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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I cannot even begin to describe the impact the typescript had on me as I read it, fascinated and obsessed to the exclusion of almost everything else over the next four days.
Amalendu Guha (): Lifelong revolutionary, peoples’ historian, life-affirming poet
Although the Centre did not have at that time any formal course leading to a degree, Guha attracted a legion of young researchers and professional colleagues in the s. It is important to try to understand the formative factors that moulded the intellectual interests and academic pursuits as well as the socio-political outlook of Professor Amalendu Guha. He remained loyal to his beliefs and principles even in death, having donated his body for medical research, spurning all religious observances and rituals associated with the Ceremony of Death.
Many historians learned from him, though they were never amslendu his students in any institution. Their ex cathedra judgements were ignored. Soon after being sworn in as President in AugustFakhruddin Ali Ahmed visited Assam, his home State, and as to be expected was widely feted by several organisations. To a man who came to communism in s and 50s, India meant something completely different from what it means today.
I had a feeling he was sizing me up, trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of my interest in Assam. I attended one such reception, organised in the premises of the Haji Musafirkhana amalenndu Guwahati and attended predominantly, but not solely, by Assamese speaking Muslims in Guwahati.
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 amzlendu the late s or early s, and almost certainly in Guwahati. Guha argued that to understand better British capital formation, rather than compare volumes of internal and external markets, it would be more fruitful to compare surpluses derived from the colonies with surplus generated within Britain.
That apart, he had continual interaction with Left labour leaders in the tea plantations, in particular with his life-long friend Sanat Bose. 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. Apart from numerous papers, two contributions stand out: Guha proposed that the crux of the matter was peasant resistance and uprising.
Such over-enthusiasm, it seems, is not necessary. Writing this in mid, I cannot but reflect on the world that that typescript, indeed that tattered briefcase, represented. I was in those days teaching at the Gauhati University, which I had joined in earlyand living in the relatively isolated University campus seven miles to the west of the city, midway between the airport and the city proper.
He belonged to a generation of Marxist intellectuals who changed perspectives radically for people around them and for the generation that followed. This much by way of context and background.
We talked about the book a bit, and then with some trepidation I asked amslendu I could have a look at the manuscript, amaendu I was sure I would be amalendh benefited by reading it. Most teachers did not own a typewriter, did not keep stocks of carbon paper sheets and quires of India paper, nor did they carry bulky manuscripts and typescripts stuffed in tattered briefcases — a world that is dead and gone.
An Economic History of Britainpublished in Guha has earned his place zmalendu the annals of Assamese literature as the poet of social consciousness, human suffering and aspirations. 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. Thus it was that I resigned from the University and left Guwahati and Assam a,alendu for good, as I then thought — in Decemberto join Economic and Political Weekly in Bombay as a member of its editorial staff.
New 3 Month Subscription to Digital Archives at. Further, Guha was one of those around whom there developed an invisible college, a,alendu to speak. Secondly, Guha developed and advanced the Marxian interpretation of cultural history and the history of ideas. Guha also brought a qualitative change in writing the pre-colonial history of Assam.
It came about thus. 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. As a historian, Guha was primarily known for his work Planters Raj to Swaraj: To take one example, he provided an innovative explanation of the connection between the material basis of production and socio-economic relationships in his study of the introduction of rice cultivation by the Ahoms and the growth of feudal relationships in Assam.
In flocks the phoenix flies to the sky.