Naxalgia and "Madhu Chakra" in Meghnadhbodh Rohoshya:

A Critical Review


  • Shamsad Mortuza



Naxalite, Naxalgia, Madhusudan Datt, Maoism, Marxism, Communist party of India, Habitus, Cultural Capital


This essay both pits Anik Datta's movie Meghnadhbodh Rohoshya against other literary works dealing with the Naxal question and examines its intertextuality to understand the multifaceted theme of political betrayal that subsumes the armed insurgency. On May 25, 1967, a group of trival sharecroppers in an Indian village called Naxalbari under the state of West Bengal resisted landowners from getting their yield. The protest got 11 villagers killed and spun off into a violent insurgency aimed at the annihilation of the people's enemy, and eventually exposed the Marxist/Maoist divide in the Communist Party of India. Released on the fiftieth year of the Naxalbari Movement, Anik Datta's movie tackles some of the unresolved conflicts of the past by giving them human faces. He uses the genre of mystery films to attempt an "objective" analysis of nuanced truth behind one symbolic betrayal that failed the movement. Datta narrates the story of a defector who left his idealist activism to settle for a comfortable and successful life abroad. The protagonist's defection serves as a parallel to the way the Bengali renaissance figure Michael Madhusudan Dutt left his religion, country and language for Europe and wrote in English. Anik Datta, however, focuses on Madhusudan on Meghnadhbodh Kavya , where the heroic code of a warrior clan is betrayed, and uses it as a temporal frame to negotiate with the present. This article critiques the multiplicity of exchanges between Madhusudan's epic and a contemporary tale of betrayal as found in the Anik Datta's film to comment on the culture and political components of the Naxalite movement and the nostalgia assiciated with it. 




How to Cite

Mortuza , S. (2020). Naxalgia and "Madhu Chakra" in Meghnadhbodh Rohoshya:: A Critical Review. Crossings: A Journal of English Studies, 11(1), 54–66.