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14: Indian Communism – The Parliamentary Path

Seminar Questions:

1. How did the Communist movement in India respond to global shifts during the Cold War and after?
2. Why did ‘mainstream Communist’ politics in India survive and even appear to grow in the 1990s, when Communist movements in much of the rest of the world were thrown into terminal crisis?
3. What does the rapid decline of the CPI and CPI(M) over the last decade tell us about the tensions within the contemporary Indian left?

Seminar Reading:

1. K. Damodaran, Memoir of An Indian Communist, New Left Review, Sept-Oct 1975
2. Dwaipayan Bhattacharya, Government As Practice: Democratic Left In A Transforming India (Cambridge, 2016), chapter 1, "Inception: Government as Practice"

Background Readings:

1. Manali Desai, State Formation and Radical Democracy in India (London and New York, 2007)
2. Praful Bidwai, The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left (Delhi, 2015)
3. Vijay Prashad, No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (Delhi, 2015)