ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Bolshevik Heritage

The Russian Revolution of 1917 is one of the most enigmatic events of modern history. It arose out of massive popular disgust with war; yet heralded a civil war leading to an even greater loss of life. The revolution began with a quest for democracy, yet resulted in a regime wherein the political police took centre stage in the lives not only of political opponents but of the ruling party itself. It was legitimised in the name of the soviets, yet in three years these organs of workers’ power were reduced to shadows of their former selves. Its success was based upon a worker–peasant alliance, yetthat alliance was torn to shreds long before the collectivisation of the 1930s. Was it one revolution or two? Was the second one the “real” revolution or did it put an end to the aspirations of the first? Did Bolshevism signify living proof of the so-called Marxist “laws of history,” or the completely contingent nature of historical events? These questions are part of the enigma of Bolshevism. A century after the revolution unfolded, we have the benefit not only of hindsight, but also of a massive, hitherto unseen archive, made accessible after 1991. An entire century passed in the shadow of 1917.It is time to think of it afresh.

The Broken Middle

The violent events of 1984 signify the breakdown of consensual politics and the ideal of composite Indian nationhood. When communal animosity spreads across society, it corrodes the social conscience and (directly or subliminally) produces a genocidal consensus. In the aftermath of 1984 we also witnessed the decay of a reliable criminal justice system, the effects of which are still unfolding. It is time for us to see beyond parties, and pay attention to the functions of communal ideology. The reality today is that extremism is a mainstream phenomenon.

A Hard Rain Falling

Violence is the very grammar of exploitation and oppression related to class, caste, sex and race. It has always borne the tendency to break free of institutional constraints and become a force in itself. That is why bands of warriors are the most stable feature of class society. apitalism thrives on violence. Tragically however, the major communist currents in India today, instead of providing a wholesome alternative to violent reality, have become an indistinguishable feature of it.

A Hard Rain Falling

Violence is the very grammar of exploitation and oppression related to class, caste, sex and race. It has always borne the tendency to break free of institutional constraints and become a force in itself. That is why bands of warriors are the most stable feature of class society. Capitalism thrives on violence. Tragically however, the major communist currents in India today, instead of providing a wholesome alternative to violent reality, have become an indistinguishable feature of it.

End of the Left in India?

In a minor replay of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Indian media have been gloating at the defeat of the Left Front in West Bengal especially and have repeatedly suggested that this signals the “end of the Left in India”. Even at the best of times our news channels tend to avoid serious...

Talks Only With Broader Sections

In the light of the recent demands raised by sections of the intelligentsia urging the government to heed the CPI(Maoist) “offer of talks”, we insist that “civil society” should rather put pressure on the government to initiate talks with representatives of all struggling popular and adivasi...
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