chroniclers, as constituting episodes in a holy war; but to see medieval Indian history through their eyes is to miss its essential characteristics and dynamics.
The pieces by Sanat Bose and A. Satyanarayana recapture the history of struggle of the toiling masses in two different regions of the country at two different times. Bose draws attention to a significant though little-known document, Report of the Committee on Industrial Unrest in Bengal, 1921 whiph gives valuable information on the wave of strike-struggles that swept over Bengal in 1920-21 in the aftermath of the first World War. Within a short span of nine months, 137 strikes broke out in Bengal, covering virtually all the existing industries in the province; the working class, for the first time in this region, was coming into its own. A fascinating glimpse into the nature, causes, and the course of development of these strikes is provided in this document, which deserves wider notice among scholars in this area. Satyanarayana focusses on the growth of the left movement, especially the communist movement, in Andhra in the thirties. Within a very short span of time, the communists who were a negligible force in 1934, could claim substantial influence among the working class, the peasantry and the youth, by virtue of their tireless work, within a united front strategy, in organising and leading the struggles of the toilers against the background of the vicissitudes that world capitalism was passing through.
Finally, the short piece by Princy Dharmaratne expose the utter absurdity, from the point of view of third world economies, of the set of economic policies prescribed by agencies like the IMF. At a time when the world capitalist crisis has saddled these economies with acute balance of payments difficulties, when the need is for a restriction on their imports or a greater acceptance of their exports, the IMF pushes them into larger borrowing, which only further compounds their payments difficulties. As the loan terms stiffen, t(ie loans pile up even faster; the net result is a snuffing out of whatever development had been taking place, and an escalation of the burdens on the people who are pressed deeper into the mire of hunger, poverty and unemployment.