Blog

  1. Strong Centre, Weak States?
    06
    Apr

    Strong Centre, Weak States?

    There is a reason India has a federal structure. We’re too big and too diverse. While one ought to be wary of those who want to centralize authority, in India’s case we need to be doubly concerned now that there’s a fascist government at the Centre. In the extract below, taken from Challenges to Indian Fiscal Federalism (also available as an eBook), the authors outline how the structure of decentralized autonomy has been undermined, especially since liberalization. Quasi Federalism? Su[...]
    Read more
  2. A letter to Anand Teltumbde
    06
    Apr

    A letter to Anand Teltumbde

    Dear Anand, On Monday, there will probably be a knock on your door. Police officers are likely to arrive to arrest you. They will carry with them a range of papers, a file overflowing with notes that refer to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Indian Penal Code. There will be plenty of references to the village of Bhima Koregaon near Pune. These papers will make hallucinatory accusations against you and others. It is hard to keep up with them: you incited violence in Bhima Koregaon[...]
    Read more
  3. Possible Communism
    04
    Apr

    Possible Communism

    Those who keep repeating ad nauseum that communism isn’t sustainable, should read Building Alternatives: The Story of India’s Oldest Construction Workers’ Cooperative by T.M. Thomas Isaac and Michelle Williams. Fortunately for us, this possible communism does not believe in sustaining itself through an unending cycle of bloody wars. Here’s Vijay Prashad’s preface to the book: Possible Communism Misery greets the planet. Social inequality has reached unbelievable levels – where f[...]
    Read more
  4. India’s Tryst with the RSS
    03
    Apr

    India’s Tryst with the RSS

    The following article is a review and comparison of two books: The RSS: A Menace to India by A.G. Noorani (LeftWord Books, March 2019), and Messengers of Hindu Nationalism: How the RSS Reshaped India by Walter Anderson & Shridhar D. Damle (Hurst & Company, 2019). A shorter version of it first appeared in the London Review of Books (‘Strictly Technical’. vol. 42, no. 6, 19 March 2020). Ψ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the subject of the two books at hand, is arguably the oldes[...]
    Read more
  5. Progress Publishers: A Short History
    02
    Apr

    Progress Publishers: A Short History

    Progress Publishers lived up to its name. It’s hard to look at one’s bookshelf and not find a title brought out by them. But the reason for its existence was greater than what one would refer to as soft power. Vijay Prashad writes in his introduction to The East Was Read: Socialist Culture in the Third World, ‘It was because, as Lenin noted, cultural absorption was a good in itself, and that it would help expand the imagination and create a richer, better world. More learning about differe[...]
    Read more