People Politics and Protest (7)
The so-called Left bastion in West Bengal which survived almost unchallenged till 2011was not built in a day or by one spontaneous moment of popular revolutionary upsurge. Decades of dedicated mobilisation by Left parties laid the groundwork on which the Left citadel was built. Further, a history that tracks this mobilisation also reveals continuities to and from the moment of revolutionary republicanism that is often thought of as a pure moment of radical spontaneity with no historical forward or backward linkages, i.e. the Naxalbari Movement which started in 1967. The present essay, in focussing on the two districts of Midnapore and Birbhum, tries to make a case for such subterranean material networks of continuity.