Friday, 15 April 2016
Monday, 11 April 2016
Why the English Left is Wrong - Cameron Seems Safe in his Position
And the Quote from Marx that Explains it all!
By Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
Cameron is facing what should be another challenging moment to his position as prime minister in the current offshore tax corruption, however, like many other potential crises of the Tory government, he seems to be quite secure. The situation is not helped by an English left, from the Labour party leadership through to the far left sects, making a lot of noise but little strategic approach to achieving anything that they would like.
It's not like there hasnt been a string of scandals that have and continue to hit this Tory government and the wider UK state: the wars of aggression utilising the most depraved armed gangs that can be sourced in the total destruction of Libya and the near total destruction of Syria; UK state collusion with terrorism using and abusing Muslims and Islam while the UK state and media project all blame in a white supremacist fashion onto colonially racialised Muslims; state protected sex abuse and child sex abuse and murder rings; pig gate; bedroom tax; scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance; disability benefit cuts and much more: these are major national scandals that has seen no serious strategic response from Corbyn and the wider English left. Each one of these issues should and could see an angry mass movement that single mindedly achieves little victories along the way.
Lefties in England are too delusional, lefty outrage by itself is doing nothing but adding to the delusions and self defeating approach. Cameron is safe in his position, and the left around Corbyn have yet done very little to nothing to dent that, although they continue to be served many opportunities on a plate by the Tories. There still remains NO strategy to defeat the Tories by Corbyn other than a very narrow parliamentary one, which he and his team have decided to not even include a protest movement to compliment their parliamentary strategy!
We are being lied to not only by the Tory government, but by the English left too who keep telling us everything is going great in the left, and we just need to carry on and somehow things will be won and achieved out of thin air. They are lying to us, and in the interests of defeating the Tory government and defending the people of the world who are oppressed by the UK state and those people here who are relatively much less exploited than the non-western people but are nevertheless targets too, we should critically examine this delusional nonsense, reject it and build something else that is actually effective.
The Labour Party and its leadership has done nothing to dent to Tories, absolutely nothing. However, it has been more wiser heads of the UK ruling circles such as in the Houses of Lords who have blunted some of the Tory plans against the people of this island. The Left have not pushed back on anything to date.
The ruling classes in the UK will only get rid of Cameron or any of their leaders if internecine conflict between themselves force a change, the only other way something can be shifted is through a movement that is even more effective than that what we have in the 1970s and 1980s. And there is not only no sign of that, but that seems to be increasingly further and further away. Corbyn and the Labour Party could be of help in united fronts against war, racism, privtisation etc only if there is a growing multiversity of radical movements in general. There is not. People need to be in the streets, shutting down motorways, government departments, local councils, the radical youth need to be showing their own militant determination, there needs to be serious organisations that can develop mass campaigns from the inevitable repression from people from such movements. But all of this is worlds away. It can still happen, but nowhere in sight for the time being.
It's clear Corbyn and his inner circle have decided on putting aside the left outside of parliament and lefty protest politics and have instead decided to try and run to the centre left to protect and elongate their position as head of the parliamentary Labour Party. But what if like the last four decades this results in a negligible outcomes? Will we learn the necessary lessons in building a serious anti imperialist socialist movement that puts aside the failed policies of left imperialism / social democracy? Or will they repeat this foolishness ad nauseum but in more ridiculous ways?
Problem is: contradictions are intensifying, and as the pressure builds it is being released generally constructively in Scotland and Wales (although even there, there might be new challenges thrown up by the growing crises of imperialist-capitalism), whereas in England it is like most of the 'west' resulting in a far right trajectory.
And to whom does the English left look to in order to learn something? They look to another terribly defeated and defeating eurocentric project in the form of Syriza, but even more so, in the form of the failed Syria finance minister. It's sad that Corbyn and co have invited a thoroughly unfit for purpose european lefty leader - Varoufakis: don't they realise how silly it looks to bandy together in awe of someone who has a proven record of failing miserably? But this is perhaps an element of English culture that dominates the left: spinning defeat, delusions and dilettantism as victories. The British colonialists PRETENDED often to act like dithering fools when actually they were the most scientifically brutal colonialists that the world had seen. It seems the English left have retained the dithering clueless front, but internalised it as a principle and also maintained a good fair amount of their colonial prejudices as in the case of Libya and Syria a Nato directed horror story is seen by them as an ' Arab Spring' and 'revolution'.
Fact is, people are not angry enough, people are not pro-active enough to create the organisations, movements, actions, they are not honest enough with each other and with themselves to develop critical theoretical underpinnings to all this that a real struggle necessitates. Tweets and 'likes' have replaced political street organising, the just struggle of the junior doctors (a very well off upper strata of the imperialist working class here) have replaced the Miners, our old hard left leaderships are dying off and being replaced by utter little left fools of empire.
The imperialist-capitalist system of the 'West' is in a much more critical period than it was post Second World War, it cannot invest its colonial loot in the Western working class like it did then, this social democracy is buried, dead and gone, although the imperialist countries will always keep its Western masses *just* about enough bought off to keep them away from revolt. However, the state will continue to chip away at the colonial and imperialist given perks of the masses. This is not just a struggle against this or that Tory government, it is a struggle against an increasingly vicious imperialist system in deep crises.
Corbyn, Sanders, Syriza, Podemos etc, these are all the residues of a colonial left love that has long gone, the jilted lovers are still hanging on, hoping against hope that their previous love will return. It wont. Get over it. And stop dragging everyone into your patheticness.
The growing new fascism in Western governments and Trump, Ukip, Le Pen etc are also clear signs that the more right wing colonial and imperialist minded masses are yearning when things were more openly imperialist and racist.
New radical anti-imperialist socialists politics, analysis and organising are needed. But they are generally nowhere to be seen although the new wave of Black radicalism in the USA, and reformist left nationalist oriented things like the SNP show at least some indicators of how we should proceed.
This has happened before, many times. Many times left imperialist / social democratic forces have failed the Western workers, and the people of the global south. It most devastatingly took place in the 1930s, but happened many many other times since the second world war. Back in 1850(!), Marx already had observed this when he said the following:
"The point of view of the minority is dogmatic instead of critical, idealistic instead of materialistic. They regard not the real conditions but a mere effort of will as the driving force of the revolution. Whereas we say to the workers: ‘You will have to go through 15, 20, 50 years of civil wars and national struggles not only to bring about a change in society but also to change yourselves, and prepare yourselves for the exercise of political power’, you say on the contrary: ‘Either we seize power at once, or else we might as well just take to our beds.’ Whereas we are at pains to show the German workers in particular how rudimentary the development of the German proletariat is, you appeal to the patriotic feelings and the class prejudice of the German artisans, flattering them in the grossest way possible, and this is a more popular method, of course. Just as the word ‘people’ has been given an aura of sanctity by the democrats, so you have done the same for the word ‘proletariat’. Like the democrats you substitute the catchword of revolution for revolutionary development,” etc., etc."
Friday, 1 April 2016
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
As some pioneering but rather problematic old skool rapper said: I aint new to this! Just putting this out here so people who don't know me can get to know a little:
- In 2002 I went on a delegation to occupied and settler colonial imposed military occupied West Bank, Palestine and co founded the Che Leila Youth Brigades in Ramallah. I organised one of the first public events for Leila Khaled in England, when I was a co founder and organiser for Che Leila Youth Brigades (2002 - 2005):
- In 2007 I visited the Resistance communities in Beirut and South Lebanon, including meeting Hezbollah leaders.
- In 2008 I organised the first event with the Black Panthers in the UK parliament with Emory Douglas and Black Panther Almuni head, Bill Jennings:
- In 2008 I organised the memorial event for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder and leader George Habash
- in 2009 I organised the first time a Hizbullah MP spoke in Parliament:
- In 2010 I organised five events to commemorate 10 years since the start of the 2nd Intifada with Leila Khaled, George Galloway MP, Venezuelan Ambassador, Lowkey, Shadia Mansour, and others:
- In 2011 I visited Libya three times during the Nato bombing to support the Resistance and demand a just peace:
- In Nov 2012 I organised a one year memorial for Shaheed Muammar al-Gaddafi, with my wonderful Libyan comrades:
- In June 2013, I organised a fantastic book launch for Sohail Daulatzai's Black Star Crescent Moon:
- In June 2014 I lead the organising of Strike the Empire Back with Akala, Aamer Rahman and Marcel Cartier amongst others, the first public event of the Malcolm X Movement:
- In Dec 2014 I helped to co organise and chair this event for Assata Shakur, with the wonderful Black Panther Charlotte Hill O'Neal speaking:
- In Jan 2015 I co organised the leading Jamahriyan spokeperson and leader of the Libyan Peoples National Movement Moussa Ibrahim in Parliament with George Galloway, it was the first time he made a public address since 2011, and he spoke while still on the red list wanted of Nato:
- In Jan 2015 I had the honour of hosting Black Panther Aaron Dixon for his book launch:
- In March/April 2015 I helped to lead organise the first annual Malcolm X Film Festival of the Malcolm X Movement, which was supported officially by amongst others the PFLP, Black Panther Alumni, Libyan Peoples National Movement, Bernadette McAliskey and Ilyasah Shabazz:
- In Aug 2015 led the organising of a very successful event with Eddie Marshall Conway and Dominque Stevenson, Black Panther and political prisoner of 44 years:
- And most recently I co organised and chaired a hugely successful commemoration of Paul Robeson's 40th years since his passing with some of the best Black radical voices in this country at the Marx Memorial Library:
I have done a lot more than all this over the years, but that is *some* of the highlights.
Thanks to all my comrades who have assisted me through all these struggles, ups and downs when trying to serve our peoples and their intergenerational wars of liberation, especially would like to thank James Stuart my long time mentor and brother and comrade, Dan Glazebrook my brilliant revolutionary brother, Hafsa Kara my fearless and typically stubborn Algerian sister and comrade, my RBG comrade and hard truth soldier Saqib Deshmukh, my comrade and brother and the greatest revolutionary artist of our generation Mohammad Hamza, my wonderful comrades in the Black Panthers and the wider Black Liberation struggle, especially those I have so much respect for like Bob Brown, the A-aprp GC, the African warriors and revolutionary thinkers like George Shire, the living revolutionary legend from Ghana that I have the honour of knowing H.E Kojo Gottfried, the pillar of our Black Liberation struggle here Minkah Adofo and Omowale Rupert, our very own Black revolutionary scholar of the highest standard Hakim Adi and all the comrades who aren't around with me who once were, and all the comrades who are new to my partnership. Special dedication to the Libyan people and their resistance to unify and liberate their country once more like it was in Sept 1969.
I am a flawed human like any other, I do the best I can, I am wrong sometimes, I fuck up sometimes and sometimes I am right and do well when most others are full of shit and sell out.
Most of all, thank God, our martyrs and ancestors and my Nanaji, and Dadaji, my other revolutionary family ancestors and my Mother and Father who raised me right in the heart of the enemy. You have sent me here and raised me here to continue our struggle against the british imperialists in defence of the oppressed, and that is the greatest honour.
Our peoples shall win.
- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
Thursday, 24 March 2016
The untouchable by Shahid-e-Azam Bhagat Singh
The Untouchable (Originally published in 'Kirti' (Punjabi) June 1929)
This article shows Shahid-e-Azam Bhagat Singh at his very best; fearless, swimming against the high-caste tide, showing uncompormising militancy, daring to say what the others simply thought about in their deepest hearts but were afraid to bring these thoughts to their lips. We have reproduced this article as many Dalits and friends of Dalits do not know the existence of this article. -Editor
Our country is in a really bad shape; here strangest questions are asked, the foremost concerns the untouchables, who count 6 crores in population of 30 crores.
For instance :-
Would the contact with an untouchable mean defilement of an upper caste?
Would the gods in the temples, not get angry by the entry of untouchables there?
Would the drinking water of a well not get polluted if the untouchables drew their water from the same well?
That these questions are being asked in the twentieth century, is a matter which makes our heads hang in shame.
We Indian boast of our spiritualism, but then, we avoid accepting every human being as a fellow being just like ourselves. Western people on the other hand, who carry a reputation of being money minded, had unequivocally affirmed their faith in the principle of equality. This they did during the revolutions in America and France and above all in Russia, these days which is committed to the extension of this principle to all aspects of life and to ending of discriminations in any form whatsoever, thereby fulfilling the ideals of May Day declaration. But we Indians on our part who never tire of boasting about our gods and godliness are, yet seriously debating whether to permit the untouchables to wear the sacred thread or the janeu and whether the untouchables be permitted to read Vedas / Shastras. We often complain about our maltreatment in other countries, and particularly when we are maltreated by the whites, do we have any moral right to voice such a protest?
In 1926, Sindhi Muslim gentleman, Mr. Nur Mohd member of Bombay Legislative Council aptly remarked:-
"If the Hindu society refuses to allow other human beings, fellow creatures at that, to attend public schools, and if .... The president of the local board representing so many lakh of people, in his house, refuses to allow his fellows and brothers, the elementary human right of having water to drink, what right have they to ask for more rights from the bureaucracy? Before we accuse the people coming from other lands, we should see how people...
how can we ask for grater political rights when (we ourselves) deny elementary rights of human beings?
How true! But since this had been said by a Muslim, Hindus lost no time in alleging that the Muslim's real intention was to convert the untouchables to Islam and thus assimilate them into their own brotherhood. But then, it amounted to an open admission of the harsh truth--that if you (the Hindus) treat them worse than your cattle, they shall desert you, join to the fold of other religions where they hope to enjoy more rights, where they are treated as fellow beings.
Would it not then be pointless to blame the Christians and Muslims, that they were undermining Hinduism?
How fair and true! Yet the Hindus tremble in anger on hearing this plain truth. In any case, it had shaken Hindus from their complacency in the matter. Orthodox Brahmins too started re-thinking about it, also joined by some self-proclaimed reformers. At Patna a gala Hindu meet was held. Lala Lajpat Rai, known for his longstanding sympathy for the untouchables was presiding. A lot of hot arguments were exchanged as to whether the untouchables are eligible to wear sacred thread, the janeu? Could they read Vedas / Shastras? A number of social reformers lost their temper but Lala ji was able to persuade them to compromise on these two matters and thereby saved the prestige of Hindu religion; otherwise, what would have been the consequences?
Just imagine how shameful! Even a dog can sit in our lap, it can also move freely in kitchen but if a fellow human touches you, your dharma is endangered. So much so, even a reputed social reformer like Pandit Malviya ji, known for his soft corner for the untouchables, first agrees to be publicly garlanded by a sweeper, but then afterwards regards himself to be polluted till he bathes and washes those clothes. How ironical! In the temples meant for worshipping God, who lives in us all, once a poor man enters it, it gets defiled and God gets annoyed. When this is the state of affairs within the Hindu fold, does it behave us to quarrel and fight in the name of the Brotherhood? Above all, this kind of our approach to the question amounts of an ingratitude of the degree; those who provide us the comforts by doing menial jobs for us, we shun them. We could worship even animals, but would not tolerate fellow humans to sit beside us.
This is an issue of hot debate these days, the poor creatures getting special attention in this way. In the context of our advance towards national liberation, the problem of communal representation (seats in the legislatures allotted in proportion to Hindu/ Sikh/ Muslim population) may not have been beneficial in any other manner but atleast Hindu / Muslim / Sikhs are all striving hard to maximize their own respective quota of seats by attracting the maximum number of untouchables to their own respective folds. Accordingly Muslims started by providing them equal rights after converting them to Islam.
This naturally hurt the Hindus. Bitterness mounted, riots too broke out. By and by Sikhs, too woke up lest they be left behind in this race. They too started administering Amrit; tension mounted between Sikhs and Hindus over the removal of janeu or hair shaving. All in all, all the three are trying to out do the others, resulting in widespread disturbances. Christians sitting on the fence are quietly consolidating their hold.
Be as it may, this turmoil is certainly helping us to move towards the weakening of the hold of untouchability.
As for themselves, when they discovered that all this great turmoil was on their account and Hindus / Muslims / Sikhs, all were trying to profit at their cost, they have also started thinking, "Why should we not organize on our own?" No one is certain whether they are doing so as a result of official prompting or at their own but once this line of thinking had taken roots, certainly this trend is being fully backed up by official quarters. "Adi Dharam Mandal" and the like are the end result of this trend.
Here, the basic question arises, how precisely can we solve this tangle? The answer is quite obvious; above all, it needs to be settled for good, that all humans are equal without distinctions of birth or vocation. In other words since someone is born in a poor sweepers' family, he shall continue cleaning toilets all his life and thus getting deprived of all chances of progress in life, all this nonsense. Historically speaking, when our Aryan ancestors nurtured these practices of discrimination towards these strata of society, shunning all human contact with them by labeling them as menials, and assigning all the degrading jobs to them, they also, naturally started worrying about a revolt against this system. All this is the result of your past sins; what can be done about it? Bear if silently! and with such kinds of sleeping pills, were they able to buy peace for quite some time. All the same they were guilty of a great sin on this account, since this amounted to the negation of core human values like self-esteem and self-reliance; a grossly cruel conduct by all means. Yet present is the moment of its atonement.
In a broader social perspective, untouchability had a pernicious side-effect; people in general got used to hating the jobs which were otherwise vital for life. We treated the weavers who provided us cloths as untouchable. In U.P. water carriers were also considered untouchables. All this caused tremendous damage to our progress by undermining the dignity of labour, especially manual labour. We have thus to accept it, once for all, that in order to move forward we have to give up either considering or calling them untouchables.
Everything else shall fall in place by itself.
In this regard strategy adopted by Naujwan Bharat Sabha and the Youth conference is, most apt--to seek forgiveness from those brethren, whom we have been calling untouchables by treating them as our fellow beings, without making them go through conversion ceremonies of Sikhism, Islam or Hinduism, by accepting food / water from their hands. On the other hand quarrelling among ourselves in the race to win them over, without restoring to them their human dignity is futile.
But the moment we went to villages with our message of human equality and brotherhood mentioned above, Government agents started inciting the Jat community saying that this would embolden these menials to refuse serving you. This was sufficient to provoke the jats, to oppose our efforts in the right direction.
But the upper castes should also realise that their own status in life cannot change for the better as long they persist in considering these people as inferiors, calling them menials, and keep them under their heals. It is argued, they are unclean. The harsh truth is that they are poor; remove their poverty and they shall be clean. Don't we find that the poor even among the upper castes are no less unclean? Besides doing unclean jobs is no bad; for example mothers perform all the unclean duties for their children. Do they become unclean?
However, ultimately the problem can not be satisfactory solved unless and until untouchable communities themselves unite and organize. We regard their recent uniting to form their distinct identity, and also demanding representation equal to Muslims in legislatures, being equal to them in number, is a move in the right direction. Either reject communal representation altogether, else give these people too their due share! In principle, Councils, Assemblies are duty bound to ensure full and free access for all these communities to schools, colleges, wells and roads; that too not only on paper but by actually accompanying them to wells, schools and get them admitted there. But can these legislatures, where a lot of hue and cry is raised even over a bill to ban child marriages, on the grounds that it shall be a threat to their religion, dare to bring the untouchables to their own level on their own? No, never, that is why we plead that they must persist in pressing for their own distinct representation in legislatures in proportion to their numerical strength. We mince no words in proclaiming: Arise! So called untouchables, the real sustainers of life, awake and reflect over your past, you were the backbone of Guru Gobind Singh's army. Shivaji was able to achieve all that with your participation which made him ever shining in history. Your sacrifices are worthy of being embedded in golden letters. The way in which you sustain us and add to our comforts ought to make us feel grateful to you. It is we who fail to appreciate. The land Alienation Act (banning transfer of land to non-agriculturist communities, defined as per caste) does not permit you to buy land ever if you manage the necessary amount of cost. The way you are being oppressed had prompted Miss Mayo of U.S.A. to label you "less then man." As a matter of fact, without your own efforts, you shall not able to move ahead.
"Those who would be free must themselves strike the first blow." It must be kept in mind that every one belonging to the privileged class, strives to enjoy his own rights, but would try his utmost to keep on oppressing those below him, and keeping the underprivileged under his heel. Thus might is held to be right. Then waste no time and unite to stand on your own feet and challenge the existing order of society. Let it then be seen as to who dares to deny to you your due. Do not be at the mercy of others and have no illusions about them. Be on guard so as not to fall in the trap of officialdom, because far from being your ally it seeks to make you dance on its own tunes. The capitalist bureaucratic combine is, truly speaking responsible for your oppression and poverty. Hence always shun it. Be on guard about its tricks. This is then the way out. You are the real working class. Workers unite – you have nothing to lose but your chains. Arise and rebel against the existing order. Gradualism and reformism shall be of no avail to you. Start a revolution from a social agitation and gird up your loins for political economic revolution. You and you alone are the pillars of the nations and its core strength. Awake, O sleeping lions! Rebel, raise the banner of revolt.
Online collection of writings of Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
(Janata dated 13 April 1931)
Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru have been eventually hanged. They were charged for the murders of an English police officer named Sanders and a Sikh police sepoy named Chaman Singh. Also there were three or four additional charges such as an attempt of murdering one police inspector at Banaras, throwing a bomb in the Assembly, conducting robbery at a house in Maulimiya village and looting its valuables. Bhagatsingh had already admitted to the charges of throwing bomb in the Assembly. For this crime, he and Batukeshwar Dutt were already sentenced with life imprisonment. One of the comrades of Bhagatsingh by name Jaigopal had confessed that the murder of sanders was executed by them revolutionaries including Bhagatsingh and others. The government had filed a case against Bhagatsingh and his comrades based on this confession. None of the three accused participated in this case, however. A special tribunal comprising three high court judges was appointed which heard the case and unanimously awarded them death penalty.
Bhagatsingh’s father had made a mercy petition to the Emperor and the Viceroy requesting them not to execute the punishment and convert if required into life imprisonment at Andamans. Many people including prominent leaders also tried to plead with the government in the matter. The issue of Bhagatsingh’s death penalty might have arisen in negotiations that took place between Gandhi and Lord Irwin. Although Lord Irwin had not given any definitive assurance about saving Bhagatsingh’s life, Gandhi’s speech during the intervening period created a hope that Irwin would try his best within his powers to save lives of these three youth. But all these hopes, predictions and appeals proved futile. They were killed by hanging in the Central Prison, Lahore on 23 March 1931 at 7 pm. None of them had made any appeal for saving them. But as it is already published, Bhagatsingh had expressed a desire for being killed with bullet shots instead of hanging by the neck. But even this last will of his was not granted and they implemented the judgment of the tribunal verbatim. The judgement was to hang by the neck till dead. If they were killed with bullet shots, the execution would not confirm to the judgement verbatim. The order of the justice goddess was obeyed in toto and the three were killed with the method she prescribed.
For whom the Sacrifice?
If the government thinks that people would be impressed by its display of devotion to and strict obedience of the justice goddess and therefore they would approve of this killing, it would be its utter naiveté. None believes that this sacrifice was made with only intention of maintaining clean and sans blemish reputation of the British justice system. Even the government will not be able to convince itself with such an understanding. Then how will it convince others with this veil of the justice goddess? The entire world, as well as the government does, knows that it is not the devotion to justice goddess but the fear of the conservative party and public opinion back home in England that this sacrifice was executed. They thought, the unconditional release of political prisoners like Gandhi and signing pacts with Gandhi’s party has damaged the prestige of the Empire. Some orthodox leaders of the conservative party have launched a campaign that the prevailing cabinet of the Labour Party and the Viceroy who danced to its tune were responsible for it. In such a situation if Lord Irwin had showed mercy to political revolutionaries who have been convicted for assassinating an English officer, it would be like giving a burning torch into the hands of the opposition leaders. Already the condition of the Labour Party is not stable. In such a situation if these conservative leaders got an alibi that the labour government grants clemency to the convicts, who had murdered an Englishman, it would be so easy to provoke public opinion against it. In order to avert this imminent crisis and to thwart the fire in the minds of conservative leaders from flaring further, these hangings were executed.
As such this was not to satisfy the justice goddess but to please public opinion in England. If it had been the issue of personal liking or disliking of Lord Irwin, he would have within his own powers annulled the death penalty and awarded life imprisonment in its stead. The cabinet of the Labour Party in England would have supported Lord Irwin in this decision. It would have been necessary to maintain congeniality of public opinion in the context of Gandhi-Irwin pact. While leaving the country, Lord Irwin would surely have liked to earn this goodwill. But he would have been crushed between the ire of his conservative kin in England and the Indian bureaucracy imbued with the same casteist attitude. Therefore, not minding the public opinion here the government of Lord Irwin hanged Bhagatsingh and his comrades to death and that too just 2 to 4 days before the Karachi conference of the Congress. Both, the hanging of Bhagatsingh and his comrades, and its timings, were sufficient to puncture the Gandhi-Irwin Pact and to trash the efforts to bring it about. If Lord Irwin wanted to fail this pact, he would not have found better act than this one. Looking from this perspective, as Gandhiji also felt, one could say that the government committed a great blunder.
In sum, merely not to incur anger of the conservatives in England, they sacrificed Bhagatsingh and his comrades ignoring public opinion and not minding what would happen to the Gandhi-Irwin pact. The government must remember, howsoever it tries to cover it up or polish it; it will never be able to hide this fact.
[Translated from this author and taken from the post here]
Ambedkar On Bhagatsingh
By Anand Teltumbde
01 March, 2016
The vested interests while lauding Babasaheb Ambedkar have systematically reduced him to be his near ideological antithesis. The ruling classes and their state of course have played a vanguard role but even his so called followers have not been any behind. This year the ruling establishment is going gaga over the celebration of his 125th birth anniversary when as though revealingly the year has dawned with the monumental injustice to the five Dalit Ph D scholars of the Hyderabad Central University that led to one of them, Rohith Vemula, committing suicide. When Ambedkar stressed on higher education unlike most reformers of his times, he had the likes of Rohith in mind, laced with critical faculties to steer the movement of oppressed people to their liberation. Harassment of Dalit students pushing them to commit suicide in higher educational institutes is not new but the manner in which this suicide took place should wake up Dalits to the deceit practiced by the current regime.
It saw the continued abuse of the Constitution and trampling of all ideas Ambedkar stood for in recent imbroglio in JNU. The very establishments that decimated his ideal of democratic republic and killed the spirit of liberty, equality, fraternity are posing as his biggest devotees. Under such mounting propaganda, right from the late 1960s, which shows that it is not parties but the class they belong to has been acting in concert, the radical aspects of Babasaheb Ambedkar have been systematically overshadowed. For instance, just after getting disillusioned with the aftermath of Mahad struggle he had tried class politics over the entire decade until he was forced by the circumstances to revert back to the caste politics. This politics symbolized by the Independent Labour Party, which was described by him as workers’ party, and its reflection in Janata, his newspaper appears to have been completely forgotten. The 1930s was an eventful decade and it is interesting to see how he saw or related with many of these events. The non-Marathi readers are totally lost to these writings because their translation are yet not available in English and therefore in other languages. It creates impression that Babasaheb Ambedkar just hampered upon the betterment of Dalits and supplemented the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the British imperialists. At least that is what is reflected by the current genre of the Dalit leaders through their apathy towards issues other than Dalit.
One of the most shattering events of this decade is the trial and eventual hanging of Bhagat Singh along with his two comrades Rajguru and Sukhdeo. It exposed the British imperialists in their true colour along with their love for the rule of law as well as the phony concern of our nationalist leadership for the freedom of people. Bhagat Singh and Dr Ambedkar, as they would seem perfect opposite of each other, are the two heroes who had truly understood what ailed this country. When I said this while speaking in the launch of centenary celebration of Bhagat Singh in Maharashtra in 2007, people were perplexed by such a weird statement. But it is quite true. The relevance of these two people is growing as they get distanced from us. How did they see each other? There is no evidence for either of them saying anything about the other. However, we do know that Bhagat Singh had grappled with the Dalit question. He had written an article titled Achoot Samasya (Problem of Untouchability) at the age of 16, but it still has freshness and reflects amazing maturity of thought to be relevant for the emancipatory struggle of Dalits. Ambedkar did not write on the revolutionary movement of Bhagat Singh but has written an editorial note titled "Three Victims" when they were hanged. Though it does not speak about their struggle, much less politics, it explains how their execution was influenced by political expediency back home.
I provide herewith its translation as it may be of interest to many a student of Ambedkar besides its historical value.
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
The Arab Spring Arrives in Belgium: Terror Attacks, Ghettos and Racism with Belgian Characteristics
By Sukant Chandan
22 March, 2016
Living on the edge of Molenbeek for around one year I have spent time in Moroccan communities in Belgium and working with them and the radical left on some political issues since the early 2000s. I have been a frequent visitor involved in political work in Belgium since the mid 1990s. Molenbeek is one of several ghettoes in Brussels. Despite the quaintness of Belgian terraced housing, with every house front being unique from its neighbours, despite the world famous 'Belgian' chocolate stolen from Africa; Molenbeek like Schaerbeek and Matonge (the other working class North African, African and Turkish ghettoes) are depressing and bleak places.
These ghettos are under resourced, neglected by the state, has overcrowded housing and high unemployment especially amongst the Black and Brown youth. Brussels has very little green spaces and recreational public spaces for children, young people and adults who want to pursue sports. The system doesn't even bother providing us with distractions in our poverty like basic public recreational infrastructure. While walking around one dodges the dog excrement that seems to litter Brussels throughout the city, and you see grown non-white men, fathers of children playing in tiny play areas, squashed in these small pitches alongside our children from the age around 6 years old. In the evenings bouncers and security of bars and music clubs systematically bar non-white men from entering, I myself was stopped on a few occasions at the entrance even though I was billed to Emcee at music events. My white colleagues in music had to reason with the security to let me in the venue.
Walking around and experiencing this colonially racislised life of our peoples in Brussels its like pages out of Fanon's Black Skin White Masks coming to life, racial oppression plays out in the streets with a few North African young men letting out their frustration wrongly and unjustly on white young people both male and female, while the police continue to harass and ensure that our youth know where their place is by calling them 'monkeys', playing out the backward country yokel type of racism on our youth. And every Christmas period, our peoples are reminded of what their role is in this racist society by most white Belgians celebrating the little Black slave helper - 'Black Pete' - to Father Christmas, and if we campaign against this we are 'attacking Belgian traditions'! Haven't we heard that countless times. It's European white supremacy with Belgian characteristics.
Central Brussels and these ghettoes reek of depression and dejection. They only thing that lifts one is the spirit and culture of the immigrant communities; the syrupy sweet mint tea being supped by Moroccan men sitting at the terraces of the Maghrebi cafes, the aromas of the mint tea wafting through the cobble streets from the small glasses of rows of men sitting in the terraces of the cafes, the Moroccan women standing on the doorsteps with their home clothes of tracksuits, with mops in hand, chatting away and rushing to the shops and back, the Moroccan sweet-meat shops, it as if the quick banter and atmosphere of Morocco is exported into the cold grey streets of Belgium. On top of the very old style white supremacy racism against all non white people, a very coarse unsophisticated racism (unlike London, for example) of a people, a country and government and society that knows very little about the outside world, and is not that interested, disinterested even more than the general western-centric conceit and arrogance that one finds across large swathes of western especially western white peoples.
While African and Asian people in the UK have for generations now organised hard in our communities, built many liberation-oriented grassroots movements and organisations since the 1950s, while we turned the cities upside down against racism and poverty especially in the late 1970s, African and Asian people have militantly demanded and organised for some semblance of breathing space which has forced the UK state to make concessions and to deepen the sophistication of their white supremacy and imperialism. It makes London a easier place to live than perhaps other areas of west Europe such as France and Belgium. However, in Belgium, African and Asian people have not seen any similar type of mass organising and struggle: our communities in Belgium remain weak and lacking collective and militant assertive capacity, actions and achievements.
When I was in Molenbeek for a conference in late 2001, there was a crudely sprayed graffiti next to the police station celebrating the 911 attacks on the twin towers. These ghettoes are relatively ripe for radicalising, and it has been the colonial supremacists using and abusing Islam that have made the greatest inroads amongst our youth, as these communities have seen no other liberating anti-imperialist movement presented to them save for a few years in the early 2000s, that saw a anti-racist and anti-imperialist movement collapse and subsequently its former leadership sell out the Resistance of Hizbullah and others and have gone into the imperialist enemy camp. The Belgian white left is as racist and ignorant as any other section of Belgian racist society, so our youth are left vulnerable to these supremacist forces, supremacist forces supported by the Belgian state in Libya, Syria and further afield, and supported by the Moroccan state and Belgium's regional allies.
With the aborted green-shoots of a militant anti-racist and anti-imperialist Arab-centric movement disappearing in the early 2000s, there was a hiatus of political organising, and then arrived the historic Nakba (catastrophe) of the Arab Spring in the 'Middle East, North African' region.
Some of my former anti-imperialist comrades in Belgium debunked to scupper under the political and actual wings of Nato, from opposing imperialism and supporting the Resistance they allied with imperialism and denounced the Resistance. Belgium proudly displayed their Nato 'surgical strikes' on Libya in 2011, and literally on the ground my former comrades were supporting the ground troops auxiliary forces of Nato in the 'rebels'. Imperialism became the 'resistance' and resistant countries and peoples like the Jamahirya, the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanese Hizbullah became the 'enemy'.
It is well documented and infamous that the Nato 'rebels' in Libya and Syria during and since 2011 have conducted lynching of communities they consider outside of their supremacism, they have mutilated, crucified, raped and looted in delivering the Arab Spring, nay Arab STING to the Libyan and Syrian people. A good number of the recruits for these death squads have come from the UK, Sweden, France and also Belgium.
Perhaps the Belgian intelligence services are not as advanced as those in the USA and UK, but Belgium has been assisted by France and other imperialist military intelligence, especially as we are told one of the leading organisers of the attacks against Paris was Belgian Moroccan heritage Salah Abdelsalam and his brother was one of the attackers. There was a siege and shoot out in Molenbeek where it is reported Abdelsalam was hiding in a house, and in a keystone cops moment, Abdelsalam defies the entire Belgian military state and its might by jumping out of a window in the siege and manages to run away. Similarly, two attackers against the Charlie Hebdo offices managed to drive through France, through Spain to Madrid airport and caught a plane to Turkey and then waltzed into joining Daesh in Syria.
This all points to 'collusion', ie., complex and sophisticated covert operations used by Western states to develop terrorism to achieve its global and domestic strategic objectives. The West did this by using death squads in Ireland, 'latin' America, Afghanistan in the 1980s, and is now doing this on a much deeper and grander scale with Daesh, Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, Daesh and NusJabhat Nusra amongst others.
That which Belgium and leading Nato countries have promoted and exported into Libya and Syria, those depraved massacres, gruesome attacks on the Humanity of our peoples that has been going on for more than five years arrived and wrought its havoc for a few seconds in Brussels this morning. Whereas the cheerleaders of the Arab Sting in Belgium, from the pro Nato grassroots up to the government celebrated this depravity in Libya and Syria, they will now consider what has happened in Brussels today a great crime, a massacring and horrifically unjust act; and they would be right. But why is not the same depravity and collapsing of entire countries that is the hallmark of the Arab Spring not celebrated when it manifests for a few seconds in Brussels, or Paris?
Western / imperialist supremacism is very powerful, it will get people who think they oppose capitalism and imperialism to support just that, it will get people from Libya and Syria to shout an scream to demand that Nato bomb their countries to 'liberation', and it will make people support murdering madness in the 'third world', but denounce it and suddenly become good responsible citizens of Belgium when their same beloved Arab Sting arrives on their doorstep.
As Belgian and other western imperialisms see their system dive into greater crises, the most parasitic cultural and physical elements of the system is enlarged: rape and lynching promoted as 'Arab spring' and 'liberation', Europe's non-white poorest targeted and scaepgoated as the culprits for the growing malaise, refugees from imperialism's wars fingered as the destabilising force. All the while, and unlike a similar period in European history of the 1930s, Europe sees no organised and strategic Resistance. Can the spirit of our anti-imperialist Resistance, and the legacies of the communist anti-imperialists of Europe who fought and martyred in the streets in the streets in their thousands of Berlin in the late 1920s and 1930s against Hitler's hordes return in a 21st century form? No sign, but don't we increasingly desperately need it!
Collusion with Death Squads in the Muslim World
Seize the Time: Black Panther leader Bobby Seale
Beating the Fascists (communist street wars against fascism in Germany)
Settlers: Myth of the white proletariat
Our Flag Stays Red ( radical socialist grassroots organising)