Rohith Vemula: Indian Left and the Dalit Student Suicides

By Saswat Pattanayak (Written for CounterCurrents) Rohith Vemula did not just commit suicide – he was murdered. And this murder was not committed by the right-wing ABVP – it was conducted by the left-liberals. The “Dalit problem” citing which Rohith gave up his life, is not the creation of any fringe elements among communal Hindus – it is sustained by the liberal Hindus who tremendously profit from the status quo it provides. None of this is an exaggeration – these comprise a reality that must be confronted. The entire Hindu society, the Savarnas, are the perpetrators – no one among…

Comrade A B Bardhan, Lal Salam!

By Saswat Pattanayak Comrade A B Bardhan (1924-2016) was not just the foremost communist mass leader of India who raised working class consciousness among millions through his oratory and organizational persistence, he was also the Marxist historian who accounted peoples’ struggles like no one else had quite done. Well before publishing “People’s History” had become a worldwide trend, Comrade Bardhan had reflected upon the critical role of working class in India’s freedom struggle with these words – “Official histories are apt to pass over in silence the role of the working class in India’s freedom struggle. They depict the freedom…

Pete Seeger: UnAmerican Communist and a People’s Songster

By Saswat Pattanayak Pete Seeger was not the “American conscience”, as he is being now crowned by the corporate media after his demise. In reality, he was the UnAmerican conscience. And to understand this, it is important to underscore the extent of his internationalism, his commitment towards humanity, his selfless unpatriotic journey as a fervent communist, his lifelong quest against American militarism, adventurism and exceptionalism. Most importantly, to use history as a weapon in the class struggle, as Pete used music as his tool, it is pivotal to not let go of the “unAmerican” label that was imposed upon him…

Jab Tak Hai Jaan :: A tribute to Yash Chopra

By Saswat Pattanayak Yash Chopra’s last, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is by far his greatest creation. In many ways, it is one of the grandest experiments in the history of Hindi cinema. However, the aspects that are revolutionary about this movie have not really been deliberated upon by the critics so far. For one, Jab Tak Hai Jaan addresses ageism and sexism that affect a large section of Indian audience. Piyasree Dasgupta for FirstPost writes, “a self proclaimed 25-year-old, who looks 40, gets to kiss a girl who seems to have walked out of Vogue….(the girl) despite all her Mercedes…

Tribute to Woody!

Woody Guthrie, the labor organizer and agitator who redefined the entire genre of folk music through his political philosophy was an unrepentant Marxist-Leninist, an avowed supporter of Joseph Stalin and a lifelong adherent of Communism. By today’s standard, it certainly is not a flattering introduction to the man America has glorified to a postage stamp and whose centennial is being celebrated across corporate media in full flair without any mention of his political legacies. But to understand Woody Guthrie’s contributions, it is critical to explore why he has been stripped of all the aspects he held closest to heart. If…

They Did Not Kill Just Gaddafi…

They could not annihilate Africa. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not devastate a collective aspiration for freedom from imperialism. So they killed Gadhafi. They could not forever shatter the promises of internationalism, socialism, Arab nationalism, and third world liberation. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not resolve the capitalistic contradictions in their home states, the Wall Street occupiers and the occupiers in London and Madrid, and in Paris. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not address the sheer crisis of masculinity their elected presidents and prime ministers struggled with, while their democratically elected leaders raped their interns and approved…

Free Market War on Gaddafi: Unjust, but Natural

The war against Libya is a continued assault on part of the imperialist and rogue nations of the First World against the champions of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism and progressive socialism of the Third World. Contrary to corporate media spins, the war is neither about oil money, nor about installing democracy. It is neither about the rebel uprising in the Arab world, nor about merely ending a dictatorial regime. The war against Libya is an attack on every remnant of collective human aspiration for freedom, peace, justice and equality. The war against Libya is a war against every future possibility that can…

Gil Scott-Heron :: Revolutionaries Live Forever

The brother who prophesied that the revolution won’t be televised is no more. Many of us did not believe in his cautionary words. Some of us caricatured the concept of revolution as manifesting in fast cars and expensive elections. Those in Egypt claiming themselves to be revolutionaries even held up signs to proclaim revolution was indeed being televised. Some Iranian protesters claimed revolution was being Twitted. Indeed, during his lifetime, Gil Scott-Heron was ridiculed, neglected and relegated to a hopeless corner. After his passage, he will probably be obliterated from prospective history narratives, as our liberalized society continues to glory…

Binayak Sen

Judges think they have now jailed Binayak Sen But he is indeed freed by this life sentence They think the doctor’s cause has met its end Little do they know he feels at home with comrades    What country, what sovereignty, what justice?  Imprisoned Binayak, what dialogues of peace? Liberal democracy a sham, and to save its grace  How many Binayaks we must sacrifice?   Professional war-mongers comprise ruling class Dacoits-at-large, freely looting the mass Tatas and Ambanis, monopolists get awarded Radia and Burkha, brokers, dalaals, well-bred   India is bleeding, oh my motherland in pain  Her comrades are dying,…

Assange! Assange!

Assange! Assange!  Espionage!   How long can they keep you in jails British, Swedish and American cells Who can imprison the source of freedom How long will survive walls of fiefdom   Assange! Assange! Espionage!   Spy for the people, terror for the ruling class Investigator for truth, justice you encompass Let them win Nobel Prizes and Time covers You win our hearts, love, unending supports   Assange! Assange!  Espionage!   Journalists used to be glorified spokespersons Of White House Press Meets and Royal sermons    Fourth Estate, an accomplice for the three wings These power corridors, their holy and…