ON 21 June 2002 the Left Front Government in West Bengal celebrated a record 25 years in office at a stretch. This occasion has also inspired a steady stream of articles and commentaries, assessing the achievements and failures of this government in such diverse areas as civil rights and political democracy, education and health services, industry and infrastructure, and of course, agriculture, in this monograph we have preferred to zoom in on the last-named, and decidedly the single most important area.

Have the much-celebrated land reforms heralded a relatively egalitarian rural order? Which class forces have harvested the biggest benefits from Operation Barga and Panchayati Raj? What was the real extent of productivity growth in agriculture over the last 25 years? And what are the implications of the ‘improved’ Left Front’s “new agriculture policy” the Chief Minister is desperately trying to push through? How do changes in agrarian relations in this state compare with all-India trends? How does the ruling CPI(M) cope with questions of class struggle in rural Bengal?

Arindam Sen, member of Central Committee, CPI(ML) and Liberation editorial board, discusses these and other questions in some detail, and that is followed by a brief resume of our movemental intervention in the agrarian scene of West Bengal in recent years.

Central Committee, CPI(ML) Liberation


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