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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
Outlook.com

Prakash Karat

In 996 comrade Jyoti Basu sent politburo members a coded message: ‘Think anew. Think Capital-ism.’

Prakash Karat
Prakash Karat
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It is indeed unbelievable. The weather at Cambridge (max: 16 degrees Celsius; min: 7) gives one a clearer perspective of the world. Now that’s something that doesn’t happen in Calcutta or Delhi. And this despite having had my fill of appam-stew and sandesh. In contrast, an almond croissant washed down with coffee at Nadia’s Patisserie (1, Mill Street) makes your mind tingle with ideas. That’s exactly what happened days ahead of a seminar organised by the Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS), Cambridge, where I was to speak. The topic: ‘Lessons of Empire—Past and Present.’ The conference was in honour of the late Victor Kiernan (the famous Marxist historian and my guru). Needless to say, I was eagerly looking forward to the event.

Well, after a lazy hour at Nadia’s I joined my old friend Christopher Bayly, CSAS director, for a walk near the Cambridge University cricket ground. He too was brimming with ideas. “I say Karat,” he said, “you better say something sensational at...

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