Over the past twenty years, the Indian political climate has shifted decidedly to the Right with the BJP and the Congress dragging India into a growth trajectory that squanders the hopes of working people. The old consensus on Indian socialism is threadbare, and socialist parties in disarray.
The future of Indian communism is rooted in the popular hopes for a better tomorrow and in the popular discontent with the bitter present. No Free Left is a critical examination of the past of Indian Communism and an assessment of its future.
Most literature on Indian communism feels claustrophobic. It assumes that the communist movement lives on a detached landscape its programme and political judgments are adjudged against a divine standard. A history of communism cannot be written, Gramsci said, without writing a “general history of a country.” Vijay Prashad does exactly that.
No Free Left stays alive to the details of the present while drawing out the long term dynamic, combining a rich historical survey with acute political analysis of the present. It is a compelling work for students of Indian politics. For activists of the Left, it is indispensable reading. Above all, it is a live work, an invitation to debate and discussion.