Born in 1946 in Shahidanwali village in Punjab (now in Pakistan), Kamla Bhasin grew up in Rajasthan. After completing her post-graduation from Rajasthan University, she studied sociology in Germany and on her return in 1972 joined the Udaipur-based voluntary organisation Seva Mandir, which worked with the rural and urban poor – men and women – with the goal of “mobilising them for their own development”. From that point till September 25, 2021, when Kamla Bhasin, suffering from cancer, breathed her last, her life was a seamless journey of, in her own words, “being deeply engaged with issues related to gender, development, peace, identity politics, militarisation, human rights and democracy”; of exploring and articulating “connections between different issues and to promote synergies between different movements.” It was a journey during which the indefatigable feminist touched countless hearts. One of them was Kalpana Viswanath whose tribute to Kamla Bhasin looks back at three decades of association with her.
Communist Parties from Russia to Chile and from Turkey to Mexico express their condolences for the death of the legendary Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis who died on September 2nd aged 96.
In a message published on Twitter the President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez pays tribute to the late composer:
“Mikis Theodorakis died and the world accompanies the mourning of Greece for one of the greatest musicians of all times. Cuba, which always had his militant solidarity, also mourns. Let the Canto General sound in his memory”.
An informal chat with Caleb Maupin as your guide to the multitude of news, lies, distortions, rumors, idiocies, hypocrisies, and ideologies that shape our world.
Taking the example of Canadian surgeon Dr Bethune, who offered his services to help the Spanish Republican army and later China’s revolutionaries in their hour of need, Caleb discusses what makes a person dedicate his life to the betterment and liberation of others.
China has many monuments to Bethune’s memory. The Chinese people never forget their true friends, let alone those who will put their lives on the line to help them, as Dr Bethune did. Mao wrote a heart-rending eulogy to him, which I reproduce below.
IN MEMORY OF NORMAN BETHUNE
December 21, 1939
“We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With this spirit everyone can be very useful to the people. A man’s ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already noble-minded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people.”—Mao Tse-tung
By Mao Tse-tung
Comrade Norman Bethune, a member of the Communist Party of Canada, was around fifty when he was sent by the Communist Parties of Canada and the United States to China; he made light of travelling thousands of miles to help us in our War of Resistance Against Japan. He arrived in Yenan in the spring of last year, went to work in the Wutai Mountains, and to our great sorrow died a martyr at his post. What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of communism, from which every Chinese Communist must learn. Leninism teaches that the world revolution can only succeed if the proletariat of the capitalist countries supports the struggle for liberation of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples and if the proletariat of the colonies and semi-colonies supports that of the proletariat of the capitalist countries. Comrade Bethune put this Leninist line into practice. We Chinese Communists must also follow this line in our practice. We must unite with the proletariat of all the capitalist countries, with the proletariat of Japan, Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy and all other capitalist countries, for this is the only way to overthrow imperialism, to liberate our nation and people and to liberate the other nations and peoples of the world. This is our internationalism, the internationalism with which we oppose both narrow nationalism and narrow patriotism.
Born on June 14, 176 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, with two greats of Cuban independence as parents, General Antonio Maceo Grajales led Mambi troops across the island from East to West battling the Spanish colonial yoke, along a trail of courage, dignity and patriotism, which continues to illuminate our sovereign country before the world
A Titan was born on June 14, 176 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, with two greats of Cuban independence as parents. General Antonio Maceo Granjales led Mambi troops across the island from East to West battling the Spanish colonial yoke, along a trail of courage, dignity and patriotism, which continues to illuminate our sovereign country before the world.
Hand in hand with his mother Mariana Grajales, along with his father Marcos Maceo and brothers, Antonio de la Caridad took the road to the scrub just two days after Céspedes launched the struggle at the Demajagua, and would only cease after 28 years of hard battle, when his 26th wound left lifeless his “bronze” body which had withstood some 800 combat actions.
Death is a definitive word, but there are beings for whom it is hardly fitting, since dying means that something has ended. Vilma is among those who, in love with life, would give it up for her people, to live on in glory. Even after abandoning this world 14 years ago, she continues at our side.
We could say a great deal about what she did, about the girl from Santiago – the second Cuban woman to graduate in Chemical Engineering – who chose a path that took her away from a comfortable existence, to Revolution.
Among the many images that come to mind is that of the young student conspiring to put an end to a corrupt, subservient regime, who began writing pamphlets and went on to become a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and Political Bureau and president of the Federation of Cuban Women, the FMC, a huge organization fighting for women´s rights and dignity.
It is difficult to avoid a watery eye or an accelerated heartbeat when reconsidering, in all its details, the tragic day of our national hero’s death, May 19, 1895, in Dos Rios.
“My first thoughts this May 19, are for José Martí, 126 years after his fall in battle and his political testament: To prevent in time, with the independence of Cuba, the expansion of the empire over the lands of America,” tweeted Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, on a day filled with patriotic sentiments for Cubans.Read More »
“There will be some who will remember Ramsey Clark as an outsider. There are many more who remember him as a friend of justice, the oppressed, the exploited, and the rule of law. Perhaps he himself would like to be remembered merely as someone who used the law to help others.”
Curtis Doebbler, International Law Attorney
During the heat of the Gulf War under the George H. W. Bush administration, I had the opportunity in New York to meet an extraordinary human being: Ramsey Clark. It was an event to protest the State Department and Pentagon’s arrogantly labeled “Operation Desert Storm.”Read More »
If Rosa Luxemburg’s “Reform or Revolution” showed us her vision, the letter she left to mankind gives us the hope it enshrines. Hope for an equal society between men and women, rich and poor, opponents and dissidents. Hoping for peace versus violence, that mankind will always choose the righteous path, even though it may be the harder one.
March is the month of miracles. March is the month of Rosa Luxemburg.