Publisher’s Note

On 21 June 2002 the Left Front Government in West Bengal celebrated a record 25 years in office at a stretch. This occasion has also inspired a steady stream of articles and commentaries, assessing the achievements and failures of this government in such diverse areas as civil rights and political

Left Front Reforms

Three Pillars and Gaps Galore RHETORIC APART, the immediate programme of social-demo­cratic reform in post-Naxalbari, post-Siddhartha[1] Bengal is known to have rested on three main pillars. In this section we discuss these one by one, and then go over to the other gaps and failures. A. Land Redistribution OF ALL the ceiling-surplus land

Trends in Political Economy and Class Relations

IN SECTION I we have considered the consequences of agrarian reform (and the lack of it). But these do not fully describe the goings on in rural Bengal. Closely related but basically autonomous trends in political economy also contribute, in more fundamental ways, to the reshaping of class relations and

Kowtowing to the WTO and the Central Government

“What governments gave out with a flourish they often took away by stealth.” Wrote William C. Thisenhusen, summing up his study of agrarian reforms in the Third World in general and Latin America in particular. (Thiesenhusen, 2001) This has been precisely the case with the Left Front regime, as the

Towards New Initiatives and a Thorough Reinvestigation

THE FACT that West Bengal has seen not a single sustained move­ment of the rural poor over the last two decades despite our best efforts cannot be explained simply by referring to the CPI(M)-LFG’s class collaborationist policies and terror tactics. For these policies to succeed, for the whole social-democratic politics

RESUME: CPI(ML) Initiatives on the Peasant Front since 1993

On the morrow of the May 30 panchyat poll of 1993, five agrarian labourers were butchered in Karanda village of Burdwan district (another died later at the hospital) and thirty others severely injured at the hands of CPI(M) goons. The goons also set fire to the houses of the agrarian