In this literary essay, Anamika Das shares how Kondapalli Koteswarmma’s memoir – The Sharp Knife of Memory (Zubaan Books, 2015) changed her life and how she could look up to her because beyond the realm of party politics and ideology, human beings mattered to her.
Several events were narrated to me about ‘the left political spectrum’ before I became a member, and worked with a couple of political organizations within this spectrum in Kolkata. Before Kolkata, in Pune, I was a part of college protest events at BMCC and ILS both, after the tragic murder of the rationalist, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar in 2013, and had participated in local protests as a part of the Rights for manual scavengers in Pune in 2014. Since these were autonomous events, they were hardly associated with the left spectrum in Pune, even if the left showed its footprint and support. My introduction to anything remotely ‘left’ happened via the classroom space – through an amalgamation of many courses at the undergraduate level, which had works ranging from Karl Marx to the later critiques of old traditions of Marxism.