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Buddha and Nilima: the city after communism

Kar, Sohini and Bradbury, James (2021) Buddha and Nilima: the city after communism. Contemporary South Asia, 28 (4). 485 - 497. ISSN 0958-4935

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09584935.2020.1842856


This article explores the lives and careers of two people from left-leaning, political families in Kolkata. Their formative years and political horizons were shaped by the Left Front government in West Bengal (1977–2011), and they now negotiate the aftermath of the communists’ defeat in 2011 in their day-to-day lives. Buddha was born in Bangladesh, and is now a grassroots leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in suburban Kolkata. His story encapsulates the struggle of building a political career in the aftermath of electoral defeat, mixing the pragmatism of being an important organizer or ‘party man’ with his commitment to cultural politics. Nilima is a young woman from a Leftist family employed by a microfinance institution (MFI). Her upbringing around the party and imbued with communist ideological values now conflicts with a thoroughly neoliberal workplace. Their experiences both in terms of their activism as well as their day-to-day experiences of work in Kolkata’s neighbourhoods offers insights into the contemporary political moment in the city after communism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2021 12:45
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2022 23:00

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