Kanhaiya Kumar and Betrayal of Freedom Struggles

By Saswat Pattanayak Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest was unfortunate and so his release on bail is a great relief. But beyond that, to seek revolutionary potential in the hoopla surrounding it, is to miss the point entirely. Competing for authentic nationalism to legitimize an oppressive power structure is not what the Communists do. Quite the opposite. Sudden excitement and pronouncement of “victory” at the news of a judge granting Kumar’s bail is a betrayal of Kashmiri peoples’ struggles, given the specific contexts of denial of antinationalism on part of these students. It is as if the left-liberals of India were hoping…

Platoon of Leeches and the New Royal Parasite

By Saswat Pattanayak   BBC informed us: “Kate in Labour as the World Waits”, CNN’s Victoria Arbiter said Kate Middleton was “brilliant for delivering a boy”, Times of India updated Indian readers about “15 quirky facts” they “didn’t know about the royal baby”, while The Hindu kept up with the times as it ruptured, “It’s a boy! Kate gives birth to royal heir”. Not to mention, the famed liberal newspaper Guardian started worrying over the name with its headline, “Alexandra, Charlotte, George or James – all royal baby name bets are on.” There was perhaps not a single news establishment…

Oscar Awards: White Elephant in the Room

Its not about Viola Davis not winning the Oscar. What’s murkier is the psychoanalytic dependency of Academy elites on their colonial legacies: The Queen, the King and now the utterly despicable Thatcher! The rejection of “The Help” actually offers a timely insight: choosing between the white guilt and the white pride has not been very difficult; beckoning to the colonial era has been easier than reevaluating racist legacies. However, this is not the most crucial issue. The overwhelmingly positive obsession of the world with the Oscars is. Here is an award ceremony that is inherently Eurocentric and its recognitions have…

Ahmadinejad is the Leader the World needs Now!

By Saswat Pattanayak Obama administration has two vital interests in Iran: continuation of war and imperialistic expansion. And neither of these remotely relate to establishment of a democratic society or any other fanciful distractions that most Americans are being spoon fed to believe in through their reactionary media propaganda. In fact, a democratic society already exists in Iran. It is more vibrant and expressive than many other nations, including that of the United States. Iran’s democracy is so vibrant and strong that it has been able to produce a visionary leader such as Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – a leader who…

Iran: The US Myths Perpetuate

By Saswat Pattanayak The recent news that the American government reports regarding Iran’s nuclear activities were motivated and based on systematic lies is no news. Back in September 2006, the UN had condemned the US reports as false, erroneous and misleading. Vilmos Cserveny, a director of International Atomic Energy Agency had written a letter addressed to Chairman, US House of Representatives, in clear terms saying that the US report “Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States” (dated 23rd Aug 2006) contained “erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated information”. The UN’s responses to US report as blatantly…

Ahmadinejad, Bollinger, Holocaust: the Great American Hypocrisy

By Saswat Pattanayak Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University was arguably the most important step taken by a world leader to initiate the global peace that is so much needed in the clearly terrorized world we live in. Ahmadinejad is a leader of significant importance—chief of a major country and representative of a major world religion– who was humble enough to accept a university invitation, and tolerant enough to appear in front of the most hostile audience that any academic institute in the world could feel ashamed of. And despite the odds, he was clearly on a mission:…

A Review of “The Darker Nations”

[Originally published in Radical Notes, 18 March 2007] Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, The New Press, New York, 2007. Hardcover, 384 pp. Amazon/NP The Darker Nations is a critical historiography of the Third World. Vijay Prashad’s deeply instructive as well as occasionally mordant looks at events and processes that made up the history of oppressed peoples in the 20th century comprise this brilliant work. It is a book profound for being peremptory, and absolutely necessary for being so relevant today that it is imperative for activists and researchers alike. For one, the various…

Lebanon Must Kill, Even As She Bleeds

As Lebanon bleeds, it kills. It kills our conscience every single day, as we carry on with our mundane plans to further petty bourgeois career paths as usual. Lebanon kills our ability to reason with truth, as we carry on with our CNN and BBC and New York Times. Lebanon kills our faith in human good, as we rationalize that it is human nature to sustain warfare. Lebanon kills our trusts in our own potential to rise up, look into our comfortable shining mirrors on the walls, and discover how unabashedly wretched we must look if we smile to ourselves…

Idi Amin and his friends of the World

Good riddance to bad rubbish… Well, almost. I don’t think we had a good riddance of this character at all. The notorious former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, has died in-exile in Saudi Arabia today. And who saved him from being killed or lapidated (stoning one to death)? For someone who allegedly wiped out 400,000 people like a fascist, the media portrayed him as a buffoon and a cannibal! Additional news came about how Soviet Union was the sole member in the UN security council to reject a motion to declare Uganda of committing human rights violation. And alongside, news also…