Calcutta in the 1950s and 1970s: What Made it the Hotbed of Rebellions?

Sengupta, Anwesha
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Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) has witnessed a few turbulent decades after Independence. Deeply affected by India’s Partition, it received millions of refugees in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. The refugee crisis coincided with a series of mass upheavals, with a cross-section of the city’s population taking to the streets, demanding adequate food, affordable public transport, fair wages, accommodation and peasants’ rights. Students, refugees, the urban middle class and labourers came together, braving the police, to participate in these movements led by various shades of Left parties. These movements have given Kolkata a distinct character, making it synonymous with protest rallies, strikes and street corners. The city is seen as politically vibrant and these movements, from the 1950s to 1970s, have been integral in shaping this image. Link -