28 October, 2020

The Inkwell Overflows

Somnath Chatterjee’s memoir promises to give CPI(M)’s skeletons a healthy airing

Sandipan Chatterjee
The Inkwell Overflows

It has to be one of the most forthright and vigorous accounts of contemporary politics. Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker and veteran leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who was expelled by his party in July 2008, has just completed his memoirs. Called Keeping The Faith, the book is in the final stages of printing and is expected to be out by late July or early August. While agreeing to talk about what to expect from the book of about 400 pages, Somnath says: “I know you’ve been sent to try to ferret out every single detail, but if I reveal too much my publisher will disown me.” And then after a pause, jokingly, “He can’t expel me, can he?”

Jokes apart, during the four-hour conversation at the 81-year-old leader’s spacious house and garden in serene Shantiniketan, in Bengal’s Birbhum district, it is his shock and profound sadness at having been expelled from the party— “even after two years of the incident”— that is apparent more...



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