Monday, May 3, 2010

My new column

I have just commenced a fortnightly column for Yahoo! India. The column is called Anything That Moves, and the first piece, titled Memories and Memorials, has just been uploaded and can be accessed here.


Sujoy Bhattacharjee said...

The byline of the column - Girish Shahane examines the links between culture and politics is quite interesting. Does culture influence politics or is the other way around?

Delightful piece. Though there is the feeling that a few things were left unsaid :)

seana graham said...

Although I am totally unqualified to comment authoritatively on thise column, I liked it quite a lot.

Yeah, what was up with that statue?

Anonymous said...

You are right about the myth-building around the movement, but its characterisation as a conflict between proletariat and bourgeoisie is not very far from the truth.
Bombay Citizens' Committee, the lobby group advocating Bombay's exclusion from Maharashtra had 200 members, 'ALL' of whom could easily find any comtemporary 'Who's Who' list.

The SMM was led by the communists but had approval from Ambedkar, and participation from Jana Sangh, precursors of what is Shiv Sena and even sections of Congress.

Girish Shahane said...

Seana, thanks!
Sujoy, some things can only be said in a roundabout way, if at all :)
VT, the question is not whether there was a Gujarati merchant versus Marathi labourer divide in Bombay, there clearly was. The question is, what was the Left's long-term solution to the problem. If it was to build a socialist society, then how exactly was a linguistic division going to help it along?
In that sense, even though it was a proletariat versus bourgeoisie fight, the solution offered to the proletariat was not a solution at all, at least not in Marxist terms.
The passions unleashed in the ideological battle created a culture which allowed the Right to flourish rather than the Left. In that sense the Left unwittingly signed its death warrant in Bombay by leading the SMM agitation in the manner it did. That was the point I was trying to make.