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Asiatic Capitalism and Agrarian Relations

Posted by Taimur Rahman on October 8, 2008

This work attempts to demonstrate that the colonial path of the capitalist transformation of India resulted in a fusing of the features of capitalism and the Asiatic mode of production to give rise to a social-formation that is best termed Asiatic capitalism.

At the heart of every mode of production is the mode of surplus extraction based on certain relations of production. Slavery, serfdom, and wage labour are all different relations of production that are that heart of slave society, feudalism and capitalism respectively. Similarly, the AMP is based on a variant of class exploitation where peasants are held in collective bondage by the ruling class organized as a state that extracts a tribute from village communities. In Pakistan, this labour relation was called muzara’at. Hence, muzara’at is the central labour relation of the AMP in South Asia.

To understand the emergence of Asiatic capitalism one has to briefly analyze how the AMP was transformed by British colonial rule. In 1764, the British East India Company consolidated their victory at the Battle of Buxar by defeating the Mogul emperor Shah Alam II. The Emperor granted the Company the right to collect land-revenue (called Diwani) in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Thus, the Company began to feed off the surplus generated from the social foundation of the AMP in India. However, with a view to rationalizing and improving the efficiency of collecting land revenue, the British introduced the Permanent Settlement Act in 1793. Although this Act introduced private property in land, it did not fundamentally alter the labour relation of muzara’at. Now the muzara’as were obligated to pay land-revenue (tribute) not to the a representative of the state but to the private owner of the land. Previously the collective-slaves of the state, the muzara’as were
now the collective slaves of the zamindars that had acquired the status of landlord through the colonial regime. Even land that was owned by the colonial state, the system of wage-labour did not replace muzara’at. While private property took the place of Asiatic property in land, wage-labour did not come to replace muzara’at in agrarian relations.

Thus emerged a system of private property and commodity production on the economic foundation of muzara’at. In other words, the surplus produce is converted into a commodity but muzara’at remains more or less intact. Wage-labour mainly emerged in cities where small manufactories transformed into industry. As a result, whether in cities or in the countryside, all institutions of state and society remain stamped by customs that are linked to the AMP encapsulated by the caste system. It is a grave error to think that the caste system survives merely as an ideological vestige. On the contrary, the very economic foundations of contemporary society give rise to the continuing existence of caste as an organizing principle of agrarian relations.

These agrarian relations, private property in land and commodity production on the economic foundations muzara’at (without wage-labour), is what this study terms ‘Asiatic capitalism’. As long as agrarian relations remain constrained by the presence of muzara’at, there can never be economic dynamism or growth.

Posted in History, Marxist Theory | Comments Off on Asiatic Capitalism and Agrarian Relations

“Broad Left” a new slogan for social-democracy

Posted by Taimur Rahman on October 8, 2008

During much of the twentieth century social-democracy was internationally defeated by Marxism-Leninism. Around the world the working class movement was dominated by communist parties. However, the breakup of the Soviet Union and the perceived defeat of Marxism-Leninism has once again offered social-democracy a new lease of life. Today we are witness to the periodic revamping of social-democracy as the “broad left” in order to resurrect their fortunes.

Marxists have identified social-democratic politics as the “bourgeois politics of the working class”. They have considered them agents of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement. Lenin declared that the struggle against imperialism was a sham if it was not combined with the struggle against opportunism within the working class (read social-democracy).

In Pakistan as well we see a revival of this social-democratic trend under a new name every few years. When I joined left wing politics there was the charcha about the National Workers Party. Three left-wing parties got together to form a new party. They said goodbye to Marxism-Leninism (although many continued to consider themselves as communists) and formed what they considered a “broad left” party.

Then the old professeran group got together and wanted to form a broad left debating forum that would eventually lead to a party. But they couldn’t agree on whether or not there was such a thing as imperialism. The result was the Awami Jamhoori Forum. I often wonder why they don’t join the NWP since their politics is scarcely any different.

Even more recently members of the communist party that had given up politics more than a decade ago decided that the time for broad left politics had come. They formed the Inqalabi Jamhoori Workers Committee and are working incessantly for a “broad left” party.

But what are the principles of this “broad left”? Each of them explain that a broad left party will not be a Marxist-Leninist party. But it will be a party that includes Marxists (or even mostly Marxists). It will only exclude anti-Marxists. In other words, it will include everyone that is centre or centre left but it will exclude right-wing people.

I once asked in a straight forward manner, will such a broad left party uphold the point of view that the emancipation of the working class requires the dictatorship of the proletariat (i.e. the class rule of the working class). I received the idiotic response that the broad left is opposed to all forms of dictatorship, whether of the proletariat, military or mullah. Now one really has to scratch one’s head and wonder where these so-called former communists have been living if they do not even understand the distinction between the concept of the dictatorship of a class and dictatorship of the bourgeois military.

Bourgeois democracy and military dictatorship are two different forms of the class rule of the bourgeoisie. As far as Marxism is concerned they are two different forms of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Similarly, the dictatorship of the working class (i.e. the class rule of the working class) can also assume different forms (ranging from the more democratic to more authoritarian).

Only those that are completely unversed in Marx’s use of the term dictatorship of the proletariat can confuse the concept with military dictatorship. One certainly does not expect those that have been members of the communist party for nearly their entire lives to make such idiotic statements. Such statements are normally the exclusive preserve of those that learn about Marxism from Time magazine or Reader’s Digest.

In sum, such a broad left party is opposed to Marxism. A working class party cannot be forged out of such confusion. It can only be forged in the ideological struggle against such confusion. Such a party would descend into complete chaos. The Marxist section would be working towards the building of an organization that is working towards the smashing of the current state. The other section would be opposed to any politics that aims at anything further than extracting concessions from the state.

Furthermore, given the stronger financial resources of the social-democrats and the support that they receive from the liberal sections of the bourgeoisie (with whom they are connected with a thousand different threads), the Marxist section of the party would not be able to dominate in such an organization. Hence, the dissolving of a Marxist party into this broad confusion would only lead to the liquidation of the Marxist vanguard.

This criticism of social-democratic politics is well-established among communists. But let us also turn to the situation in Pakistan. What are the options for a broad left organization? The National Workers Party, Labour Party, and Awami Tehreek are sitting inside the right-wing APDM. They are aligned with the most right-wing opponents of the democratic government. How can the CMKP form a broad left party with these organizations when we have a fundamental disagreement with their choice of friends and enemies. Can we form one party when they are sitting with the Jamaat e Islami and under the patronage of General Hameed Gul raising slogans against the democratic government, and we are opposing the APDM tooth and nail.

Furthermore, historically their attitude towards us has been one of hostility to the point that preferred to make an alliance with the openly pro-military (Sherpao) MKP than with the CMKP. In other words, they can sit with anyone, from the fundamentalists to the pro-military parties, but they don’t want to sit anywhere close to communists.

And what is most disturbing of all is that all of these alliances and mergers add no new forces to the left. These are the same faces that we have seen for the last two three decades. Few new people have been added to their ranks at all. In other words, all these efforts represent a reshuffling, a re-ordering of the same people but along social-democratic lines.

The CMKP is the only Marxist party that can claim to have actually broken new ground and influenced a new generation of activists. Quite frankly, this new generation of activists are completely uninspired by the defeatist social-democracy of the old left. When I walk out of their meetings I feel more depressed than when I go in. It isn’t the size of the meeting nor the age of its participants that leads to this feeling. It is the constance defeatism reiterated a thousand different ways that destroys all morale. How can one build an organization on the basis of such defeatism?

When we started our work, this defeatist left lambasted with the opinion that people will not follow a staunch Marxist party. But the last decade of struggle has revealed the exact opposite. Our ranks have grown with new young people. And the defeatist left has become liquidationist and even capitulated to the APDM in the hopes of a little lime-light.

Let us do away with the illusion of a social-democratic broad left. What we need in Pakistan is a Marxist-Leninist party. What we need in Pakistan is a Communist Party.

Posted in History, International Communist Movement, Marxist Theory, Pakistani Politics, Politics | Comments Off on “Broad Left” a new slogan for social-democracy

Relationship between CPP and CPI after 1947

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 7, 2006

Comrade Hamza wrote “The Communist Party of Pakistan was not an Independent Party from the very first day of it’s birth.The CPP was working as a unit of CPI.The Party was not emerge through an independent Congress,it was bifercated on the basis of partitioned areas.”

Comrade Hamza, the fact that the CPP emerged as a result of the bifurcation of the CPI does not in anyway prove that the CPP was “not an independent party”. Given your logic, one would also have to accept that Pakistan was not independent of India given that it emerged as a result of the bifurcation of India.

In order for us to accept your thesis, you would have to present evidence beyond the Calcutta Congress that conclusively demonstrated the interference of the CPI in the politics of the CPP in a manner that undermined the decision making process of the latter. If you have such evidence please present it. All evidence points towards the other conclusion; that after the formation of the CPP in 1948, the CPI lost all contact with the CPP.

Posted in History | Comments Off on Relationship between CPP and CPI after 1947

Discussion on Communist Party of Pakistan

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 4, 2006

First a short note to comrade Ehtisham.

Dear comrade, you have not touched a sensitive nerve. We are just as comfortable taking criticism as we giving it. Besides even if you did touch a sensitive nerve, why should you stop. If you feel you are correct, you should pursue your point of view with full vigor. Perhaps in the course of time we will be persuaded to what you have to say.

I would prefer that you continue posting on our list but not take our remarks personally. I apologize for offending you. The intent is not to offend but to discuss matters. However, I cannot deny that at times I lose my patience. In my defence I can only offer the fact
that I am also human. Anyway, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us concentrate on the content rather than on the unconvincing form of my critique.

Comrade Hamza you wrote: “The CPP was disintegrated in 1951,due to the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case.After 1951,there was no Party,no CC or other instituation.”

I have a few questions in this regard.

1) While it is true that the CPP suffered a major blow after 1954 (when the party was outlawed), do you think it is correct to say that “there was no party”. If there was no party, why then was Hassan Nasir tortured to death?

2) Doesn’t your analysis ignore the CPP in East Pakistan?

3) Wasn’t the decision to join NAP reached by the remaining cadres of the CPP?

Hamza wrote: “When Qazi Removed from Dy.secertryship due to his pro-establishment contacts”

I would be very interested to know about these “pro-establishment contacts”? If you have some hard evidence I think you should share it with us and make it public to warn others.

Hamza wrote: “Qazi Imdad was not a Communist he was a narrow nationalist and was member of G.M Sayed’s Party Jai Sindh.” So what you are saying is that the CMKP voted a “narrow nationalist” into the position of the Deputy Secretary of the CMKP? Perhaps you can explain why this occurred?

Further, wasn’t Major Ishaq also a member of Taluh-e-Islam before he joined the left? Clearly you cannot hold one’s former party affiliations against current political position.

What is the evidence that Imdad Qazi is presently a “narrow nationalist”? Clearly if he was a “narrow nationalist” he would have jumped at the opportunity to defend the right of the Baloch and Sindhis to self-determination. The fact that he didn’t, proves otherwise.

Let us not raise accusations that are unjust. Let us seek the non-partisan truth.

Posted in History, Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on Discussion on Communist Party of Pakistan

Decline and demise of Soviet Union

Posted by Taimur Rahman on August 3, 2006

Comrade Ehtisham,

I want to write a short critique of your chapter on the “Decline and
demise of Soviet Union”. I think there are a number of historical
and analytical errors in your otherwise interesting analysis.

1) Karl Marx was not driven out of Germany on account of the
discrimination practiced against Jews in Germany. He had to leave
Germany for Paris on account of the conditions created after the
suppression of the radical paper Rheinische Zeitung of which he was
editor.

2) You wrote that Marx’s ideas found their first success in the
developed industrial countries like Britain, Germany and France
by “superficial logic”. Why was the logic superficial? It would
not be surprising to find that the ideas of the emancipation of the
proletariat would find currency in countries where there was a well-
developed proletariat.

3) The Russian Revolution occurred mainly because of the
contradictions created by the imperialist war but without the
Bolshevik party the Russian Revolution would not have proceeded
beyond the bourgeois-democratic stage.

4) The statement that “Only the British channel and lack of
confidence among Hitler’s cohorts saved Britain” is, in my opinion,
historically incorrect. What saved Britain was Hitler’s surprise
attack on the Soviet Union and the subsequent involvement of the
latter in the war.

5) The statement “Lack of confidence again kept the Japanese
from marching into India” is not borne by historical analysis. The
Japanese were brimming with confidence (as were the Germans). Not
only was the British India army a more formidable enemy than the
Japanese had faced so far, the terrain from Burma towards India was
unsuited to the kind of assault needed to take India and there was
also the problem of consolidating rule in the areas occupied
(especially China where the Communists organized extremely effective
resistance against the Japanese).

6) “The British, more aware of reality on ground had initiated
scorched earth policy in Bengal.” I am not aware of any such policy.

7) “Russia had suffered the depredations of Stalin”. What you
call depredations was in fact necessary campaign to root out Nazi
infiltrators in the Red Army, State and Party. Without this purge
of fifth columnists, it would not have been possible for the Soviet
Union to sustain the kind of losses it did without capitulating.

8) “Soviet army lacked arms, leadership and morale.” On the
contrary, the morale of the Soviet Union and army was extremely high
mainly as a result of the awesome success of economic reconstruction
under the five year plans. The Red Army was one of the largest and
best equipped armies in the world (although still technologically
inferior to the Germans)

9) “Hitler was again not fully cognizant of the parlous state
of workers paradise.” Again historical evidence suggests the
opposite. It was Hitler’s under-estimation of the Red Army and
Soviet system that convinced him to attack the Soviet Union even
when the battle for Britain was not over. He was of the view that
the Soviet Union would be destroyed in a matter of weeks. He was
quoted as saying “You have only to kick in the door and the whole
[Soviet] edifice will come crashing down”.

10) “He [Hitler] was conned into signing a pact with the
country”. I think it was more a question of gaining the necessary
time to deal with the Western front before embarking on the East for
the Germans.

11) “That gave critical respite to Soviet rulers. Internecine
fratricide was abandoned for the duration. Experience military
officers, engineers and scientists were released from penal colonies
and asked to serve the national interest. They readily agreed, to
escape from inhuman condition of their incarceration or for love of
the nation, it is difficult to say. one can not say. But put in an
upper human effort, they did.” To ascribe the success of the Soviet
Union’s war efforts on those people who were released from penal
colonies is about as intelligent as suggesting that the German
Fascists were victorious because of German communists. The respite
was crucial because it gave the Reds more time to organize their
defenses. But the final victory was due to the superiority of the
Socialist system built under the leadership of Stalin from the 1920s
onwards.

12) “CPI had to had to toe the soviet line and tone down its
criticism of fascism.” This is a complete fabrication. Please
provide evidence that the Comintern or the CPSU asked the CPI to
tone down criticism of fascism.

13) “Idealists in the party found it hard to swallow the line,
but the bosses salved their conscience by telling themselves and
others that if Soviet Union were overwhelmed, the historic process
would be set back by scores of years. Little damage was done to
party discipline”.

a) Again this is a complete concoction.
b) The use of the word “bosses” for the revolutionaries of the
1930s and 1940s is strikes me as totally misplaced given the
sacrifices of the these great revolutionaries. Bosses don’t risk
exile, jail, and the gallows for “conspiracies against the British
Empire” Ehtisham sahib.
c) Please note that when the Soviet Union was
finally “overwhelmed” the historical process WAS set back by scores
of years? Perhaps the revolutionaries of the 1930s demonstrated
more common sense than we do today.

14) “My uncle who was a student in Lucknow university and an
ardent party worker told me that it was a real struggle to keep
party workers from celebrating a day of deliverance along with the
ML.” Obviously, the party leadership had more sense than the rank
and file workers of the party.

15) “They could tell the public that British and Indian
capitalists had a disagreement in distribution of loot.” I doubt
that the statements of the CPI confirm this.

16) “The public sympathized with Hitler. He was fighting a
common enemy.” There is no doubt that a substantial segment of the
Indian population was taken in by the Nazi propaganda but it would
be incorrect to think that this view represented “the public” given
that the largest parties of India were all against Hitler (Congress,
CPI, and Muslim League).

17) “The communist regime in Soviet Union survived and thrived
in spite of what they
had done to themselves.” Perhaps the Soviet Union thrived exactly
because of what they had done to themselves (and that isn’t what you
think it is).

18) “Though expected, the onslaught threw CPI into a quandary.
The hitherto inter-imperialist war had to be declared people’s war
over night. It would be a comfortable somersault but for Indian
public opinion, which was strongly anti-British and acting on the
reasonable dictum that my enemy’s enemy is my friend, they rooted
for Hitler.”

a) Given the Leninist position that the nature of a war is
determined by the classes engaged in the conflict, it comes as no
surprise that the world communist movement would reassess the nature
of the war once the Soviet Union was attacked. In doing so, this was
not merely a exercise in changing labels. The attack on the Soviet
Union involved an entirely new state, society and political movement
in the conflict. It meant that along with the inter-imperialist
war, a new war of liberation (in addition to the war of liberation
already underway by colonies of Germany) emerged on the world
horizon: The war of liberation of the Soviet Union.
b) I have already demonstrated that whereas a section of the
public certainly empathized with Hitler, this was hardly
representative of “the public” as a whole.

19) I have no empathy for fascist sympathizers like Josh
Malihabadi.

20) “But CPI was duty bound to do so [declare the war of the
Soviet Union a Peoples War].” The CPI was not merely “duty bound”
but deeply stirred by the attack on the Soviet Union and
condemnations of “nationalists, religious people, liberals,
rightists and non-communist left” or the reconciliatory position of
Britain are completely irrelevant. The CPI took the correct decision
of rising to the defense of the Soviet Union.

21) “Faiz, a luminary of the left joined the army and went to
work for All India Radio. My uncle told me that many of his rivals
gleefully called him “Munafiq”, roughly double-dealer.” His critics
obviously had a very poor understanding of the need to defend the
Soviet Union.

22) “The [Muslim League] demand for partition of India could no
longer be brushed aside. CPI naturally opposed it. It had reckoned
with out the Supremo- Stalin. He decided that all ethnic
nationalities should have a right to self-determination. He agreed
with Jinnah. No one in CPI or for that matter any communist any
where dare ask him about the fate of nationalities in soviet Union
whom he had sent in their hundreds of thousands to freeze in
Siberia rather than give them the right to self determination. CPI
had, Willy nilly, to follow the directive.”

a) The CPI never “opposed” the right of nations to self-
determination. It just had no concept in the early period about the
national question. They developed their position in response to the
rising demand of Muslim separatism.
b) Stalin did not agree with Jinnah. Stalin agreed that the
international solidarity of the working class could not be brought
about without recognizing the right of all nations to self-
determination. A view that was codified in the constitution of the
Soviet Union.
c) Not only had the nations within the Soviet Union made an
enormous historical advance in relation to their position under the
Tsar, the Soviet Union was one of the few countries of the world
that constitutionally upheld the right of nations to self-
determination.
d) Deportations occurred during World War II for military
reasons. They had nothing to do with undermining the national
integrity or autonomy of nations within the Soviet Union.

23) “I some times wonder if Stalin did it deliberately to
sabotage the international
communist movement, as some suspect Gorbachev of doing it in
eighties.” I sometimes wonder how better the international
communist movement would have been if we didn’t have to listen to
such drivel.

24) “Sajjad Zaheer permitted the party to get embroiled in a
half-baked military conspiracy with disastrous consequences for
progressive movement in the country.”

a) This entire analysis of the Pindi conspiracy case is
completely incorrect. The facts are that the “conspiracy” was
rejected mainly by the Communist Party (as Sibte Hasan and so many
others have pointed out repeatedly).
b) This incident cannot be viewed outside the context of the
Cold War and US foreign policy under John Foster Dulles. The facts
are that all US allies undertook a purge of communists within their
countries during this period. Pakistan was no exception.

25) Hasan Nasir “could, however, not to cleanse the organization
of several
high-ranking officials in the party who were also highly paid agents
of the GOP.” Accusations without proof are considered slanders Mr.
Ehtisham.

26) “An ostensibly ideological, in actuality a struggle for the
slot of the head of international communist movement was brewing
between his successors and The Chinese party led by Mao. That was to
split the ranks of communist parties down the middle. Parties all
over the world struggled with the schism. Hasan Nasir kept CPP
together.”

a) The Sino-Soviet split was over real issues. Mao and Hoxha
were completely willing to accept the leadership of the CPSU. They
were not ready to accept the views that were being smuggled into the
communist movement under the guise of de-Stalinization.
b) Hasan Nasir was murdered (1960) before the Sino-Soviet came
to the attention of the international communist movement (1962-63).

27) “During my last visit to Pakistan in 2005, I inquired of a
few friends about progressive movement in the country. He looked at
me hard, trying to divine if I was being funny. Convinced that I was
in earnest, he told me that at the last count there were eleven
factions of NSF, and the country sported as many as thirty-one
communist parties. Few had more than three members.”

a) The information provided by your friend is completely
inaccurate. In Pakistan we are in the habit of counting everyone
who has ever been part of the communist movement as a communist.
People even think that the National Workers Party is a communist
party simply because Abid Hasan Minto was once a member of the
Communist Party of Pakistan. In fact, one merely has to pick up the
manifesto of this party to discover its communist credentials.

28) “It is an idle thought, but I cannot help speculating on the
fate of the party if Trotsky had come out on top in his struggle
with Stalin.”

a) You are correct. The thought is completely idle. I often
wonder how the fate of the world communist movement might have been
different if the renegade Khruschev did not take power. If Molotov
had defeated him in the 1957 meeting of the Central Committee.
Nonetheless, here is my speculation.
b) Given Trotsky’s views on the peasantry it would have cause a
rupture of the worker-peasant alliance.
c) Given Trotsky’s views on the militarization of Trade Unions,
it would have resulted in a loss of support among the working class.
d) Given Trotsky’s views on the inability to build socialism In
Russia in the absence of a revolution in Europe it would have led to
demoralization.
e) Given the tendency of Trotsky to think that the revolution
could be exported to Europe on the basis of bayonets, the Soviet
Union would have launched a ridiculous adventure against European
imperialism.
f) Given the collaboration of certain Trotskyists with Nazism,
the Soviet Union would have lost the Second World War (if it had
survived till that point).

29) The opportunist policies undertaken by the Khrushchev under
the title of “de-Stalinisation” were responsible for the eventual
destruction of the Soviet Union.

30) Afghanistan: the Soviet Union did not collapse because of
Afghanistan. It collapsed because the anti-Stalin faction of the
CPSU undertook a deliberate program of capitalist restoration under
the title of Glostnost and Perestroika.

31) “Gorbachev emerged from the ashes and skillfully deployed
his unmatched diplomatic skills to keep the edifice on its feet. But
the dispensation he was presiding over was hollow. It collapsed at
the first touch of whirlwind.” Ever wonder why it never did that
when it was invaded by the Nazi troops? Perhaps the reason why it
became “hollow” had to do with the fact that the anti-Stalin faction
had ruled the Soviet Union since 1956.

32) “Chinese party, which had undergone and survived convulsions
of Cultural Revolution, post-Mao revisionism was finally taken over
by reactionaries. The country is ruled by a party, which in its
control of public and private life rivals Hitler’s Nazi party. They
practice Capitalist mode of production, and communist intrusion into
daily life. Apparent survivors include North Korea, which is more
like the dragon lizard, and Vietnam, which has followed the Chinese
line.”

a) Your comparison of the Communist Party of China, Communist
Party of Vietnam and Workers Party of Korea to the Nazi party is the
best evidence one can provide of the complete ignorance of your
understanding of the contradictions facing the world today.

In sum Mr. Ehtisham, your analysis leaves much to be desired.

Posted in History | Comments Off on Decline and demise of Soviet Union

Abdul Sattar Edhi

Posted by Taimur Rahman on July 27, 2006

“I wonder if Edhi would ever be recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize”

The Soviet Union awarded Abdul Sattar Edhi and his wife Bilquis Edhi the LENIN PEACE PRIZE in 1988 (The Lenin Peace Prize was the Soviet- equivalent of the Nobel Prize). In my opinion the Lenin Peace Prize is a greater award than the Nobel Prize, given the kinds of people who have recieved the latter award.

Posted in History, International Affairs | Comments Off on Abdul Sattar Edhi

Stalin By Picasso

Posted by Taimur Rahman on July 25, 2006

Pablo Picasso’s famous charcoal sketch of Stalin.

Posted in History | Comments Off on Stalin By Picasso

War of Independence, 1857

Posted by Taimur Rahman on July 10, 2006

Aamir Riaz from Awami Jamhoori Forum wrote: “1857 is neither a revolt nor was an example of struggle. it was congress who reinterpret this event.”

However, one can clearly see that long before the All India Congress existed, scholars, especially those opposed to colonialism, supported the 1857 “war if independence” or “Indian Revolt”. Arguably the greatest mind of our times, Karl Marx wrote 32 articles and 12 letters in support of the “Indian Revolt”. One can find them, as well as some of his other writings on India, at http://marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/india/index.htm

On the other hand, the arguments that the 1857 Revolt was “niether a struggle nor a revolt” is strangely reminicient of the views of the British colonialists who were never ready to acknowledge this event as a “War of Independence” and continue to call it a “mutiny” to this
day.

It seems to me that on nearly every question of concern to the emancipation of the workers and peasants, the representatives of the Awami Jamhoori Forum (especially Aamir Riaz) increasingly take a reactionary position. Take for example, the support for neo-liberal privatization. It would be difficult for me at this point to even put the Awami Jamhoori Forum in the category of “democratic” forces. A sad state of affairs for people who, if I am not mistaken, at one time considered themselves pro-Chinese revolutionaries.

Posted in History, Pakistani Politics | Comments Off on War of Independence, 1857

Partition of India

Posted by Taimur Rahman on July 3, 2006

Sometime ago comrades asked about the CMKP’s position on the partition of India but I was too busy to respond at that time. Now that I have a little more time on my hands I’d like to address that concern.

The position of the CMKP on the partitition of India is no different from the general critique of the left in Pakistan on the events of 1947. Although there are many details that still need to be worked out, in broad terms we understand that there has been an enormous falsfication of history in order to justify the nationalist agenda of the ruling class of Pakistan. It is our task to come to a clearer understanding of the class forces involved in this process and to fight against reactionary nationalism.

One thing that has been left out in the context of the excellent comments made on our list on this subject is the role of Islamic traditionalists and fundamentalists in the creation of Pakistan. If Pakistan truly was a “religious state” or a state made in the name of “Islam” why is it that one finds the main religious parties of the time, Jamiat e Ulema e Ahle Hind (JUAH) and the Jamaat e Islami (JI) in complete opposition to the notion that Pakistan should be created? This is a bit of a paradox, is it not?

It is only after the creation of Pakistan, largely by secularists or Islamic modernists, that the traditionalists and fundamentalists became the greatest defenders of the state in their attempts to convert the country into a theocratic state. I would like to point our readers to an eye opening article written by Hamza Alavi called “Pakistan Islam Ethnicity and Ideology”
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/sangat/Pakislam.htm

Although, I think there is substantial errors in this article (both in depicting the position of the CPI as well as in the argument of the Salariat), it’s merit lies in the fact that it exposes the myth that Pakistan was created as a “religious” state.

Posted in History | Comments Off on Partition of India