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

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The Tebhaga Movement

Old Wine in Older Bottles

The Tebhaga Movement: Politics of Peasant Protest in Bengal 1946-1950 by Asok Majumdar (New Delhi: Aakar Books), 2011; pp 372, hardcover, Rs 695.

The agrarian history of colonial Bengal is bracketed by two sets of “agrarian” events. The first comprising the grant of Diwani to the East India Company in 1765, the first great Bengal famine of 1770, the Rangpur peasant rebellion of 1783 and the Permanent Settlement of 1793; all before the turn of the 19th century. The second set of events primarily comprises the second great famine of Bengal in 1943, the Tebhaga uprising of 1946 and the second Partition of Bengal in 1947.

It is, therefore, not surprising that Bengal has had a surfeit of agrarian policy­making since 1793, mobilisation of peasants on economic and social grounds since the 1920s and, subsequently, a host of statisticians, economists and, of course, historians, analysing the “agrarian question” since John Shore.

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