ashok Mitra OF the Chaudhuri brothers, the fourth and youngest, Sankho, the sculptor, was away in Paris. The rest of the brothers were in Mumbai (nee, Bombay). The second brother, Debu, held a comfortable assignment with a multinational company assembling and distributing electronic products. The third brother, Hiten, was a gadfly, with varied business interests: production and distribution of films, export and import of raw as well as semi-processed cotton, presiding over an engineering concern producing small tools and equipment, managing a printing press, and so on. The eldest brother, Sachin, was a pucca patriarch. The brothers adored him and were in awe of his scholarship and intellectual powers. He had lived the life of a nomad ever since he disappeared from Dacca in 1927 after faring disappointingly in the master

The Cracked Mirror

Ashok Mitra The Mirror of Class: Essays on Bengali Theatre by Himani Bannerji; Papyrus, Calcutta, 1998; pp 240, Rs 200.
IT would be an outrageous proposition to suggest that the Bengali theatre the Left version of it is as good as dead. True, it is currently in the throes of a major crisis, which cannot however be analysed in terms of any arid series of comparative statistics, or by reference to developments elsewhere in the country. The Bengali stage has to be judged in terms of its own history. The amazing transformation from a situation of dazzling sunshine to a setting sun milieu, that has come about within the space of a couple of decades, is without question mind- boggling: the briskness around Calcutta's Rabindra Sadan complex is neither here nor there, the overarching impression it still provides is of a ritual to be gone through, the ritual of asymptotic surcease. So-called Leftist influence in the sphere of culture and the arts is on a fast declining trajectory. There is little point in heaping the blame for this turn of events on the Left Front administration in the state. The international brotherhood of working class is perhaps the most global of ideologies that has emerged since civilisation's early days. The strides in class awareness and class analysis during the middle decades of the 20th century, cutting across the barrier of continents, were in fact far, far more dramatic in their sweep than the post-cold- war globalisation of capitalism. The abrupt collapse of the Soviet Union and the massive demoralisation that followed amongst the Left in country after country, particularly in the third world, is a phenomenon of epochal significance. The east European disaster was not the surcease of the framework of a political system alone. It also implied the devaluation of the magnificent social dynamics Marx and Engels, later supplemented by Lenin, built brick by brick. That lodestar they foisted on the firmament of imagination of men and women was the common source of inspiration for ideologues all over the world. Especially in countries emerging out of the colonial nightmare, young cadres who had been all agog at the prospect of their active engagement in the praxis of popular democratic revolutions. Once the Soviet State withered away for altogether wrong reasons, their experiments too with the modalities of proletcult suddenly seemed to be bereft of any meaningful context.

Remembering M L Dantwala

Ashok Mitra The western seaboard offered once upon a time a venerable roster of names, names led by the K T Shahs and K T Merchants, who added passion to the study of economics. Now that M L Dantwala too is gone, it is the end of not just a chapter, but of an epoch.

A Rare Man

put into breeding using recombinant DNA technology which is expensive. Because they invest in expensive breeding methods and need to secure returns on their investments, seed companies in Europe seek market control through strong IPRs. These conditions do not apply in India India's seed law must emphasise that it is a germplasm-owning country. Its position should be that seed companies wanting protection for plant varieties through PBR will first have to pay for the genetic material used by them. Genetic resources like other natural resources are a source of revenue and must be paid for. The economic value of genes can be assessed by case studies in order to help fix a price for their use.

In Search of Growth with Equity

In Search of Growth with Equity Ashok Mitra Accumulation Exchange and Development: Essays on the Indian Economy by Krishna Bharadwaj; Sage Publications, New Delhi, pp 402, Rs 350 (cloth), Rs 195 (paper).


Back to Top