India

The pioneer right-wing BAME MP

In the last year Workers’ Liberty has published material about both Shapurji Sakatvala and Dadabhai Naoroji – two opponents of British rule in India and, in their different ways, socialists elected to the UK Parliament a century ago (Naoroji was MP for Central Finsbury 1892-5 and Saklatvala MP for Battersea North 1922-3 and 1924-9). Saklatvala was very much part of the Marxist tradition and Naoroji part of our tradition in a broader sense. Naoroji was the first person from one of the Empire’s subject peoples beyond the British Isles to be elected to Parliament; Saklatvala the third. The second...

How an Indian MP led right-wing campaigning against Jewish migrants

In the last year Workers’ Liberty has published material about both Shapurji Sakatvala and Dadabhai Naoroji – two opponents of British rule in India and, in their different ways, socialists elected to the UK Parliament a century ago (Naoroji was MP for Central Finsbury 1892-5 and Saklatvala MP for Battersea North 1922-3 and 1924-9). Saklatvala was very much part of the Marxist tradition and Naoroji part of our tradition in a broader sense. Naoroji was the first person from one of the Empire’s subject peoples beyond the British Isles to be elected to Parliament; Saklatvala the third. The second...

Dadabhai Naoroji should be a hero for the left

Sacha Ismail reviews Dinyar Patel’s Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism (Harvard University Press, 2020) In the summer of 1893 Indian nationalist leader Dadabhai Naoroji, then living in Britain, returned to India for the conference of the Indian National Congress, of which he had been and would shortly be re-elected President. Greeted by vast multi-religious and multi-ethnic crowds as he travelled across northern India, he arrived in Lahore for the congress to cries of “Long live Dadabhai Naoroji!” – and “Long live Central Finsbury!” In 1892 Naoroji had caused huge excitement and...

The G7: resistance in Cornwall

More photos below article My trip to Cornwall to demonstrate around the G7 summit (11-13 June) felt a bit like a set of concentric circles: I was part of and helping to cohere a delegation of Workers’ Liberty supporters and friends; we were seeking to imbue socialist politics, internationalism, and a working-class orientation into the wider anti-G7 movement; and that movement was challenging the G7 and the politics they represent. It was only en route towards the most southwesterly tip of this island, cutting through the darkening fog in a car-share with newly-acquainted comrades — and...

Women's Fightback: The Tarun Tejpal case - rape victim on trial

In India, a judge has thrown out charges against journalist and publisher Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping a female colleague. The allegations attracted a lot of attention as it involved a major media figure. His magazine was one of the leaders in Indian investigative journalism, his publishing house India Ink represented major figures, and he was often seen with friends Arundhati Roy and VS Naipaul. Not content with acquitting the accused, the judge went on to question the character of the alleged victim. The 527-page judgment reads like a checklist of sexist tropes on rape victims. Judge...

Lessons from India and Michigan

Covid cases and deaths in India have rocked since early March, and scanty hospital provision has been overwhelmed in some areas. On the official count, India’s Covid death rate per population is still only what the UK’s was in mid-March, mid-October, or mid-June, and way below the highest rates seen in the UK or in countries like Brazil. However, in India only 22% of deaths are medically certified with a cause of death. The real rate may be much higher. The world Covid death rate has been rising again since mid-March, and is now higher than it has ever been, bar a peak around late January. A...

India: "Deeper than farm laws"

On 30 March Momentum Internationalists held a meeting in solidarity with the Indian farmers’ struggle with London region Fire Brigades Union black and ethnic minority officer Amit Malde, and Pritam Singh, a left-wing academic and economist specialising in the economy of Indian Punjab and an ally of farmers’ leaders. Amit’s statement of solidarity, which drew out parallels with anti-privatisation and climate struggles here, was followed by a comprehensive and informative presentation from Pritam, and many questions. MI will put up videos soon. Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome, who was due to...

Haffkine and Saklatvala: epidemics, vaccines and revolutionaries

Workers' Liberty recently published a pamphlet about Indian socialist and anti-imperialist, and 1920s UK MP, Shapurji Saklatvala. (You can buy it here.) The pamphlet explains: His youngest daughter and biographer Sehri speculated that the seeds of revolutionary politics were planted in Saklatvala's mind when he volunteered to help Ukrainian Jewish bacteriologist Waldemar Haffkine combat the plague which killed hundreds of Bombay's people every week for years at the turn of the century. Haffkine was a former populist-socialist and political refugee from Czarism. As Saklatvala would later...

Free Indian trade unionist Shiv Kumar!

Nodeep Kaur (pictured above), the jailed Indian trade unionist and farmer solidarity activist whose case we have covered in recent issues of Solidarity, has finally been released on bail. So has climate activist Disha Ravi. But Kaur’s comrade Shiv Kumar, one of the founders of her union Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (Association for the Empowerment of Labourers), is still in jail and has been tortured. A medical examination conducted after the regional high court ordered it found “right foot swelling and tenderness of left foot nail, beds of right second and third toe are broken and underlying...

Why we wrote about Saklatvala

Our new pamphlet on 1920s revolutionary socialist MP Shapurji Saklatvala is out now and can be bought here (profits from the first print run go to the Sage care workers’ strike fund). Its author Sacha Ismail explains why he started reading about Saklatvala and we decided to produce the pamphlet. When I first joined Workers’ Liberty, twenty years ago, I read an article about the history of the Labour Party. Written in 1996 by Sean Matgamna, it cited Saklatvala as an important figure, quoting Communist and Trotskyist veteran Harry Wicks – active in the Battersea labour movement at the same time...

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