Blog

  1. Amazon's Westland plan: game-changing or gaming the book industry? by Vinutha Mallya
    01
    Feb

    Amazon's Westland plan: game-changing or gaming the book industry? by Vinutha Mallya

    [This post was written and published on 1 February 2022, the day Amazon announced that Westland was going to be wound up.] Just five years after it acquired Westland as a wholly owned subsidiary, Amazon today announced to its employees the decision to shut it down. The news, first reported by Mint Lounge (February 1, 2022), has raised concerns about the future of Westland’s catalogue even as it has generated wide-ranging responses of disappointment and ‘heartbreak' from authors and readers [...]
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  2. Commemorating Venmani: Flame of Resistance by Kalpana Karunakaran
    07
    Jan

    Commemorating Venmani: Flame of Resistance by Kalpana Karunakaran

    ‘Huts without roof.Huts without walls.Huts ground to dust.To ash.Huts with broken bangle pieces’. These were the opening lines of an essay on the Keezhvenmani massacre where forty-four Dalit agricultural labourers, members of the kisan union of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), were trapped inside a small hut and burnt alive in a village in the former Thanjavur district, the ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu. The author of the essay Mythily Sivaraman, then a young woman of twenty-nine yea[...]
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  3. The Wretchedness of Caste – Ambedkar, Fanon, and the Blocked Indian Revolution, part one by Vijay Prashad
    12
    Dec

    The Wretchedness of Caste – Ambedkar, Fanon, and the Blocked Indian Revolution, part one by Vijay Prashad

    This is part one of a three-part blog post. Read also part two and part three. Caste, like race, is wretched. It denigrates the human being, reduces people to inferiority and to cheaper labour. Caste, unlike race, predates the colonial era. It is a wretchedness that comes out of older histories. One sees the caste system sharply in India, but this kind of rigid, birth-derived hierarchy can be found in most cultures, from the mibunsei system in Japan to the osu system in today’s Nigeria and Ca[...]
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  4. The Wretchedness of Caste – Ambedkar, Fanon, and the Blocked Indian Revolution, part two by Vijay Prashad
    12
    Dec

    The Wretchedness of Caste – Ambedkar, Fanon, and the Blocked Indian Revolution, part two by Vijay Prashad

    This is part two of a three-part blog post. Read also part one and part three. Ambedkar and Fanon So, that is the attitude to have when turning to the work of BR Ambedkar (1891-1956) and Frantz Fanon (1925-1961). Marxism is the ink in the pens of Ambedkar and Fanon. Marxism had to be ‘slightly stretched’, Fanon said, its concepts stretched to take the measure of different places and different times (That is essential, or as Lenin put it – ‘the most essential thing in Marxism, the livin[...]
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  5. The Wretchedness of Caste – Ambedkar, Fanon, and the Blocked Indian Revolution, part three by Vijay Prashad
    12
    Dec

    The Wretchedness of Caste – Ambedkar, Fanon, and the Blocked Indian Revolution, part three by Vijay Prashad

    This is part three of a three-part blog post. Read also part one and part two. The Blocked Indian Revolution Cognisant of the special oppression of caste and of religious majoritarianism in Indian society, EMS Namboodiripad (1909-1998), one of India’s most important communist theoreticians, fought against the organising of people based on these very lines; one cannot fight caste oppression on caste lines. Instead, caste oppression had to be fought by organising people into unified class orga[...]
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