Vol. 16 (2023): XVI International Symposium Contemporary Issues of Literary Criticism Socialist Realism in Literature and Art
Models and Forms of Socialist Realism

Reception of Socialist Realism in Bangla Progressive Literature and Alternatives to It: 1930s to 1990s

Kunal Chattopadhyay
Jadavpur University

Published 2023-12-11


  • Bangla,
  • Peasant,
  • Subaltern,
  • Anti-imperialism,
  • Class independence


Socialist Realist ideas came to India indirectly. And by the time they came, Dutta Gupta had demonstrated the brutal stranglehold of Stalinism on the CPI. This meant a two-stage revolution theory, a subservience, now to British imperialism, now to the Indian bourgeoisie. After independence, the same two-stage theory and the doctrine of popular frontism meant that the main inner-party debate was, where is the progressive bourgeoisie located? Inside or outside the Congress? Proletarian class independence could not flourish. Thus, the best of Bangla progressive literature was created in the 1970s and beyond, not through the Socialist Realism of the model of Saroj Dutt from 1938 or even Gorky, but through a rejection of ruling class hegemony and the articulation of polyphony, heteroglossia, alternative realities and fantasy.