Is This Azaadi?

Is This Azaadi?

  …the underclass in Muktidih is hopelessly on the margins of survival because of its limited access to the necessities of life, including food, clothing and shelter. One of my informants, …, insightfully stated that even insects were more capable of coping with their needs than were members of his class. This is a corollary of…

Widows of Vidarbha

Widows of Vidarbha

Farmer suicides are the most vicious and unforgiving indictment of the neglect of agriculture by the state and the politics, obsessed with power and the market. But the story of a farmer’s distress does not end with his death; it lives on in the experiences of the widows who struggle in the shadows because they…

She Was No Longer Believable

She Was No Longer Believable

This year, on the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, we bring you an extract from The Hoodlum Years, a book containing a selection of essays that Ashok Mitra wrote at the time for Economic and Political Weekly.     Electra becomes a mourning. Ingenuity, beyond a point, ceases to…

Mir Silsila – The Legacy of the Mirs

Mir Silsila – The Legacy of the Mirs

This is an excerpt from Mir Silsila – The Legacy of the Mirs, published by India Foundation for the Arts. It is one of the outcomes of the Baba Farid Mir Musicians Project. To use their words, it is "a photo essay with breathtaking visuals and compelling text. Written by Rajkumar Rajak in Hindi, with a translation in English by Neha Chaturvedi and Kedar Dunakhe, Mir Silsila documents the yatra or…

#MayDay: The Gendered Proletariat

#MayDay: The Gendered Proletariat

Prostitution and the Feminist Debate A sex worker, as we know her today, is defined by work. She is socially useful reproductive labour: a gendered proletariat. The prostitute is neither a factory labourer nor a female wage worker to be termed as a proletariat; nor is she a domestic maid working at home. She is…

Possible Communism

Possible Communism

Building Alternatives: The Story of India's Oldest Construction Workers' Union, by T M Thomas Isaac and Michelle Williams, was published by LeftWord Books in 2017 Misery greets the planet. Social inequality has reached unbelievable levels – where five individuals hold as much wealth as the bottom half of society. Climate change – driven by capitalist expansionism…

On National and Cultural Independence

On National and Cultural Independence

The following is an excerpt from the chapter 'राष्ट्रवाद व सांस्कृतिक स्वातंत्र्य', by Makarand Sathe, from the book बदलता भारत अणि जनतेचा राष्ट्रवाद, edited by Dr Megha Pansare. The original, in Marathi, will be available soon on ICF. What is culture? Defining culture is almost impossible. Many people say that we can explain it, talk about it,…

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: How Lenin Schooled His Dilly-Dallying Comrades

#OctoberRevolutionSeries: How Lenin Schooled His Dilly-Dallying Comrades

This is our eighth story for our #OctoberRevolutionSeries, a series we began in October to remember the centenary of the Russia Revolution. The first is an excerpt from Cecilia Bobrovskaya's memoirs; the second is from an essay by Prabir Purkayastha; the third is our inaugral bookend by Githa Hariharan on Sevtlana Alexievich's novel Second Hand Time; and the fourth is a conversation with Professor Sobhanlal…

[Book Extract] A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold

[Book Extract] A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold

Nzanmongi Jasmine Patton is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Gargi College, Delhi University. She has translated and compiled the first anthology of Lotha-Naga folktales entitled A Girl Swallowed by a Tree: Lotha Naga Tales Retold. Describing the book as a “personal imperative”, Nzanmongi believes that producing more literature from North East India…

[Book Extract] Including the Socially Excluded

[Book Extract] Including the Socially Excluded

Policymakers and academics have viewed poverty—its definition and extent, causes for its persistence and ways to tackle it—as a source of concern for a long time. The subject of social exclusion and initiatives to encourage inclusion have recently emerged as responses to the continuing poverty in India. In Including the Socially Excluded, Rahul Ramagundam explores…

[Book Extract] Interpreting the World to Change It

[Book Extract] Interpreting the World to Change It

"Prabhat Patnaik, whose life and work this volume celebrates, is exceptional in many ways. While he is widely recognized as a brilliant economist with mastery over contending theoretical traditions in the subject, he made quite clear his predilection for and commitment to applying, developing and extending the Marxist approach. Known primarily as an economist of…

Book Extract: Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?

Book Extract: Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?

We present here an extract from Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?, a collection of perspectives on the horrific night of February 23, 1991, when members of the 4 Rajputana Rifles regiment of the Indian Army gangraped women from the villages of Kunan and Poshpora in Indian Kashmir. The book includes survivor testimonies, medical records, accounts…

Tell the Tale, Urvashi

Tell the Tale, Urvashi

Translated by Bhupinder Singh Dalip Kaur Tiwana is one of the foremost writers in Punjabi today. She has published forty novels, seven collections of short stories, two autobiographies and a literary biography. The recipient of several awards, including the Padma Shri and the Sahitya Akademi Award, she retired as Professor of Punjabi and Dean of…