By Ashok Mitra, Partha Chatterjee
The essays in Calcutta Diary first seemed within the fiscal and Political Weekly in the course of the notorious 21-month Emergency imposed in India among June 1975 and March 1977. curiously, Ashok Mitra had labored with former major Minister Indira Gandhi who had imposed the Emergency. The essays recount elements of a distinct and especially tricky section in modern Indian history.
This re-creation contains a foreword by way of eminent social scientist, Partha Chatterjee, and a concluding remark by way of the prestigious historian of South Asia, Ranajit Guha. It bargains an remarkable portrait of Calcutta (now Kolkata) in all its dirt and glory in a fashion few writers were in a position to seize lifestyles and longing during this infuriatingly memorable city in jap India.
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Extra resources for Calcutta Diary
July 20 was a Saturday. Prabir took his meal at nine-thirty in the morning and left home, the dingy two-room ground floor apartment in Bhowanipore in south central Calcutta. He walked. It was a Saturday. Most of the offices which are not fully closed on "Saturdays empty themselves by lunch-hour. Right at the city centre, as Chowringhee Road meets Lenin Sarani, lies the stretch which once upon a time acquired the appellation of "Esplanade', but is now a mere turnstile for the tram cars. There used to be a patch of greenery in a corner of this stretch, but it is now almost obliterated; till 1947, that patch was 'Curzon Park'; since then, it has become Surendranath Park.
Would they? 1975 11. Suffer Us Not to Mock Ourselves Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood. The format is always the same. For the reports always emanate from the same source. Three dangerous 'extremists' have been shot dead in an encounter with the police; a dozen of them have been nabbed; five of them have been injured—three fatally—when the border security force were compelled to open fire in self-defence; two of them have been killed while attempting a jail break; the body of a dead 'extremist' has been found in an abandoned house.
It is, however, not so much to vocalise ideologies that they come to the meeting. They listen to the speeches, they clap with devotion when the more popular leaders start performing, but most of them know what to expect from the speeches; most of them also know that the resolutions you pass are not of much operational significance: these only provide an outlet for emotions. They come to the meeting primarily to enjoy one another's presence, to gather courage from the fact that they are not alone, they come in the belief that the moment individuals come close together under one segment of the sky, a transformation takes place, one gets into the spirit of the collective personality.
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