"What is required for the revival of the Left today, at a time of crisis, is a principled alliance between the radical revolutionaries, who want to replace capitalism with socialism and reformists, who want to fight for democratic reforms within the system, against the neoliberal order. Such an alliance can actualize only when the Left initiates vibrant mass movements and becomes ideologically open to new ideas. Radicalism in practice and openness in theory should be the new direction for the Indian Left."
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.
There has been a major transformation in India over the last two decades – economic, political, social and cultural. Some of this has been a result of the liberalisation of the economy, a significant part of which has been the opening up to global capital. The Left in India, across organisations and ideologies, has viewed globalisation as a disaster for India. However, even a cursory glance at the actual history of globalisation in India will show that it has been as much about India reaching out to the world as the world coming to India.
"Empiricisation or the pursuit of a political praxis that is uninformed by the project of transcending capitalism was ultimately responsible for the defeat of the CPI(M) in West Bengal. It is this empiricisation that is far more worrying than the election defeat itself. In a period when many have abandoned the concept of imperialism, the CPI(M) remains steadfast in its adherence to this concept; as long as the concept and the project remain valid, the historical relevance of the party remains unimpaired. But if the party does not arrest the process of empiricisation it has been experiencing and finally ends up accepting the hegemony of bourgeois theory, then it will get supplanted by some other communist formation subscribing to a theoretical position similar to what it has today" argues Prabhat Patnaik.
A political review of award winning Bengali film, Koni (1986) and how the Indian Left can learn important lessons from such a film is analysed by pragoti editorial member, Maidul Islam.
Paper Presented by CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on "Victor Kiernan and the Left in India" at the Conference in honour of Victor Kiernan, Cambridge University, October 22, 2010
A Blog post and a first hand report on a Marxist conference on Victor Kiernan by Pragoti editorial member, Maidul Islam.
Prabhat Patnaik's reflections on the loss suffered by the Left in the recent Loksabha election.
Today we remember one of India's greatest revolutionaries and Marxist theorists, Com. Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, or EMS for short. He passed away on 19 March, 1998 leaving behind him an illustrious legacy of revolutionary commitment and action combined with deep theoretical understanding of Marxism. His writings have been essential readings for generations of communists in India and elsewhere. On this occasion, we reproduce an article Com. EMS wrote some months before his death on the why it is important for the left to build a political platform to oppose the parties of the big bourgeoisie.
Those interested in knowing more about his life and work can read V K Ramachandran's good and succint article written immediately after his death.
The demands of the poorest and most oppressed cannot be swept under the carpet. They must and will be heard.