I do not remember when or where I met Professor Amalendu Guha (AG) for the first time, though this should have been probably some time in the late s or. (Amalendu Guha, ). I. Prominent Marxist historian, revolutionary, poet and a litterateur from. Assam – Dr Amalendu Guha – passed away at the age of 91 in. Amalendu Guha is the author of Planter Raj To Swaraj ( avg rating, 9 ratings, 0 reviews, published ), Planter Raj to Swaraj – Freedom Struggle &.

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He touched upon numerous historical fields — often making pioneering or important contributions.

It was Guha who taught us to look for deeper material reasons for processes of historical change — beyond the glory of this or that king, beyond this or that victorious battle of the Ahom commander against the Mughal emperor. As a historian, Guha was primarily known for his work Planters Raj to Swaraj: Finally, what was the legacy that the historian Professor Amalendu Guha left behind?

Secondly, he focused on the rise of foreign and national capitalist enterprise in Assam, the colonisation of Assam, the origins of Parsi entrepreneurship in western India, the raw cotton trade in Bombay Presidency in the nineteenth century, de-industrialisation and indigenous textile manufacture, the formation of the working class in Assam tea plantations, and similar themes.

Guha in his review opined that it is difficult to accept this conclusion by Mathias despite the fact that the internal market was several times bigger than the external market.

My first clear memory of meeting AG was when he dropped by at my home in the University campus sometime in the early s, accompanied by a common friend. This was exemplified by his interpretation of a major social movement like the Moamoria Rebellion, which was traditionally interpreted in terms of religious ideas of neo-Vaishnavism. I appreciate this opportunity to pay my humble tribute to Professor Amalendu Guha, whom I have admired for decades.

Amalendu Guha (): Lifelong revolutionary, peoples’ historian, life-affirming poet

Or again, consider his argument about de-industrialisation. Guha did not get a job in the Universities of Gauhati and Calcutta in spite of his qualifications and publications. However, exclusion from the higher levels of the universities did not prevent Guha from launching into the research that eventually earned him national recognition.


To be known as a Marxist was tantamount to carrying a flag, and its bearers paid a price for so doing. Breaking up of India would be a terrible dream for this generation. But even in such failures, one can see a very humane side of the old commie historian.

Let us recall that at one time being a Marxist historian often meant the denial of job opportunities in the universities. Editorial – edit epw.

Amalendu Guha (1924-2015): Lifelong revolutionary, peoples’ historian, life-affirming poet

Soon after being sworn in as President in AugustFakhruddin Ali Ahmed visited Assam, his home State, and as to be expected was widely feted by several organisations. An unwavering pillar of left democratic movements, Guha was mostly known as a historian in mainland India, but his contributions and presence in the field of poetry and literature are also immense.

Despite being one of the best candidates, he was denied a job at the newly established Gauhati University inand Guha strongly felt that this was because of his leftist ideology. I had a feeling he was sizing me up, trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of my interest in Assam.

He chose to be a loner. An Economic History of Britainpublished in He further noted the similarity between the Ahom state and the pre-colonial states in different East Asian countries — such as Burma, Vietnam and Thailand, in terms of their control over the labour, rather than land. In this day and age, however, one finds most intellectuals unwilling to make the commitment to a life of struggle and sacrifice that Guha and some of his peers did. Soon, larger national issues, beginning with the nationwide railway strike and the declaration of national emergency, which was causally related to the measures taken to suppress and break the railway strike — though the proximate cause was the judgement of the Allahabad High Court nullifying the election of Indira Gandhi to the Lok Sabha — more or less clinched my wavering mind on whether I should continue to be a teacher of English for the rest of my life, or do something else.


Comments – Hide EPW looks forward to your comments. Indeed, during my last eight years in Guwahati, I was for the first time living in a flat of my own.

When we met it was evident that he knew about me a bit. Five editions of the latter publication have been published and I understand that it is considered to be an important text in the history of Assamese literature.

Go well, friend, go in peace. Distinguished Historian, Public Intellectual. View the discussion thread. In these institutions and while visiting the Delhi School of Economics intermittently, Guha contributed to three major segments of economic history of the colonial period.

I knew little of the larger issues involved in the border conflict, though I was aware of the existence of laws providing for preventive detention, thanks to listening to a amaalendu by A. The few good ones and the many more that could have been New Year smiles: That one day India might become synonymous with a brutal repressive machine, hell bent on repressing any kind of nationality aspirations, was not imaginable in the hearts and minds guja that generation.

That very year he joined Darang College, Tezpur, Assam as a lecturer of Economics and taught in the college till When death came to him, it came as a release.

A Personal Memoir M. Half-naked workers’ flag of occupation shall flutter with certainty in thousand plantations. That apart, he had continual interaction with Left labour leaders in the tea plantations, in particular with his life-long friend Sanat Bose. These ranged from the pre-feudal stage to advanced production in the sub-Himalayan highlands, and from slash-and-burn cultivation to settled agriculture.

We talked about the book a bit, and then with some trepidation I asked if I could have a look at the manuscript, for I was sure I would be greatly benefited by reading it.