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

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Themes in Political Protest

Bengal 1928-1934: The Politics of Protest by Tanika Sarkar; OUP, Delhi,
TANIKA SARKAR's Bengal 1928-1934: The Politics of Protest has made a pioneering contribution to modern Indian historiography in more than one respect. It has attained a significant breakthrough in historical methodology by integrating the chronology with the theme; it has enriched our understanding of twentieth century Bengal by projecting linkages between various strands of protest politics which have been traditionally treated in isolation. Although Sarkar sets out to follow a 'strictly chronological framework' (p 3), in actual practice she has successfully highlighted within a particular time-span the main themes of the 'politics of protest in Bengal. The starting and terminating points of Sarkar's work are significant: the former marks the renewal of agitational politics which ended the period of lull caused by the withdrawal of the Non-cooperation Movement; the latter signifies the collapse of the Civil Disobedience and revolutionary terrorism, and hence, the close of an eventful chapter in India's struggle for freedom. As is inevitable for such studies, the official discourse forms the major source material for the present work. But the information from official records hasbeen also corroborated by such non-official sources as newspapers, private papers, contemporary memoirs, the rich collection of proscribed Bengali literature at the India Office Library and the oral testimonies of those who have lived through the fateful years. What has resulted is a balanced and ordered presentation.

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