Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir


The 5th of May 2018 was the 200th birth anniversary of Karl Marx. Marx’s ideas have reverberated across the world, including South Asia. In this issue, we include a tribute to Marx by Vijay Prashad as well as a history of a few communist parties in South Asia, notably Bangladesh and Pakistan.


However, the forces of capitalism have lately begun to run rampant in the region. One marker of the entry of late capitalism in the Indian economy is the recent consolidation of the economy through massive mergers and acquisitions. Walmart bought the Indian e-retailer Flipkart for an astonishing $13bn, while Amazon is investing billions of dollars into its expansion in India. The emergent duopoly will consolidate the bourgeois class at the expense of the petty-bourgeois, the same “useful idiots” who constitute Modi’s base. Like in the US, the strongman in power will mollify the “base” by fascistic culture talk, merging religion and nationalism, while taking actions to protect the donor class who bankroll his election. The Modi government completed four sorry years this May, and we include an assessment of the damage done, as well as an analysis of the Karnataka elections, where the BJP’s attempts at naked horse-trading finally came to naught.


We also include a sobering report that charts the emergence of multinational edu-businesses in Hyderabad, India. The report reminds us about how capitalist accumulation has begun to rely upon the “business of education,” which again contributes to the mask of retraining and human resource development, but functions to immiserize the aspiring lower middle class.

Finally, the progressives lost a stalwart in Ashok Mitra in May. We include an obituary of a life well-lived. Go in peace, comrade.

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