[Reader-list] Anti Imperial Struggles - a sceptical response

Jo and Tarun jotarun at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Oct 4 23:05:04 IST 2001

Anti Imperialist Struggles - a sceptical response

I was little worried about my mail about the Workers' Solidarity leaflet. I was ready to be cast aside by comrades as another 'right deviationist' or an apologist for America. So, I put in as many qualifications I could possibly insert. But Shuddhabrata Sengupta's comments came as a relief (although I could see a similar attempt at groping through a maze of qualifications). So some further ramblings, or what else can I do- away from Delhi - a place of petitions and nomenclatures.

In the spectacle of terror and intended counter-terror, where do we stand, we with our banners of anti war, peace, US deserved it? Sometimes I think our banners are like those last stories in a TV news programmes called soft stories (my TV past catches me), they exist to justify their irrelevance, because at no point they radically rupture the overwhelming presence and logic of Hard-core political stories. They are there to act like conscience of the corporate greed. 

Similarly, we (I am sure of exceptions) with our radical postures and slogans are just the conscience (i am sure we are) of the politics as usual. Our attempt is to steer the spectacle in a direction which we consider correct. Show that the dissent exists, show that every story has two sides. But two sides of a coin is after all, only a unity of the coin.' Spectacle' of Imperialism and its anti-imperialist counter are usually two sides of the same coin of Nationalism. (See Shuddhabrata's mail). 

Let me give site an example from the part of the world I live in. North east India has always been at the forefront of Anti Indian Imperialist struggles. One of the most common sites here is Gun toting Indian state militia. You can't escape them. Their behaviour smacks of all the nightmarish humanrightviolation stuff. But then the resistance to this big brother is not all that exciting and freedom loving. Dress codes, musical taste arbitration, whom you can love, whom you can't and all the familiar anti-imperialist chauvinisms. What should I oppose and what should I defend? It is not as easy as a Democratic right pamphlet on semi-colonial, semi-feudal Indian state behaviour. Should I just make a choice between little and big nationalism, greater and lesser evil. Sometimes I feel a radical quietism is the best alternative (see the appending of the term radical). 

The choice after 11/9/2001 is no longer red & white (as if it ever was), maybe we are being forced to consider some other colour, say black & red. 

Tarun Bhartiya

splitENDS media co-op

(these comments are of Tarun in Jo & Tarun )

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