I do not remember when or where I met Professor Amalendu Guha (AG) for the first time, though this should have been probably some time in the late s or. (Amalendu Guha, ). I. Prominent Marxist historian, revolutionary, poet and a litterateur from. Assam – Dr Amalendu Guha – passed away at the age of 91 in. Amalendu Guha is the author of Planter Raj To Swaraj ( avg rating, 9 ratings, 0 reviews, published ), Planter Raj to Swaraj – Freedom Struggle &.
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His interpretation of the history of North East India from a Marxist perspective deeply influenced generations of students who never saw him as a university Professor.
Secondly, he focused on the rise of foreign and national capitalist enterprise in Assam, the colonisation of Assam, the origins of Ghha entrepreneurship in western India, the raw cotton trade in Bombay Presidency in the nineteenth century, de-industrialisation and indigenous textile manufacture, the formation of the working class in Assam tea plantations, and similar themes.
Five years later he published a collection of Assamese poems entitled Tomaloi I knew little of the larger issues involved in the border conflict, though I was aware of the existence of laws providing for preventive detention, thanks to listening to a speech by A.
The realisation that I had been pontificating with brash confidence on issues about which I knew less than nothing was truly mortifying. First, he showed in his own work how to avoid vacuous theory-mongering through the reproduction or imitation of contemporary Western Marxist writings.
Instead of taking for granted that the intrusion of industrial capitalism into colonial India ipso facto meant the destruction of indigenous textile industry, he diligently reconstructed the data on the supply of raw material, i. I particularly recall his kind comments when I delivered the annual Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar lecture at that Centre. Along with fifty other prominent Left intellectuals, Guha was in jail, first in Guwahati and then in Berhampur in Odisha, for about six months.
No, I am not indulging in anecdotage, the rambling is relevant to point out how AG, who had joined the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, inever so gently and in a way only I could parse, cured this Mr Know-All of the brashness that was a feature of some of my early interventions on social and political developments in Assam.
He belonged to a generation of Marxist intellectuals who changed perspectives radically for people around them and for the generation that followed. I can even now recall the thrill I felt as I held that bulky package.
RAS | Amalendu Guha: A Tribute
The few good ones and the many more that could have been New Year smiles: Remaining true to his rationalist outlook, he had willed in that his bodily remains should be handed over to Gauhati Medical College for scientific research. I am mentioning these details because integral to the work culture of poorly paid college and university teachers who took their work seriously in those days and who considered research as part of their teaching were rickety typewriters and typists in poorly paid jobs moonlighting on more substantial typing of theses and books.
The second formative influence was the political climate of the s and s in eastern India when Guha, as a young man, was deciding the trajectory of his life. He was a loner: Byduring his Intermediate College days, Guha had already started to see himself as a communist. Planter Raj to Swaraj: This engagement was evident in the academic research we have cited above, but its poetic expression also demands our attention. Apart from numerous papers, two contributions stand out: During my years with Economic and Political Weeklywhen AG was with the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, whenever I happened to visit or pass through the city, I invariably spent time with him and other Assamese friends in the city, and with some of his colleagues at the Centre.
Amalendu Guha (Author of Planter Raj To Swaraj)
Despite being one of the best candidates, he was ghua a job at the newly established Gauhati University inand Guha strongly felt that this was because of his leftist ideology. The death of Professor Amalendu Guha on May 7,marks the end of an era for several reasons. These ranged from the pre-feudal stage to advanced production in the smalendu highlands, and from slash-and-burn cultivation to settled agriculture.
I do not remember when or where I met Professor Amalendu Guha AG for the first time, though this should have been probably some time in the late s or early s, and almost certainly in Guwahati.
Amalendu Guha (1924-2015): Lifelong revolutionary, peoples’ historian, life-affirming poet
I do not want to think too much about my last two visits to AG, in June and November He bravely faced the loneliness guhaa being a pioneer as well as exclusion from employment in the universities of Gauhati and Calcutta as a communist and a political suspect.
Guha contributed to the field through his doctoral work in at the Indian School of International Studies, New Delhi, and his post-doctoral research at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in Pune, where he was a Research Fellow and Reader In flocks the phoenix flies to the sky.
He was also inquisitive about my years in South Africa, politically inquisitive unlike most other Indians, who were only interested in knowing if I had met Nelson Mandela.
Happily I was fuha directly named. Guha proposed that the crux of the matter was peasant resistance and uprising. Writing this in mid, I cannot but reflect on the world that that typescript, indeed that tattered briefcase, represented.
That one day India might become synonymous with amalemdu brutal repressive machine, hell bent on repressing any kind of nationality aspirations, was not imaginable in the hearts and minds of that generation.
We do not know in details how this money, the profits from India in particular the wealth of the nabobswas distributed throughout the British economy. Hence a new interest arose in India in the economic history of British India.
To a man who came to communism in s and 50s, India meant something completely different from what it means today. When the war broke out and wide-scale preventive arrests followed, I had been in Guwahati, strictly speaking in the Gauhati University campus, with little contact with Guwahati, let alone Assam, for just about eight months.
Finally, what was the legacy that the historian Professor Amalendu Guha left behind? Guha has earned his place in the annals of Assamese literature as the poet of social consciousness, human suffering and aspirations. Five editions of the latter publication have been published and Amaledu understand that it is considered to be an important text in the history of Assamese literature.