Antara Datta Profile picture
3 May, 19 tweets, 8 min read
I have now seen multiple takes on this idea that there has been a ‘sudden’ shift towards communalism in Bengal. And Mamata Banerjee has stemmed the tide. The historian in me is really wincing at this. A thread.👇🏽
Let me start with a fairly accessible and excellent piece on the long history of Hindu majoritarianism in Bengal and then break it down a bit more. @ishan_muk…
Tanika Sarkar on Hindu reform in Bengal is a classic.…
and here is a more accessible piece by her…
Sumit Sarkar wrote a long time ago about communalism in post Swadeshi Bengal. There is also a longer book.…. If anyone wants to read any of the things I am linking to and doesn’t have institutional access please let me know.
And P K Datta here….
There were riots in the 1920s (P K Datta has written extensively on this)… and…
Suranjan Das on communal riots in Bengal
On agrarian economy and religious conflict there is Sugata Bose.… and this article on the Kishoreganj riots.…. As well as Partha Chatterjee in the first subaltern studies volume.…
The BJP was after all founded by a Bengali Hindu…
On the gendered aspect of Hindu identity in Bengal….
On the Noakhali riots there is this short piece by Claude Markovits for the non specialist. There is also work by Rakesh Batyabal.…
On the Namasudras there is Sekhar Bandopadhyay.… and the longer book….
This special issue has a number of excellent articles on communalism in Bengal between 1940-1947 including on the question of caste….
Now the most influential work on this subject is Joya Chatterji in her seminal book….
If you are not familiar with her work this interview with @uttaras is an excellent primer…
Haimanti Roy has carried this argument forward.…
Thank you for indulging me. If you are indeed overwhelmed that first piece in the Caravan is probably enough. And perhaps my historian friends can fill in any blanks I have missed. @itihaasnaama @moubanerjee28 @mformanic @NeetiNair @uttaras and @uditi_sen.
And for a significantly more nuanced take including on subaltern Hindutva please see this thread.
I should have added @popeyed to this as well. It’s really an excellent interview and worth assigning for an undergraduate course. So much detail on how historians work/think as well as her actual work.

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More from @buchu

22 Apr
What is happening with COVID in India? People have been asking me to explain and to be honest, I’m not there and I don’t want to take away the voices of those who are, & those who are doing an incredible job of reporting. So the historian in me is putting a timeline together 1/n
In the first wave in 2020, the government locked down almost overnight. This caused enormous chaos, confusion and misery.…
If you want to read about the impact on migrant workers in the first lockdown…
or this…
But the death toll from the first wave in India, seemed to not be excessive. This BBC news article has some graphs comparing the first and second wave. Note that the first wave hit in Oct 2020.…
Read 18 tweets

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