Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir


All it took was four heavily armed terrorists. The rest of the script played out like an old tired farce. Seventeen Indian army personnel were killed. In light of the ongoing unrest in the Kashmir Valley, the dogs of war strained to be let out. Irresponsible statements by certain motivated politicians and the leisure class demanded war.


The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena demanded that all Pakistani artistes exit Bollywood, backing it with ugly threats. The President of the Board of Control of Cricket in India ruled out any possibility of cricket matches between the two nations. This was classic RSS tactics, ratchet up the tensions, and use a conflagration to produce a geopolitical crisis.


Peace activists responded vigorously with calls for calm and unity, and counseling against a rush to judgment. Such calls have unfortunately been losing their effectiveness and valence over time, as right-wing actions become more vigorous and sophisticated. This trend is unfortunately true across the world. What is broadly defined as “left” activism has steadily been marginalized over time. In an effort to mobilize discussion about this phenomenon, we include in this bulletin an article on the future of the left. The article locates the decline of left activism in some significant shifts in work and work-related identities. Perhaps we have heard these arguments before (including in The Prison Notebooks, where Antonio Gramsci pondered about how Italian society moved to fascism instead of socialism in the 1920s and 30s). One thing remains clear: the dispossessed and their allies do not have the option of not struggling. For those with means who also have a conscience the alternative is too depressing to concede to. For those without, there is simply no alternative.

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