Eleven Years in the Making, Left Alliance Could Herald New Era of Political Stability in Nepal


The Wire | October 05, 2017

Kathmandu: The communist movement in Nepal began with the formation of the Communist Party of Nepal in Kolkata, India, in 1949. The party, just like the Nepali Congress – the country’s oldest running democratic party – was forced to operate from India as political parties had been banned by the Rana rulers in Nepal. Since then, the communist movement in Nepal has undergone countless consolidations and splits. In more contemporary times, the first people’s revolution in 1990 gave birth to the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), or UML, which came into being with the merger of the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist). The UML party has since morphed into a political juggernaut. It is the second largest party in parliament at present and emerged the largest party under its charismatic, if at times controversial, leader K.P. Sharma Oli in the recent local elections.Read More »

How Economics Is Forging Renewed Links With Social Sciences


The Wire | October 04, 2017

Shoe-makers work in an underground workshop in Agra. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Economics began its life as ‘political economy,’ and the 18th and 19th-century classical economists grappled with questions that are fundamental throughout the social sciences. Adam Smith was the author of The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments. David Ricardo, in the preface to his path-breaking Principles, identified the distribution of the total produce of a country among the different classes – in the form of rents, profits and wages – to be the “principal problem in Political Economy.” And Thomas Malthus’s essay on population is known to have influenced Darwin.Read More »

India: Protesting Land Acquisition, Farmers in Rajasthan Are Burying Themselves Neck-Deep in Mud

The Wire | October 04, 2017

Farmers buried in mud during the protest. Credit: Twitter/ANI

Farmers buried in mud during the protest. Credit: Twitter/ANI

New Delhi: For three days now, farmers in Rajasthan have been digging pits in the mud and burying themselves neck-deep in them. Why? To protest the government’s alleged forced land acquisition at very low rates.

According to an NDTV report, the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) started purchasing land in Nindar village, around 20 km from Jaipur, in 2010 for a housing project. The state government has deposited Rs 60 crore for some of the land in court, but the farmers have refused to accept this amount, saying that it does not hold up to market rates for land in the area.Read More »

India: Madhya Pradesh Police Allegedly Beat up Protesting Farmers, Force Them to Strip

The Wire | October 04, 2017

The Protesters were allegedly beaten and forced to strip. Credit: ANI

New Delhi: The Madhya Pradesh police allegedly forced a group of protesting farmers to strip down to their underwear and sit in a police station for hours in Bundelkhand today.

The Congress, the opposition party in the state, shared photographs that showed a group of people in their underwear sitting in a room. These are allegedly the protesting farmers. Some photos also show the farmers leaving the police station with their clothes bundled in their arms, according to reports.Read More »

Venezuela Creates Day of Socialist Feminism

by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM | September 29, 2017


Puebla, Mexico, September 29, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela announced Thursday the creation of a national day to celebrate socialist feminism, while activists are continuing to push for greater women’s rights.

The new day of celebration, the Day of Socialist Feminism, was unanimously approved by the country’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC). The ANC has broad powers to propose legislative changes, but has been fiercely criticised by Venezuela’s opposition.

Read More »

US: Rigged democracy: Supreme Court tackles gerrymandering


People’s World | October 05, 2017

Rigged democracy: Supreme Court tackles gerrymandering

Shirley Connuck, right, of Falls Church, Va., holds up a sign representing a district in Texas, as the Supreme Court hears a case on possible partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures on October 3. | Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP

WASHINGTON—Ever since the early 1800s, U.S. politicians have practiced gerrymandering, the long and dishonorable practice of lawmakers drawing legislative districts to entrench themselves and their party in power. And ever since the mid-1900s, the Supreme Court has ducked the issue of throwing out such crazy puzzles, unless the gerrymander was racially motivated.Read More »

‘Africa rising’: Hope or impossibility?

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‘Naxalbari 50’: Continuing Revolution: Is the M-L Movement on the Wane?

by Debabrata Panda

Frontier | Autumn Number | Vol. 50, No.12-15, Sep 24 – Oct 21, 2017

Those who uphold the peasant struggle of Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa in May, 1967 as the turning point in the communist movement in India are known as Marxist-Leninists (MLs). Fifty years ago the Chinese Communist Party hailed this upsurge in revolutionary struggle as the ‘spring thunder’ over Naxalbari. There the peasant masses did not fight only for the realization of their economic demands like confiscation of jotedars’ lands or cancellation of peasants’ debts. They were engaged in a political struggle for the seizure of power with which their economic struggles were linked. The struggle for seizure of power still continues to develop along a zigzag path through many ups and downs in tribal heartlands of Jharkhand, Bihar, southern part of Odisha, some pockets of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and West Bengal. All the ML–parties and groups of activists who reject the parliamentary Left like CPI and CPI(M) as revisionists and accept Marxisnm-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought as their ideology are labeled by the media as Naxalites. The authorities dub them as Naxals.Read More »

Naxalbari to Nandigram

by Sandip Bandyopadhyay

Frontier  | Autumn Number | Vol. 50, No.12-15, Sep 24 – Oct 21, 2017

Naxalbari, 25 May, 1967 : Peasants stood against the eviction of a share-cropper and sought to establish their right over their land and produce. Police action followed. At least eleven villagers including five women and two children were shot down. A police officer had been killed by the villagers on the previous day.

Nandigram, 14 March, 2007 : Since January, peasants had been fighting for protecting their farmland from being acquired by the state. Police fired on a peaceful assembly and killed at least fourteen people including two women. The ruling CPI(M) goons who accompanied the force  raped or outraged a number of women. None of the policemen or partymen was reported to be injured.

In terms of casualties and scale of terror unleashed by the state, Nandigram was no less horrible than Naxalbari. In Naxalbari, peasants were instigated by a radical section of the CPI(M) who came to believe that armed struggle was the only means of social change. They incited the peasants to rise in revolt against the exploitative big landowners (jotedars). This was considered the first step.Read More »

Why don’t the poor rise up? A book review

by Lloyd McCarthy

Pambazuka News | September 28, 2017

The authors reject the capitalist view of poverty as the failure of individuals due to their personal attributes or as a correctable defect in modern capitalism. They explore critical pathways of thinking about organization, resistance, rebellion and revolution, offering different views on ways in which the underprivileged are defined, the forms in which they resist and obstacles to popular uprising.


Truscello, M., And Nangwaya, A (eds). Why don’t the poor rise up? Organizing the twenty-first century resistance. Chico: AK Press, 2017. 277pp. ISBN 978184935278-9 paper.

When academics and activists drawn from differing ideological persuasions, and dissimilar social milieu, from around the world, collaborate in the compilation of a book on the topical issue of social uprising in a time of relative calm, it begs the question, what is the state of the social order? Is it less desirable than its opposite? The question, Why don’t the poor rise up?” is addressed by 20 academics, labor organizers, and community activists in a book of the same title, Why Don’t The Poor Rise Up? Organizing The Twenty-First Century Resistance.”

Read More »