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The Bengal Conundrum: The Rise of the BJP and the Future of the TMC

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Item Code: HAX139
Author: Sambit Pal
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9789389714791
Pages: 320
Other Details 9.00x6.00 inch
Weight 420 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About The Author

SAMBIT PAL, a multimedia journalist turned media educator/researcher, has extensively covered Bengal politics from the ground up. He began his career as a broadcast journalist with Alpha Khabar, Zee News, and has since worked with Star Ananda (now ABP Ananda), Kolkata TV, Times Now and ABP Digital (Ebela) in Kolkata. An alumnus of Presidency College (now Presidency University), Kolkata, and Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal, he studied International Journalism at Cardiff University under the Chevening Scholarship awarded by the UK Government. He currently teaches journalism at IIMC, Dhenkanal, and continues to write for various publications and websites including Scroll.in, Down to Earth and I Samay Digital.

About The Book

The definitive book on the changing political winds in West Bengal, and what it means for local governments fighting the might of the BJP nationwide.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP pulled off an unbelievable feat in Bengal- taking their tally of seats from 2 to 18 and vote share of 17 to 40 per cent in just four years. What were the key factors behind such a surge in support for the saffron party in the eastern Indian state?

In The Bengal Conundrum, senior journalist Sambit Pal attempts to explain why a state that was the citadel of Left politics for decades has seen a shift in favour of the Right in less than 10 years. Documenting the contemporary political history of Bengal, both through written and exclusive first-hand accounts, the author answers how Mamata Banerjee's politics and governance over the past few years set a fertile ground for the combined force of the BJP and the RSS to construct a compelling political narrative in Bengal.

Even as West Bengal grapples with tumultuous times-from the controversy surrounding the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic-on the cusp of a crucial election, it remains clear that politics in eastern India has changed irrevocably, and will be experiencing the after-effects for years to come.



'Stop the car, 1 told the driver. I had to get off the car to know where I was. The surroundings looked unfamiliar. The last time I had visited this place was around eight years ago, and then, neither was there a concrete bridge across the Kangsabati River nor any skyscrapers. 'Are we at the right place or even moving in the right direction?' I asked myself. The large hoarding at the start of the bridge said, 'Welcome to Lalgarh Bridge. I was indeed at the right place.

Lalgarh, a tiny block in West Bengal's West Midnapore district (which was later divided and now belongs to the Jhargram district), dominated by tribals, was the hub of armed ultra-Left Maoist activities around a decade ago. The Maoist activities intensified in the area with a landmine attack on former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's convoy in November 2008 and subsequent police raids on the villages. The Maoists, who carried out the attack, mobilized the villagers to protest against police atrocities on the innocent. Soon a Maoist frontal organization named People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) was formed and a prolonged movement was launched. The movement took a violent turn when the Maoists armed young PCPA members and launched the People's Militia. Lalgarh was akin to a laboratory for the Maoists. Not only Lalgarh, but the entire western part of the state, known as Junglemahal- because of its geographical location and forests-was supposed to be under the 'Red Army' to convert it into a 'Free Guerrilla Zone' as they had done in Chhattisgarh.

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