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

ColonialismSubscribe to Colonialism

A short publication history of Bhagat Singh's Jail Notebook

A biographer of Bhagat Singh and a chronicler of his works, writes about the publication history of Bhagat Singh’s “Jail Notebook”. This article is being published, when reports have talked about the possible release of the Notebook “for the first time” by the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Understanding Capitalism through Lohia

Extending Lohia to our times, we can infer an important truth about capitalism. Capitalist development cannot take place without colonial or neocolonial exploitation. In the absence of external colonies or neocolonies, capitalism tries to create internal colonies, but they are not enough for full-fledged modern industrial development, which requires both exploitation of labour and the plunder and destruction of natural resources on a global scale. If internal colonial exploitation is fundamental to capitalism and unequal exchange in various forms is one of its important mechanisms, the Third World can be liberated only when it breaks away from the present system of international trade, exchange and finance and looks at ways of building an alternative society in all senses.

Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and What the Historians Say

Ever since the death sentence for Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in the Lahore conspiracy case-II was pronounced on 7 October 1930 by a controversial three-member special tribunal established by British colonial government, the imperative to save their lives became a national issue. The general perception was that Mahatma Gandhi, who was thought to be the tallest national leader of India at that time, could have achieved this imperative. But it was not to be.

Japan, the United States and Yasukuni Nationalism

This paper considers the Yasukuni Shrine, Japanese war memory and representation in relationship to contemporary nationalism and its implications for the future of the Asia-Pacific. It emphasises three aspects about the "Yasukuni Problem" and contemporary nationalism that are absent in much of the discussion in Japan, the Asia-Pacific and internationally. The first is the need to transcend an exclusively Japanese perspective by locating the issues within the framework of the Japan-US relationship. The second locates war nationalism in general, and Yasukuni in particular, within the broader purview of competing nationalism in the Asia-Pacific. The third recognises deep fissures among the Japanese people with respect to Yasukuni, nationalism and the emperor in whose name Japan fought, and memories of colonialism and war.

Revolutionary Legacy of Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh's life (September 28, 1907-March 23, 1931), work and thought were marked by an uncompromising struggle against colonialism and imperialism, together with radical opposition to capitalism, communalism and the caste system. This article is a spirited account of his life, his revolutionary activity, his ideals, his opinions and his legacy. It was on April 8, 1929 that Bhagat Singh and B K Dutt threw non-lethal bombs in the Central Assembly with a view "to make the deaf hear", and raised the slogans "Inquilab Zindabad" and "Down with Imperialism", which caught the imagination of the Indian people. Perhaps at no other point in the life of India since 1947 has the reference to these two slogans become more important than today, as the country marks the hundredth birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh.

Mapping the Enemy

The images of Islam which inform the RSS and its carefully nurtured and directed hatred are not limited to the Hindu right alone but are found in popular and academic discourses both in India and the west. They bear little relation to the reality of Islam as lived by Muslims in India and around the world where faithful adherence to the tradition coexists with tolerance of other faiths. But this reality exists outside the Orientalist grids which inform our understanding of Islam.

Liberating Jyotiba Phule

Selected Writings of Jotiba Phule edited by G P Deshpande; Left Word, New Delhi, 2002; pp 247, Rs 450.

Scheduled Castes in Sikh Community

An understanding of the distinctive caste hierarchy in Sikhism and the new pattern of competing hierarchies, parallel to that of the Hindus, calls for insights into the dynamics of political power and economic relations both at the local and regional levels. This paper aims at exploring the trade-off between the doctrinal principles of Sikh religion and the ruling social and political interests in the context of changes in the society and economy of Punjab.

Modernity, Terrorism and the Masquerade of Conflict

America's wars on Afghanistan and Iraq have raised many questions on terrorism, modern war, the role of Islamic fundamentalism in opposition to the west's appropriation of modernity and the continuing relevance of imperialist military and economic aggression in contemporary north-south debates. Terrorism is a form of identitarian conflict which has a history rooted in the colonial past of many third world countries. Afghanistan is a good example illustrating the consolidation of so-called modern and traditional identities in modern history. Time and again western imperialist powers have portrayed Afghanistan as the battle frontier of western civilisation. This essay offers a deconstruction of this western mythology and points out that a holistic critique of the western appropriation of real and symbolic modernity is necessary to comprehend the problem of religious terrorism and thereby wrest the anti-American initiative from the terrorist.

Cultural Encounters

Of Umbrellas, Goddesses and Dreams: Essays on Goan Culture and Society by Robert Newman; Other India Press, Mapusa, Goa, 2001; pp 290, Rs 225.

Pages

Back to Top