Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tariq Ali on the assault on Mumbai

Why should it be such a surprise if the perpetrators are themselves Indian Muslims? Its hardly a secret that there has been much anger within the poorest sections of the Muslim community against the systematic discrimination and acts of violence carried out against them of which the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in shining Gujarat was only the most blatant and the most investigated episode, supported by the Chief Minister of the State and the local state apparatuses.

Add to this the continuing sore of Kashmir which has for decades been treated as a colony by Indian troops with random arrests, torture and rape of Kashmiris an everyday occurrence. Conditions have been much worse than in Tibet, but have aroused little sympathy in the West where the defense of human rights is heavily instrumentalised.

Indian intelligence outfits are well aware of all this and they should not encourage the fantasies of their political leaders. Its best to come out and accept that there are severe problems inside the country. A billion Indians: 80 percent Hindus and 14 percent Muslims. A very large minority that cannot be ethnically cleansed without provoking a wider conflict.

None of this justifies terrorism, but it should, at the very least, force India’s rulers to direct their gaze on their own country and the conditions that prevail. Economic disparities are profound. The absurd notion that the trickle-down effects of global capitalism would solve most problems can now be seen for what it always was: a fig leaf to conceal new modes of exploitation.

Full article here. See also here and here.
Edited to add: Good article by Priyamvada Gopal
Edited to add: Arundhati Roy on Mumbai

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At 1:05 pm, Blogger Gajendra said...

And yet it seems that the perpetrators all came from outwith India.

Tariq Ali is a bit like a spliff, nice in small doses but inhale too much and it makes you question your sanity.

There's a better article by Siddhartha Deb in today's Guardian. That really hits the nail on the head in terms of the reporting of what happened in Bombay, and how there is an effort to forget and push on the margins those that don't fit with an image of 'India Shining'.

At 2:10 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

True Gajendra... this weeks SW also has extensive coverage...


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