There is a place in India where one cannot walk more than a block without seeing a white hammer and sickle upon a red flag. Giant stone statues of Lenin hide peculiarly behind coconut trees in lush overgrown plots of land and little old men read communist newspapers next to frescoes of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. This place is Kerala, India - A region in rapid transition from socialist pragmatism to capitalist wealth accumulation.
Decolonizing Anarchism looks at the history of South Asian struggles against colonialism and neocolonialism, highlighting lesser-known dissidents as well as iconic figures. This approach reveals an alternate narrative of decolonization, in which achieving a nation-state is not the objective. Maia Ramnath also studies the anarchist vision of alternate society, which closely echoes the concept of total decolonization on the political, economic, social, cultural, and psychological planes. This facilitates not only a reinterpretation of the history of anti-colonialism, but insight into the meaning of anarchism itself.
The following article was written in April 2012, before the recent anti-rape protests of December 2012 in India. Though we may take issue with some of its political conclusions and general orientation, it nevertheless provides some useful analysis and context for gender relations and the function of rape in Indian society. It also gives an indication of the thinking of a section of the Indian feminist left.
Over 1,000 tea workers in the India state of Assam have gathered outside the home of the plantation owner as part on an on-going labour dispute. Following shots being fired from the plantation owner’s house, the workers set his house and cars alight. The plantation owner, Mridul Bhattacharya, has a history of exploiting and killing workers.
Violence against women in India has reached epidemic proportions. This year there have been 256,000 violent crimes, of which 228,000 have been against women. There is a woman raped in India every 20 minutes, and the rate is rising. Last week saw the brutal rape of a young student on a Delhi bus by 6 drunken men. Indians decided to peacefully protest and demand justice. The state had other ideas….