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.
Pragoti Editorial Team member Dhananjay Rai pays tributes to the great Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, who passed away recently.
The mineworkers employed at the Lonmin platinum mine in Rustenburg (South Africa) has returned to work on September 20. Their strike committee and the Lonmin management have signed an agreement of basic wage increases by 22 percent. This remarkable outcome has followed the strike for 36 days; and the tragic bloodbath which took the toll of 35 lives of mineworkers and six police personnel.
Ertugrul Ahmet Tonak (Professor of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University) interviews Vijay Prashad (Professor of International Studies, Trinity College) about the Turkish edition of his book, Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (LeftWord, 2012): Arap Bahari, Libya Kisi (Yordam Kitap, 2012). The interview first appeared in Turkish in Birgün, a leftist daily newspaper.
Stanly Johny reviews Arab Spring, Libyan Winter for Pragoti.
What India should realistically do is to deepen its engagement with Iran, irrespective of the pressure coming from Western capitals. In that context, the Tehran summit is an opportunity for India to make its Iran line even stronger. Stanly Johny writes as the NAM summit in Tehran commences.
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.
"A conflict between students and the government over a tuition increase has exploded into social revolt. Montreal, Quebec’s metropolis, is covered in red squares, the symbol of the striking students, which can be seen pinned lapels, draped over balconies, or glued to windows and public signs. The students have helped break the perception that there is no alternative to neoliberalism and broke the establishment’s stranglehold on public discourse" says Lazar Konforti.
The sudden removal of Bo Xilai from the post of secretary of the Communist Party of China in the Chongqing metropolis and his suspension from the CPC politburo and central committee points not just to a power struggle in the upper echelons of the party but also a rejection of the “Chongqing model” by the leadership. By itself, the Chongqing model was a redistributive, reformative programme that intended to address the failings of neo-liberalism, but its repression has united leftist opinion in favour of Bo Xilai. The article has been republished from the Economic and Political Weekly with the author's consent.
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.