1. Girish Karnad, the Playwright Against the Right

    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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  2. Liberate the Colonies! Voices from the Global Struggle for Freedom

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

    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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  4. May Day at May Day – 2019

    May Day at May Day – 2019

    2019 was special for us at LeftWord Books. We turned 20 this year. Even the bookstore – May Day – is 6 years old now. 'There was barely place to stand!' is what we reported last year. But we broke our own record this year, with over 800 of you joining our May Day celebrations. Amidst all the books, coffee, pastries and music, we went around asking you questions. Hope that didn't bother much. We were only trying to survey who was visiting us. The total number who agreed to take the survey w..
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  5. Story Time in Kerala

    Story Time in Kerala

    On a warm evening in 1972, when I was five years old and living in a village by the sea—Puthenthope in Thiruvananthapuram—I accompanied my cousin to our village library. The librarian gave me a nice smile and took me to the old wooden shelves where the children's books were stacked. As I quickly glanced through them my eyes rested on an oddly shaped book—Vaalameen Chirikkunnu (The Vaala Fish Laughs). The book was the Malayalam translation of a Soviet folktale, fabulously illustrated and pr..
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