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The central concern of this book is to examine in a comparative framework, the ways in which grassroots mobilizations transform and institutionalize themselves, forge new collective identities and articulate new strategies for survival and resistance.
Debal K SinghaRoy focuses on three major radical movements--Tebhaga and Naxalite in West Bengal and Telangana in Andhra Pradesh. Based on empirical data and supported by a wide range of secondary sources, the author argues that as spontaneous expressions of discontent against oppression, domination and marginalization turn into institutionalized movements, the space for radical challenge shrinks. As exemplified in West Bengal, the co-option of peasant movements by the state has largely stifled the scope for radical action. In Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, the relative independence of the grassroots mobilization process has allowed the peasantry to exercise multiple options for collective action.
This book is not just a book on peasant movements but as a sociological work on peasant movements as author does a fine job of unearthing the actual process of institutionalization of grassroot mobilization by the Left political parties in West Bengal and the different trajectory in Andhra Pradesh.
Apart from building theoretical foundations, analytical and methodical framework, the interesting part of the book relates to origin and development of the three movements (Tebhaga, Telengana and Naxalite) and their link with contemporary mobilizations in the same villages. The author has made a comparative study to bring out commonalities and differences in grassroots mobilizations in experience in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.... The book is a well researched work on the radical peasant movements and their transformation in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. The book needs to be read by all those interested in radical rural transformation in India from the perspective of society`s oppressed sections. (Economic and Political Weekly)
Singharoy has brought about a work that will be considered a pioneering study in the area of peasant movements.... The hard work that has gone into collecting data is reflected in the number of tables that contain enormous amount of information about social, political and economic status of peasants with other classes in society. The book is well written, methodical and is most comprehensive in tackling a subject that has not been probed seriously before. The reader will find it not only interesting but also thought provoking. (The Resurging India)