Political Development and Political Decay in Bengal

Political Development and Political Decay in Bengal

Political Development and Political Decay in Bengal

Political Development and Political Decay in Bengal

Excerpt

The eight essays in this book have appeared only in publications in the United States and England, and have not been readily available in India. The first essay, "Political Development in West Bengal," was written for a Seminar on State Politics in India, conducted by Professor Myron Weiner at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in December, 1966(the essay was written in 1964). The second essay, "The Political Idioms of Atulya Ghosh," was prepared for a regional meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, held in Rochester, New York in November, 1965. The third essay, "Perceived Images of Political Authority Among College Graduates in Calcutta," was prepared for a meeting of the Group on Bengal Studies of the Association for Asian Studies, held in Columbia, Missouri in the Spring of 1967, and the remaining papers were prepared for the journals in which they appeared, the final paper being requested by the editor of South Asian Review. I would like to express my appreciation to the editors of all the publications in which these essays first appeared for making it possible to re-publish them in their present form.

While six of these essays deal with West Bengal, I have entitled the volume Political Development and Political Decay in Bengal, since one of the essays is specifically on political change in East Bengal and since I share the view that neither portion of Bengal can be fully understood without reference to the other. The final essay is not specifically on Bengal -- East or West -- but it states the case for a book of this kind, and indicates one of the ways in which I would like to see research on India conducted during the next few decades. The essays in this volume represent my introductory attempt to deal with the questions I have raised in the concluding essay, and the inclusion of the final essay is therefore quite appropriate for placing the book in the perspective of more general scholarly interest.

To many Bengali scholars these essays will be simplistic, and for many politicians they will neglect important factional arguments that should have been stated. It should be remembered that they were written by a foreign scholar, that they . . .

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