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Place Names, Anti-Feudalism and Communalism

Communalism G P D IT is not surprising that J V Deshpande (April 11) has found our writing on Abad, Nagar, etc (January 24) not quite enlightening. It was not meant to be. That he has found it entertaining is gratifying; for it was meant to be. We wish to assure him that we do not believe that our erudition (or, as some might say, the lack of it) would overwhel many body, Our modest expectation is that what we write can be at least amusing if not entertaining. Let us repeat "the two or three points" easily discernible in that piece without our kind of perhaps wonky humour.

Requiem for Dange

G P D DO you remember a man called Sripad Dange? Yes, there was a man of that name. A fair man (in senses more than one!) and a witty man. Somebody siad of him once in private conversation, "a nice, witty, Maharashtrian, not much of a communist though". The first part of the remark was very valid.Going by the recent performance of the communists, the second part appears to be distinctly unfair. 'Not much of a communist though' might now be a description of almost anyone, a cynic might say. But one does not have to go by typical cynical remarks. We all know how these cynics are and behave. They have this endearing habit of not saying anything except in a provocative manner Dange would have loved the first part of the remark. The second part, he would have hated; would have seen either a CIA or a Maoist conspiracy behind the remark. What is the difference between the two conspiracies, he would have asked and would have probably gone on to quote Keshavsut: You wonder, don't you, who we are Darling of the Gods certainly we are! We met him years ago. These were the years of the now-forgotten Cultural Revolution in China. The Chinese, he said, had put him at the top of their hit-list. In a way they had made him an international figure. He seemed to enjoy the status. He thouroughly disapproved of whatever we had written on that 'Revolution' in this very journal. Strangely his comments were very brief and dismissive. We are used to dismissive languages being used about almost everything we write. The dismissiveness, therefore, was hardly strange. His brevity was. He must have been distressed. He quickly changed the subject and talked of Kosambi' s review of his book From Primitive Communism to Slavery. Apparently, Kosambi was sharply critical of his work. But the kindness and humour with which he recalled Kosambi's attack on his work was remarkable. We moved on to Maharashtrian cuisine and things like that. We never met again.

Shall We or Shall We Not

Shall We or Shall We Not?
G P D When Marxists, Indira Gandhi's men and post-modernists get together, they can produce a remarkable document completely devoid of ideas and arguments. But then there is always a Bharatavakya' at the end of a play which does not say much, except express some pious wishes.

Language and Politics

Language and Politics G P D The strategy is clear: Speak the local vernacular to mesmerise the unsuspecting masses and speak English for those who really matter and make concessions to the multinationals.

Remembering Krishna Menon

Remembering Krishna Menon G P D Krishna Menon, who was born a hundred years ago, believed that nations and civilisations are not 'imaginary homelands'. For him, like for K M Panikkar, western dominance was the outstanding reality for most of Asia. By ignoring that you might be getting your economics right, but you were getting your politics suicidally wrong.

Fanatics and Pragmatists

Fanatics and Pragmatists G P D The Chinese have been on a modesty trip for a long time. Their standard refrain has been that they want to learn from others. Now Yeltsin seems to have adopted that line. He was so impressed, during his recent trip to China, with the Chinese economic experiment, especially the prosperity of Shanghai, that he has declared that he wants to "study Shanghai's experience in more detail".

Restoration Tragedy, Russian Style

Restoration Tragedy, Russian Style G P D It is a tragedy that Russia is going back to the age of the Tsars. Some people in our country see in all this increasing 'democratisation'. Well, if that is so, then Russia is 'democratically' going back to Tsarism. Yeltsin is the new Tsar.

Last of the Revolutionaries

Last of the Revolutionaries G P D The name Ho Chi-minh does not any longer sound a contemporary name. It is a name from a bygone age, from another epoch.

India-China Ties without the Pakistani Entanglement

before inflicting a serious blow on the unity of the government and the Janata Dal and a much bigger blow on his own image as the tau of Jat politics, Devi Lal's threatened resignation gave Rajiv Gandhi an indefinite lease of life as president of the Congress(I). Those Con- gress(I) leaders who had been talking openly about finding a new party leader through organisational elections before the summer suddenly stopped in their tracks sniffing the air for even a slight scent of political power wafting back into the greedy clasp of the Congress(I). This was not the time to scuttle the leadership! Who but Rajiv Gandhi could take the party back to power so soon and in a dramatic way? Even as the chances of a serious inner-party crisis in the Janata Dal lingered, the Congress(I) stuck to its frozen posture waiting for the manner in which the political future of Chautala was determined. Would Devi Lal submit to the removal of his son from the chief ministership and thus let go the family business of politics? The Congress(I) did indeed miss the first chance, but must it not wait for the second?

Paranoia in Beijing

Paranoia in Beijing G P D The students asking for prime minister Li Peng's resignation was in all probability the main factor which caused the paranoia in Beijing. Deng and his comrades must have seen nightmares of the Cultural Revolution when the slogan was 'bombard the headquarters'.

E P Thompson and Eurocentrism

E P Thompson and 'Eurocentrism' G P D Any analysis of international politics which takes a supra-bloc and supra-ideology view is Eurocentric.
IN a recent issue of END Journal E P Thompson (EPT) has chosen to reply to what we wrote in these columns on (what even now appears to us to be) the 'Eurocentrism' of the END approach to peace. Normally we would not have bothered readers of EPW with what EPT has to say on our position had it not been for the case that he has warned "readers a journal with a distinguished record of socialist analysis

Keeping the Party in Command

February 28, 1987 of the House when it meets on February 12." held illegal, the Bihar government appears "In utter contempt of the Supreme bent upon perpetuating the "fraud on the Court's judgment delivered last month on Constitution once again'' re-promulgation of Ordinances which was Comment is superfluous.


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