Aasim Sajjad Akhtar is a renowned left intellectual and currently the general secretary of the Punjab section of the newly formed Awami Workers Party (AWP). The new party was formed last month after a merger of three progressive and left forces, the Awami Party Pakistan, the Labour Party and the Workers Party and vowed to "build a new programme of socialism for 21st century Pakistan". Com. Sajjad speaks about the challenges before the AWP, it's goals and its immediate aims to Pragoti Edit Group Convenor, Srinivasan Ramani in this interview (via email).
President Hugo Chavez's recent victory in Venezuela's presidential elections is another step in making the path to socialism irreversible in that country. Whether Chavez will manage to heed some of his leftist critics and allies and evolve further reforms that broaden the scope of the socialist project remains to be seen, but the signs are promising.
A debate on 21st century socialism hosted on Pragoti featuring articles by Rohit & Srinivasan Ramani, a riposte by Arjun Sengupta and a response by Rohit & Srinivasan Ramani again.
The authors, Rohit and Srinivasan Ramani, of the original introductory piece - "What Does 21st Century Socialism Mean" respond to Arjun Sengupta's critique of it.
An attempt is made to ask some basic questions with respect to the 20th Century Socialist experiments and see what it holds for the socialism of the present century. This note is organised in the following format. It begins with posing two theoretical questions viz. the stage-theory interpretation of Marxism and the principle of democratic centralism, both of which have had effects on the current praxis of certain communist parties. To draw a contrast with this theoretical understanding of Marxism and the consequent praxis, of which China is an apt example, we present the case of alternative forms of socialist experiments being tried in the Third World, particularly in Latin America. To locate them in a historical context, a brief overview of the neoliberal model and its devastating impact on these countries is presented to show where they first derived their strength from. Following this overview, a somewhat detailed political-economic analysis is made of the countries which could be a starting point for the road map for the 21st Century Socialism.
The successful culmination of a new Constitution in a republican Nepal was an imperative for the alternative to it would have been anarchy. But that Constitution without a meaningful agreement on state restructuring was fruitless.
Is Bo Xilai's downfall from his post in Chongqing a blow to the "New Left" in China? Or is it merely a translucent shuffle of chairs in the Chinese communist party set up based on political intrigue, as the Western media has tried to portray the event? Srinivasan Ramani examines.
The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill has been tabled in the Parliament. The new bill allows for setting up of off-shore campuses for educational institutions, which would be given complete freedom to determine fee structure and admission criteria. The Bill draws from policy prescriptions that were enunciated in a Commerce Ministry consultation note in the first UPA government in 2005, and the rationale underlying the bill reflects the government’s continued subscription to the neoliberal ideology. The emphasis in the Bill pertains toward rampant commercialization of the higher education sector, a process which could have far reaching and unhealthy consequences for the sector. This note highlights the problems with the Bill and why it is needed to oppose its introduction in Parliament.
Pragoti Editorial team member Srinivasan Ramani responds to the incident in which activists affiliated to the Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) have vandalized a media house.