About the BookThe biggest story of Bengal in post-Independence India is the overthrow of the 34-year-long Marxist regime in May 2011. The collapse of Marxist rule marks the end of a dream about a corruption-free, egalitarian socio-economic-political system. When the rest of the world with a few exceptions wrote off Communism as a utopia or a fraud on the people, Bengal continued to be fed with the illusion that the alternative to Communism is death. The homegrown Marxists' flirtations with the Communist Party of Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China added an international flavour to this Indian drama. The Marxist government of Bengal created a record by staying in power for over three decades at a stretch, a feat no other political party in India could achieve in any other state. For many, outside Bengal, the prolonged Marxist rule was a triumph of an ideology that sought to replace parliamentary democracy. The majority of people in Bengal, however, learnt from their personal experiences how bitter the sugar-coated pill of Marxist rule tasted. But they were helpless in the face of Marxist terror and electoral manipulations till Mamata Banerjee, a woman crusader of humble origin, and Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, teamed up to free Bengal from the shackles of fear.
With a keen insight and relying on authentic documents scarcely accessed before, the book delves deep into the mechanism of the collaboration of the two women that demolished a regime sustained by a mighty ideology and a marauding army of cadres. It traces where the Marxists went wrong and sounds a warning about the fate of the Mamata-Sonia joint venture in which the ultra-Left Maoist outfit with radical and conflicting political aims was a fringe player.About the Author/sUday Basu is the Kolkata Chief of Bureau of a leading English national daily of India. Son of a vastly learned Professor of English, he graduated with Honours in English from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and joined the Editorial Department of the daily, two years after the Marxists came to came to power in Bengal in 1977. Over the years he keenly watched the rise and fall of the Left and intimately interacted with top Marxist leaders, their rivals and more importantly, a cross-section of people of Bengal. His regular analytical pieces are widely read and enjoyed for their depth of understanding of Bengal politics, objectivity and authenticity. He has many scoops under his belt, including the one on the resignation of the last Marxist Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, that was eventually not accepted by his party. He has the distinction of having learnt French in Kolkata and interviewed former French President Francois Mitterrand in French in Kolkata.