Contesting Calcutta Canons: issues of gender and mofussil in the Naxalbari movement in West Bengal (1967-1975)

Mallarika Sinha Roy

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The Naxalbari movement, a radical Maoist movement, marks a significant moment in the postcolonial history of West Bengal, as well as in the larger context of India. Beginning as an armed peasant movement in 1967 in the Naxalbari area of northern West Bengal, the movement soon was spread in different districts of West Bengal and several provinces of India. Even though it has been one of the well-studied political and social events in postcolonial West Bengal, the gender dimension, particularly the history of women's participation, remains neglected in the historiography of the movement. A critical review from the point of view of gender requires contextualisation of gender relations according to class, ethnicity, spatial locations, and cultural environments of men and women Naxalites. Through a discussion of the centrality of Calcutta - the metropolitan centre - in the dominant memory and history of Naxalbari, I argue that activists from mofussil or non-metropolitan backgrounds, especially non-metropolitan women, have remained marginally represented, in spite of their significant contribution. This essay re-reads the movement with new information and insight, gained principally through women's words.
TidsskriftContemporary South Asia
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)159-174
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2009


  • historie

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