The Autobiography of a Revolutionary in British India
Kali Ghosh
180 x 240 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Social Science Press

Out Of Stock

This fascinating autobiography has an immense visual appeal. The reader will be able to almost see the growth of radical parties with young boys playing with fake bombs in the village, deeply involved in neighbourhood social service, to becoming members of revolutionary parties. The action moves from the villages to the city of Calcutta before the Partition of the Subcontinent.

The description of Kali Ghosh being tortured in a British-run jail will remain with the reader for a long time. He was about to be sentenced to death, but was rescued by family connections in the secret police. The book has a rare account of everyday life of prisoners in a jail. Kali Ghosh was deported and later landed in England.
Kali Pada Ghosh, Born circa 1900-1902, in India; Lived from the 1930s in London, worked as a journalist for Blitz and other journals. Published one book in his lifetime: The Indian Way, New Delhi 1972. Married Paula Wiking-Ghosh in the mid 1930s. They worked together as journalists. She died in 1968.

He had three step-daughters: Sonja, Nadja, Barbro. They lived in Sweden and inherited the manuscript of his autobiography. Kali P Ghosh died in January 1978, in London. The manuscript has been forwarded to Uppsala University Library (“Carolina”). — Pablo Wiking-Faria (Sonja’s son), Janken Myrdal (Nadja’s son)

To My Grandfather with love, a Personal Note by Jankel Myrdal

Introduction by Gunnel Cederlöf

Preface: Kali Ghosh

1. My Parents 

2. My Early Life 

3. Political Infancy 

4. A Revolutionary in the Making 

5. Lessons in Feudalism 

6. I Look Beyond the Village 

7. Congress Comes to the Village 

8. The End of Non-Co-operation

9. Calcutta: Personal Adjustments 

10. The Wind Blows Left 

11. Annual Conference 

12. The Year of Grace 

13. Gathering Clouds

14. Crisis

15. Absconders

16. Police Hospitality

17. A Year in Prison 

18. Farewell to India

19. Re-evaluation 

A remarkable addition to the rich reminiscence literature by Indian nationalist revolutionaries, Kali Ghoshs autobiography, written in the 1930s, offers a sensitive portrayal of the transformation of a village boy in Bengal into an activist of the Jugantar Party. Particularly striking is the account of the everyday life and mental world of a budding revolutionary. Ghoshs description of police interrogation and life in prison as well as his candid recounting of the circumstances leading to his deportation to Britain offer a rare glimpse into political life in the closing years of British rule in India.

— Partha Chatterjee, Professor, Anthropology and South Asian Studies,
Columbia University, New York

Many Bengal revolutionaries left behind their personal testimonies but I strongly feel that none is as captivating as the one by Kali Ghosh: a relatively unknown political figure, who was forced to leave the turbulence of the Bengal political landscape fairly early and who was deported to England where he developed a serious interest in Marxism and in leftist politics. The autobiography stands out for several reasons: for combining the personal and the political with a frankness that is unusual in political autobiographies, for depicting political and intellectual lives in remote East Bengal villages and small towns as well as in Calcutta with admirable sociological acumen, and, above all, for telling a really good story. The moving personal note by his Swedish grandson and an excellent foreword by
Gunnel Cederlöf add considerably to the value of this intriguing and most readable narrative.

— Tanika Sarkar, Professor, Modern History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

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