Blog

  1. 'The criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism': Raosaheb Kasbe
    20
    Jul

    'The criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism': Raosaheb Kasbe

    When Raosaheb Kasbe's Zot was published in Marathi, in 1978, RSS cadres made a public bonfire of it at the Janata Party convention in Pune that year. The book presented an incisive critique of M.S. Golwalkar's Bunch of Thoughts, the main ideological treatise of the RSS. Kasbe traced the historical roots of cultural nationalism as outlined by Golwalkar, and exposed its authoritarianism. His study of the functioning of the RSS revealed its communal blueprint, its anti-modern views and anti-democra..
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  2. Grateful for Progress Publishers
    15
    Jul

    Grateful for Progress Publishers

    The bookshelf in my mother's apartment in Kolkata is weighed down by an old history. There are books in the familiar blue and white spine, the old Progress Publishers volumes that include my volumes of Karl Marx's Capital, bought in 1981. Russian classics jostle for space, a bit of Lermontov here and a bit of Gogol there. There used to be children's books, but in the move from one apartment to the other, these might have been slipped into the bags of the kabariwallah. Running my hands over these..
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  3. Girish Karnad, the Playwright Against the Right
    03
    Jul

    Girish Karnad, the Playwright Against the Right

    It is both apt and reductive that two images dominate others as Girish Karnad is remembered on social media: one, with Gauri Lankesh, protesting the killing of Karnad's fellow Dharwadian Prof. M.M. Kalburgi; the other, wearing the Me Too Urban Naxal placard, at the memorial to mark the first anniversary of Gauri Lankesh's own killing. Over the past few years, Karnad was seen as one of the most consistent, fearless and principled defenders of freedom of speech, cultural diversity and democracy. I..
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  4. Liberate the Colonies! Voices from the Global Struggle for Freedom
    24
    Jun

    Liberate the Colonies! Voices from the Global Struggle for Freedom

    ‘I come from the Indies; I have travelled forty days.’ These words were addressed by Tan Malaka of the Communist Party of the Dutch East Indies to the Congress of the Toilers of the Far East—convened by the Comintern. He had been asked to conclude his speech as his time was up. He was in no mood to comply. Fighters for justice are not easily silenced, even by their comrades! The speaker hadn’t travelled forty days to discuss the political situation back home with foreigners. Divided by ..
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  5. Kerala FM T.M. Thomas Isaac Talks to Vijay Prashad @ LeftWord
    01
    Jun

    Kerala FM T.M. Thomas Isaac Talks to Vijay Prashad @ LeftWord

    Before the elections, Kerala's finance minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, who has also written several books (some of them for LeftWord), sat down for a little chat with our chief editor Vijay Prashad. In this short interview, Isaac briefly explains how they're trying to do things differently in Kerala, keeping in mind that people want dignity as much as they want bread. A rough transcript of their talk has been included below the video.       Vijay Prasad (VP): Hello! Welcome. I am Vijay Pr..
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