Shekhar Ganguly, A Satyagrahi, a Revolutionary, a Communist
People’s Publishing House, New Delhi, 1995
I recently read Arundhati Roy’s moving essay, “Walking with the Comrades,” detailing her solidarity with the indigenous Maoists of India back in 2010. Shekhar Ganguly is an ideological antecedent, in some respects, to those women, men, and kids Roy met in the jungles of India. His book is a straightforward account for the benefit of the next generation. Here’s a most important fact: He spent 12 years in jail for his Communist compromismo.
Ganguly became a satyagrahi at 13. He noted the influence of the Ramakrishna movement and Vivekananda and revolutionary politics: “I was torn between two ideas and two desires at that moment. To search out and join the ranks of the revolutionaries, fight the British rulers and die a hero’s death like Bhagat Singh and the other heroes or to join Ramakrishna Mission and spend my life serving the suffering humanity! In those days the first was much stronger than the second.” 
He moved away from “Gandhism” because he was “serious”: The British only understood force: “Hence they will have to be thrown out by force.”  He had to reckon with this question: “Are you ready to sacrifice everything for the freedom of Mother India?”  He sealed the deal with an offering of blood to the goddess Kali and “learnt in jail that many others had been tortured much more and for longer period than me.”  Read the rest of this entry »