The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left by PRAFUL BIDWAI
Praful Bidwai (1949-2015) one of our finest public intellectual, outstanding journalist contributed a lot in almost all the progressive and left journals has authored the above book with all seriousness. I have seen that book first at com D.Gnanaiah’s residence some months back and com D Pandiyan repeatedly mentioned about this book in the course of his lecture at Pondicherry last month
The wrapper of this great book (great labour of Praful ) goes like this."The Phoenix Moment seeks to understand how a communist movement, almost unique within the world’s capitalist democracies, flourished for so long in India, and what accounts for its initially gradual and then rapid decline. It also asks how far and in what manner the Left has accomplished its goals; whether it could have achieved more and what its future prospects are. Crucially, political analyst Praful Bidwai investigates whether the Left’s core agenda of progressive or socialist transformation can yet be reinvented and restored to relevance – either with its own agency or through other forces, formations and initiatives. Given the paucity of analytical literature on the mainstream Left at the national level, Bidwai’s timely and deeply insightful book fills a crucial void."
Praful took great pains and narrated in various chapters about the origin, growth, achievements and decline of left specially CPM (also CPI). In the Chapters of WB, Kerala and Tripura one can find fine analysis of Bidwai from various sources like books, research papers, thesis, Govt docs, Party docs etc. He has projected his five axes narratives for what is to be done for rejuvenation of left forces and movement in the coming days. One need not agree with all the suggestions but ignoring many will not help Left to advance. He has with utmost seriousness debated against democratic centralism and advocated for free internal debate and even right to bring the same in the public domain in order to safeguard the organization of the party and left. I think no communist party will accept this suggestion. This book must be read by all English knowing people interested in contemporary Indian politics - especially comrades of left movement should read and react. Though mere criticism will not help but any constructive dialogue should be welcomed and should get its prime importance in left circles without ignoring or showing indifference
The book itself is a voluminous one(586 pages) also ends with voluminous Notes and bibliography even to 100 pages