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

Poromesh AcharyaSubscribe to Poromesh Acharya

The Early Years of a Communist in a Colonial East Bengal Town

The document is a rendering of excerpts from the autobiographical essay by Poromesh Acharya, “Ak Naasteek Breeddher Jabaanbandee” (“Statement of an Old Atheist”) that appeared in Anustup (Kolkata, Supplement 2, Autumn Issue, Bengali Year 1421 [2014]). The focus is on Acharya’s East Bengal years and his political activism of the 1940s in Mymensingh town—in particular, “baptism” in the communist movement and being thrust willy-nilly into the fire of revolutionary activity in that town in 1948–49 in the midst of ongoing Hindu–Muslim communal tension. Acharya sees individual roles, responsibilities, problems and troubles, including his own, in terms of institutional movements and contradictions. All through, there is an acute awareness that his life can only be meaningfully understood alongside the unfolding history of the society itself, as reflected in the anti-colonial movement, the Bengal Famine of 1943, the political path of Subhas Chandra Bose and his Forward Bloc, communal tension and partition, and the short-lived revolutionary programme of the Communist Party of India following its February 1948 Second Party Congress.

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