Ali Raza is a historian specializing in the history of modern South Asia. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and was a research fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. His research and teaching interests include the social and intellectual history of South Asia, comparative colonialisms, decolonization and post-colonial theory. Raza’s work has appeared in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies; Itinerario; South Asian History and Culture; and Contemporary South Asia. He is also the co-editor of The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds, and World Views, 1917-39 (Sage, 2014) and the author of Revolutionary Pasts: Communist Internationalism in Colonial India. (Cambridge, 2020; Folio, 2020)
Communist Internationalism in Colonial India
by Ali Raza
In this engaging and innovative history of the communist movement in colonial India, Ali Raza reveals the lives, geographies and anti-colonial struggles of Indian revolutionaries and how they sought to remake the world. Driven by the utopian visions of Communist Internationalism, Indian revolutionaries yearned and struggled for a global upheaval that would overthrow European imperialisms and radically transform India and the world. In an age marked by political upheavals, intellectual ferment, collapsing empires and global conflicts, Indian revolutionaries stood alongside countless others in the colonised world and beyond in their desire to usher in a future liberated from colonialism and capitalism. Drawing from a wealth of archival materials, Raza demonstrates how Communist Internationalism was a crucial project in the struggle for national liberation and inaugurates a new approach to the global history of communism and decolonisation.
“Written with great flair, and refreshingly nonpartisan, Revolutionary Pasts will shift the paradigms of studying the Left in South Asia. Ali Raza embraces and acknowledges the complexity and dissonance he encounters in his archive, unpacking its agendas and offering them up to the reader with astute analysis, restoring race to histories of leftist activism.”
-Kama Maclean – University of New South Wales, Sydney
“Ali Raza captures the utopian imaginaries and the global itineraries that shaped Indian Communism, and brought Marx to the subcontinent in this beautifully written, meticulously researched book. His is a signal contribution to global intellectual history and to studies of Left thought and praxis.”
-Anupama Rao – Columbia University, New York
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: January 22, 2021
Rights: South Asia excluding India
Anjum Altaf a South Asian living in Lahore, is the author of Transgressions: Poems Inspired by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Aakar Books Delhi 2019, Liberty Books Karachi 2020, Kindle 2021. He obtained a MA and PhD from Stanford University and was Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Harris Khalique is a leading Urdu and English language poet. He is also an essayist and columnist. During the 1980s and 1990s, some of his poems faced censorship in Pakistan. Anthologised and published internationally, he is translated into several languages and his poetry is composed to music and dance. Khalique is a University of Iowa Honorary Fellow in Writing and has spoken and written widely on themes straddling literature, politics, history and human rights. He is the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance – one of the highest civilian honours in Pakistan – and the UBL Literary Excellence Award.
Niloufer Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York in the Department of Political Science. Niloufer completed her PhD in Political Science at Yale University in 2017. Her book project examines why political parties engage in violence and the variation in violence strategies that they employ. Other research interests include political behavior, the politics of religion and ethnicity, electoral dynamics in developing or transitioning democracies, and voters and foreign policy. Siddiqui previously worked at the International Crisis Group (ICG) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Islamabad and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York. She has an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in English from Haverford College.
Sherry Rehman is the Founding Chair and serving President of the Jinnah Institute and the Vice-President of Pakistan People’s Party. She is a fourth-term parliamentarian, diplomat, journalist and civil society activist who has received Pakistan’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-lmtiaz. Rehman has served as the Leader of Opposition in Senate, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States and Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting. She has received several awards including the title of Democracy’s Hero; The Freedom Award for her work for media independence; the International Peace Award for Democrats; and the Jeanne Kirkpatrick Award for Women. Identified as one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2011 by Foreign Policy magazine, she was cover-titled by Newsweek Pakistan as “Pakistan’s Most Important Woman”.