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Tags: Capitalism, Colonialism, CPI(M), FDI, globalisation, Imperialism, indian foreign aid, Karl Marx, Left Front, Left politics, Nuclear Weapons
Categories : History, India, Marxism and Marxists, Politics
There has been a major transformation in India over the last two decades – economic, political, social and cultural. Some of this has been a result of the liberalisation of the economy, a significant part of which has been the opening up to global capital. The Left in India, across organisations and ideologies, has viewed globalisation as a disaster for India. However, even a cursory glance at the actual history of globalisation in India will show that it has been as much about India reaching out to the world as the world coming to India.
This paper argues that the Indian radical has been unable to come to terms with this phenomenon. He does not know how to define it, he does not know how to engage with it and he invariably falls back on understandings and explanations from another age which have little salience today. It is this last feature which brings out a streak of conservativeness in him.
This paper tries to identify the main features of the Indian radical’s fear of globalisation, the function of nationalism in this, the role which foreign goods and capital play in building this and the consequences for radical politics.
(This is not a fully developed position but rather an attempt to think through some ideas. Further, the text here is a rough draft which was used to make a presentation at the workshop on Spectacle of Globality organised by Ravinder Kaur and Thomas Blom Hansen at the University of Copenhagen on 29-30 August 2012. Please do not quote from this article without asking me.)
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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
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: 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
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 »