10 September 2020 — Tricontinental
Sunil Janah, Mallu Swarajayam and other members of an armed squad during the Telangana armed struggle, 1946-1951.
Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.
When news of the revolution in the Tsar’s empire filtered into British-dominated India in 1917-1918, the reception was universal: if they could overthrow the Tsar, then we can overthrow the British Raj. But the temperature had risen beyond merely the removal of the British; the barometric pressure had increased in the direction of a social revolution. A liberal newspaper in Bombay wrote, ‘The fact is Bolshevism is not the invention of Lenin or any man. It is the inexorable product of the economic system which dooms the millions to a life of ill-requited toil in order that a few thousands may revel in luxury’. That economic system – capitalism – had created great wealth but it could not improve the condition of the billions of people who produced that wealth.