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The Emergency (1975-1977) was one of independent India's darkest hours. Over 150,000 people were imprisoned without trial; as many as eleven million forcibly sterilized; and countless killed in police firings or otherwise eliminated.
Told through the experiences of 'Arjun' - author Ashok Chakravarti's alias during his time as part of an underground movement against the Emergency - the memoir begins with his return to India from Oxford in 1973, when he joins a group of left-wing activists seeking revolutionary change. It covers, among other things, his efforts to mobilize Delhi's textile workers and safai karamcharis to fight for their economic and political rights; the Turkman Gate clashes; and his eventual rejection of communist ideas and involvement in the 1977 elections, in which democratic forces were victorious. It reveals Arjun's own struggle about his identity, and how he realizes he can give his life meaning by contributing to the greater social good.
Powerful and moving, The Struggle Within is a major account of the Emergency.
Ashok Chakravarti is an economist who has been providing policy advice to countries, mainly in the African region, for the past forty years. He is the author of books published in the UK and USA, which focus on the central role of institutions in economic development. He is currently Senior Economic Advisor to the Government of Zimbabwe, based in Harare.