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Sumanta Banerjee's review of The Phoenix Moment in Economic and Political Weekly

Praful left us on 23 June 2015. But we are thankful to him for leaving behind for us this wonderful intellectually stimulating book that traces not only the history of the Indian communist movement, but also suggests an alternative courageous strategy for the left in the coming future.

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Can the Indian Left seize its Phoenix Moment? - A book review by G. Sampath

Divided into eight chapters and spanning 500-odd pages buttressed by voluminous endnotes The Phoenix Moment begins with the founding of the Communist Party of India in 1925 . . . Now, after almost a century of training itself not to think, and not to venture beyond narrow Parliamentary politics, can the Left undertake a bold and honest introspection with a potential for radical course correction?

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Reinventing The Indian Left: A Review Of 'The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left’ By Praful Bidwai (Satya Sagar) |, 28 Feb 2016

‘The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left’, written by the well-known journalist Praful Bidwai, is a fascinatingly detailed study of why the Indian Left both rose to dizzying heights in the past and crashed ignominiously in recent times. The last book he wrote before his untimely demise last year, it is brutally honest, meticulously researched and bitingly critical. It is also impressively broad in scope, analyzing the Left from not just the usual parameters of redistribution of wealth, public welfare and workers’ rights but also ecology, gender and caste.

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Book Review: Is Left finally moving to the centre? (Shikha Mukerjee) | Asian Age, 28 Feb 2016

When business is as usual, the dilemma of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and, by extension, of the parliamentary political parties that can broadly be categorised as the Left is to find a comprehensive resolution that captures the theory as well as the practice of doing the impossible — finding a way of straddling electoral politics with its continuous compromises and the ideology of an emancipating revolution.

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Book review: The Last Word (Tanika Sarkar) | The Indian Express, 16 January 2016

The first half covers colonial and immediate post-colonial times, and the second explores Kerala and West Bengal, both ruled by the Left for long stretches of time.

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Book Review: So, What is Left? (Zia Haq) | Hindustan Times, 2 Jan 2016

Praful Bidwai’s posthumous book is a rich intellectual history of the Left, its contemporary fate and how it can fight back a neoliberal onslaught

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Book Review: Behind the Left’s decline (Roshan Kishore)

Praful Bidwai’s book, The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left provides a comprehensive political history of the Indian Left

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Book Review: Saving What’s Left (Ajith Pillai)

While Praful Bidwai’s critique of the Left is sympathetic at one level, it doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to addressing flaws that have dogged the communist movement in India

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Book Review: How the Left was lost (Archis Mohan)

In this book, published posthumously, author pulls no punches in detailing the reasons for the "terminal decline" of the Left movement in India

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Invitation to the Launch of Praful Bidwai's book 'Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting The Indian Left' (8 Nov 2015 @ IIC, New Delhi)

Invitation to Delhi Book Release for Pheonix Moment

Bengal local poll results don’t bode well for the BJP, Left

The Trinamool Congress has pulled off a massive victory in West Bengal’s municipal elections by winning 71 of 92 civic bodies (up from 38 won in 2010). Its Kolkata win was even more crushing: 114 of 144 wards (95 in 2010). The entire opposition accuses TMC of rigging the elections—a charge that carries some credibility given the scale of TMC’s victory, huge winning margins of some candidates (e.g. 15,000-30,000 votes), and the party’s known reliance on muscle-power.

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'आप' की जीत से मजबूत होंगे वामदल?

ऐसा 25 साल में दूसरी बार हुआ जब एक उभरती हुई राजनीतिक शक्ति ने भारतीय जनता पार्टी का बढ़ता रथ रोका है.

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Shrinking base: The Left is painting itself into a corner

India’s Left parties, among the world’s biggest parties belonging to the Communist tradition, face a huge crisis as the Lok Sabha election approaches. The election will largely decide if they can reverse their recent setbacks, or go into a steep decline, with waning political-intellectual influence and growing organisational disarray.

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India’s Left Faces Major Challenges as Elections Approach

India’s Left parties, among the world’s biggest parties belonging to the Communist tradition, face formidable challenges as they approach the 2014 national election. The election will play a major role in deciding if they can reverse the setbacks they recently suffered, or go into a steep decline, with a fall in membership, decreasing political influence, and growing organisational dissonance.

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Trinamool’s Victory Run In The Cities: Dire warning for the Left

''The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has emerged triumphant in the just-held municipal elections in West Bengal, and reduced the Left Front to insignificance. The TMC’s victory run, from the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the 2011 Assembly elections and rural panchayat polls last July, has established it as Bengal’s pre-eminent party, ahead of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM). ''

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Role reversal in West Bengal?

Of all the Assembly elections due or in progress in India, those in West Bengal are critical and of pivotal importance. They will determine the fate of the Left, a significant current in Indian politics whose intellectual and moral-political influence far exceeds its parliamentary strength. Most opinion polls and more cerebral assessments suggest that the Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), will lose the elections.

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Plenty of Dogma, Little Rethinking: CPM’s crisis deepens

What the Communist Party of India (Marxist) dreaded the most in West Bengal, its bastion for 33 years, has happened. Ms Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress Party (TCP) held an extremely well-attended rally at Lalgarh in the Jangalmahal region bordering Jharkhand on August 9, enlisted the support of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), and threw down the gauntlet to the Left Front. She stridently read out an elaborate political chargesheet against the CPM and announced the end of Left “hegemony” and the beginning of “a new era” in West Bengal.

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The pragmatic Communist

Jyoti Basu gave the Indian Left parties a unique perspective on practical politics and acquired an unmatched national stature and universal respect.

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Jyoti Basu's mixed legacy

In communist veteran Jyoti Basu's death, India has lost its most illustrious politician and the last leader who embodied a personal link between the many phases of Indian politics since the early 1940s.

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The Indian Left’s Yasser Arafat - Jyoti Basu’s legacy

In Jyoti Basu’s death, India has lost the last leader who embodied a personal link between the many phases through which Indian politics has evolved since the early 1940s. Basu was not just a major Left leader in a country which has the world’s biggest Communist party barring China’s. He was an active participant in the many processes that have shaped politics, including trade union and peasant movements, radicalisation of the intelligentsia, contestations between social-group identities, and crystallisation of the party system. He was India’s most illustrious political leader, with a stature that few have matched anywhere in the world.

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