62 Social Scientist
position due to the heroes, and those who survive will live happily in independent Tamralipta : they will get enough food and clothing* (p.65). While the mood is captured, little attempt is made to grasp the details. When he explains the opposition to the movement in terms of 'the combined strength of the government and the upper strata of the society* (p.66), one is left wondering whether he means the 'upper strata* of Midnapur, Tamluk, Manthi or Bengal proper. Similarly nothing can justify Hitesranjan Sanyal's neglect of the Jungle Mahals which comprise the northern and western districts of Midnapur. There is no reference to this region under the subsection Trends in the Freedom Struggle in Midnapure*. Thus the whole problem of 'local currents of politics and mass-protests' is undertaken with the near-total obliteration of tribal groups (Santhals, Bhumij, Kurmis). Early in the nineteenth century the process of ousting Adivasis from their land had turned them increasingly into baghchasis. Hitesranjan Sanyal while referring to the phenomenon of growing landlessness, nowhere hints at the possibility, of tribal groups moving into the eastern parts of Midnapur. The baghchasis are described as 'erstwhile sericulturists or salt makers, or brought in from outside' (p.32). It is thus obvious that he is primarily concerned with the nationalist history of this region and not with drawing interconnections, or focussing on social relations of production and contradictions, except when they are apparent.
The differenc^in approach becomes glaring when we consider Gail Omvedt's analysis of the Satara Patri Sarkar. From the very outset her approach seems more rigorous and nuanced. What is crucial to her understanding of the movement is the relationship between the non-Brahman movement with its emphasis on the spread of equalitarian and rationalistic political-social consciousness and the national movement. In the light of the evidence provided one can reject the official Marxist dismissal of the Patri Sarkar as 'pure banditry'. Thus one is tempted to ask whether terror and violence are not essential for establishing parallel forms of government in an otherwise hostile environment. But the otherwise necessary and expedient measures came to be looked down upon as deviations from the conventional Gandhian ideology. The activists were considered criminals by 1945. The socialist tendencies of the movement surfaced through the 'nyayadan mandals' and not through its leadership. The dalits and woman remained generally unrepresented. As Gail Omvedt observes '. . . it attacked feudalism in a reformist rather than a radical manner' (p.258). Keeping in mind the limits of the movement it becomes rather difficult to lament, as Cail Qmvedt does, the absence of communication between the Satara activists and the rebels of Telangana just because the former had tenuous links with the Congress hierarchy within the movement. Otherwise what emerges from the essay is not merely the accuracy of historical analysis, but an activist's concern with the fallout of the radicalism of the 1940's.