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

Articles by Sumit SarkarSubscribe to Sumit Sarkar

In Memory of Hobsbawm

An assessment of Hobsbawm based on the contexts and contradictions which marked his life and work. Using insights from his autobiography, Interesting Times, this tribute attempts to understand his politics and academic contributions which make him one of the greatest historians of the 20th century.

Ayodhya and Archaeology: An Open Letter

The Ayodhya judgment of the Allahabad High Court has relied on a report – submitted to it in 2003 – by the Archaeological Survey of India after its excavations on the site, as ordered by the court.

Notes on a Dying People

The political movement that came up from among the people of Lalgarh in November 2008 cried out for help and support from the civil and democratic society - for basic human rights, for a right to all decisions about what belongs to them alone: their water, land and forest. The movement negotiated with the intransigent Left Front administration of West Bengal for months, without much success. Their peaceful movement now lies in tatters, because of the violent intervention by the Maoists who have done incalculable harm to both the objectives as also to the people of Lalgarh and by the armed retaliation from the centre and state governments.

Reading Nandigram Wrongly

We read with growing dismay the statement signed by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and others advising those opposing the CPI(M)’s policies in West Bengal not to “split the Left” in the face of American imperialism.

Conversions and Politics of Hindu Right

With the spread of liberation theologies, churches have been changing. Christian groups have been prominent in progressive movements. In the face of attacks, they have not retreated into sectarian or fundamentalist shells but have joined secular, liberal and Left formations. It is this progressive aspect of contemporary Christianity that arouses the greatest anger and fear among proponents of hindutva.

The BJP Bomb and Aspects of Nationalism

Sumit Sarkar The BJP nuclear blasts can be shown to have been sheer folly but then was the BJP being just plain stupid and irrational? One must try to understand its logic within the terms of the Sangh parivar discourse in order to appreciate the full implications of what we have to confront today.

A Marxian Social History beyond the Foucaultian Turn

A Marxian Social History beyond the Foucaultian Turn Sumit Sarkar The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century by Peter Linebaugh; Penguin, London,


E P Thompson Sumit Sarkar The outstanding thing about E P Thompson was the way he could combine, throughout his life, passionate political commitment with the highest standards of professional rigour and originality, each feeding into the other, and both communicated through superb prose, meticulously- wrought arguments, and carefully accumulated material.

The Fascism of the Sangh Parivar

The Fascism of the Sangh Parivar Sumit Sarkar Central to Hindutva as a mass phenomenon (or to Fascism) is the development of a powerful and extendable enemy image through appropriating stray elements from past prejudices, combining them with new ones skilfully dressed up as old verities, and broadcasting the resultant compound through the most up-to-date media techniques.

Kaliyuga, Chakri and Bhakti-Ramakrishna and His Times

'Kaliyuga', 'Chakri' and 'Bhakti' Ramakrishna and His Times Sumit Sarkar This essay examines a paradox of 19th century Bengal which was increasingly being moulded by the colonial encounter. The milieu was one in which, among other things, sacred texts had become more accessible, (he printed word had acquired greater circulation, a foreign language had gained currency as the medium of higher instruction, time had begun to impose its own discipline, the interaction with a culture which elevated itself to a superior plane by virtue of its rationality and science had prompted recourse to selfconsciously 'rational' arguments towards modification or defence of the 'traditional' and a premium had come to be placed on social activism such as education, religious and social reform, revivalism, philanthrophy and patriotic endeavour. Yet this milieu also witnessed the strange and sudden fascination that an obscure Dakshineshwar temple priest, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, a rustic brahman who knew barely any English, received little formal schooling, held rationalistic argument in contempt, was disdainful of book knowledge and asserted the futility.of organised social reform, exercised over the Calcutta bhadralok.

Understanding Communal Violence-Nizamuddin Riots

Understanding Communal Violence Nizamuddin Riots Pradip Datta, Biswamoy Pati, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Sambuddha Sen Secular and progressive forces have employed fairly well established explanations for communal violence. At the operative level it is seen as the handiwork of criminals assisted by the communalised law and order machinery. At a more generalised level it is seen as distorted class struggle. Consequently the masses and the elite are exempted from complicity and communalism is always located as an exterior force. This study of the communal tension that erupted in Nizamuddin in south Delhi on March 17 this year, extending the geographical scope of its investigation beyond the locality itself questions the adequacy of the conventional reading in comprehending the phenomenon.

Teachers Strike The DUTA Experience

Experience Tanika Sarkar Sumit Sarkar Pradip Kumar Datta Few middle class professions have been able to sustain a strike for such a long time in the face of a two-month long wage cut as the Delhi University teachers have done. An exceptionally high level of direct democracy has provided the underpinning for such resilience.


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