ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In Search of a Better World: Memoirs by Jolly Mohan Kaul (Kolkata: Samya), 2010; pp xiv+384, Rs 550.

Jolly Mohan Kaul, whose memoirs are being reviewed here, in his own description seems to have had protean talents, or, at the least, developed many facets to both his personality, read in the broadest sense of the word, and his fund of skills. The journey of his life is interesting and instructive and merits recounting, and, indeed, is recounted with a great deal of panache.

One question needs to be raised at the outset. Is this just another tiresome rant against one of the communist parties (in India or elsewhere) by just another comrade who got disillusioned and left for other – perhaps greener – pastures? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because it is the memoir of a senior communist leader who quit and went on to do other things, many of which would have been anathema in his earlier incarnation. No, because it is not really a rant. At least some of the narrative tries to provide a balanced account of the times and the party’s role in the public political space and some of it, at least, tries to present cogent, reasoned arguments for leaving the party.

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