The violence which wracked the western Indian state of Gujarat ten years ago has almost become a metaphor for a particular aspect of India’s contemporary reality. The metaphor is described differently, depending on whether one is a supporter of Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi or an opponent. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: Adivasi, Bharatiya Janata Party, Capitalism, Dalit, Democracy, Gujarat killings 2002, Hindutva, indian capitalists, KHAM, Muslim, Narendra Modi, Patidar
Categories : India, Mobilisation and Movements, Politics, Religion, Secularism, Secularisation
G P Deshpande, The World of Ideas in Modern Marathi: Phule, Vinoba, Savarkar, Tulika, New Delhi, 2009, pp. 120. Rs. 240.
G P Deshpande, Talking the Political Culturally and Other Essays, Thema, Kolkata, 2009, pp. 127, Rs. 150. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: Capitalism, Colonialism, Dalit, Democracy, GPD, Imperialism, Indian Nationalism, IPTA, Jyotiba Phule, Left politics, Maharashtra, Pakistan, patriarchy, regional history, Theatre, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Vinoba Bhave
Categories : Book Review, Colonialism, EPW, History, India, Marxism and Marxists, Mobilisation and Movements, Politics, Pop goes the Culture, Religion, Secularism, Secularisation
The Anna Hazare fronted anti-corruption movement has been successful in pushing the locus of Indian politics to the right. Will it also succeed in defeating the Congress led United Progressive Alliance in the next general elections and putting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh backed Bharatiya Janata Party into power? That remains an open question. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: Anna Hazare, Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Corruption, Democracy, India Against Corruption, Jan Lok Pal, Left politics, Parliamentary Democracy, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Team Anna, United Progressive Alliance
Categories : India, Media, Mobilisation and Movements, Politics
The question of the freedom of the press or, more generally, the freedom of thought and expression, has come increasingly into public debate in India. This perhaps is a global trend from what it appears to me, but in India hardly a month passes without some important issue taking centre stage in public debates around the question of freedom of thought and expression.
Whether it is protesting against a film, a book, a speech or public statement, a work of art, a newspaper report or even a question paper, there are demands for banning, censorship, prosecution (often followed by extra-judicial persecution) and punishment for those who are seen to be exceeding the limits of freedom of speech. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: Arundhati Roy, Censorship, Democracy, Freedom of Press, Freedom of Thought and Expression, Geelani, Karl Marx, Left politics, Press Laws, Rosa Luxemburg, Sedition
Categories : India, Marxism and Marxists, Politics
This paper, rather preliminary note towards a full paper, attempts to look at the troubled history of democracy (both as a concept as well as a practice) and parties claiming affiliation to Marxism-Leninism. It tries to understand the historical paradox of parties and movements influenced by Marxism being among the more important contributors to democratising our world, but States ruled by parties owing allegiance to Marxism denying democratic rights to their own citizens. It then tries to identify some of the reasons for this large democratic deficit.
But before I begin, two short points about the structure of the paper may be in order. First, I have been fairly hesitant to write on this topic. I can hardly lay any claim to expertise on theoretical debates among Marxists as well as on the details of the history of countries ruled by communist parties. That apart, I am also conscious of my weakness in political theory, specially that relating to democracy and related ideas of liberty and representation. Therefore, the stress will remain more on the historical experience rather than the theoretical arguments. Second, and following from my hesitation laid out above, this paper is basically structured around three writings by two Marxists: Karl Marx himself, and Rosa Luxemburg. You may say I am merely paraphrasing them, or you may say that they are the burqa I wear during this excursion into unfamiliar territory. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: Communist Party, Democracy, Karl Marx, Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Russian Revolution, Soviet Union, Universal Suffrage
Categories : History, Marxism and Marxists, Mobilisation and Movements, Politics
[Can the Left learn the proper lessons from its electoral rout?]
This is the draft I wrote, a finalised version of which was published as the editorial of the Economic and Political Weekly in the Vol XLIV No 21 issue dated May 29, 2009.
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Tags: 15th General Elections India, CPI(M), Democracy, Left Front, Left politics, Nandigram, West Bengal
Categories : EPW, Marxism and Marxists, Politics
This is the draft I wrote for an EPW editorial published in the of 25 April – 2 May, 2009 edition. There are significant differences between this draft and the final edit.
Maoist attacks on the people’s right to vote is similar to the fascists’ attacks on democracy Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: CPI(Maoist), Democracy, Election Boycott, Fascism, Franchise, Indian Elections, Left politics, Terror
Categories : EPW, Marxism and Marxists, Politics, War and Imperialism
This is the draft of the edit I wrote for the EPW issue dated 04-11 April, 2009.
[The political role of the small car is as important as its environmental impact] Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: BRT, Bus, Car, City, David Harvey, Democracy, Nano, Public Transport
Categories : Energy and Environment, EPW, Politics, Pop goes the Culture
This is perhaps one of the defining questions of the modern world.
Irrespective of the country and culture one lives in, it is next to impossible to negotiate life today without running into this question lurking behind office desks, popping out of the messy bed sheets, and mixing with the food on our plate. How we ask and answer this question marks our politics, paints our ideology, highlights our socio-cultural context as well as gives hints about how we live our private lives.
So I might as well ask and answer this question, even though I can hear Alexander Pope whispering in my ear: “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread”! Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: Capitalism, Democracy, Equality, patriarchy, Women's Day
Categories : History, Politics, The Post Column, Wo/Men, Feminism, Gender