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

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A Beery Eyed View of History

A Beery Eyed View of History Kunal Chattopadhyay THERE are many tendencies in the school of anti-Trotskyism. There are of course, those who have long mastered the skills of outright slander and are not relicent about using them. But with the demise of Stalin, the partial de-Stalinisation (and de- Maoification) of much of the communist world this approach is largely out of fashion. If there is still place for the odd slanderous remark, more preferred nowadays, is the sly innuendo, the superficial, distorted and selective presentation of historical events, all the better to discredit the object of attack. For a noteworthy example of this one need go no further than AM's Calcutta Diary (EPW, July 5, 1986) where the writer has used the sad death of Sheila Perera as little more than a peg to launch a skirmish against Trotskysim and Trotskyists, It is a hit-and- run skirmish not a frontal assault. The latter would require as a pre-condition a much more rigorous presentation of both the theory and practice of Trotskyism, whereas AM who leaves us in no doubt that no one should take Trotskyism that seriously, much prefers the "dismissive" mode. He is wise to do so, for were he to attempt any such assault he would have to move from the safer ground of "style" to that of "content", and he would, quite simply, be outgunned, which if nothing else would be damaging for his reputation.

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