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
Mariam Mufti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She studies the politics of hybrid regimes, with a particular focus on the role of the military, political parties, and identity in the processes of recruitment and selection of the political elite in Pakistan. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Comparative Politics, Politics and Governance and Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. Apart from academic research, she has considerable policy-relevant consultancy experience, having authored monographs on democratic development, political parties and religious extremism for The Asia Foundation, Centre for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) and Department for International Development (DFID). Dr. Mufti has written over 25 articles for widely-read international newspapers, magazines and blogs on politics in South Asia. In keeping with her interest in undemocratic, hybrid regimes, she has also appeared in a 6-part series The Dictator’s Playbook on PBS (released in 2018).
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.
Fahmida Riaz was a progressive Pakistani Urdu poet, writer, and translator. Born in 1946 in Meerut and educated in Hyderabad (Sindh) and London, she was a prominent voice in the feminist struggle in Pakistan. During the Zia era, she was charged with sedition and forced to go into exile. She is the author of many collections of poetry. Three volumes of her novels and collection of short stories, apart from the Urdu translation of selected verses from Shaikh Ayaz and the Iranian poet, Farough Farrakhzad have also been published. She also translated in rhyme a selection of ghazals from Divan-e-Shams Tabriz into Urdu, titled Khaan-e-aab-o-gil. She died on November 21, 2018 after battling a long illness.
Amit Basole is Associate Professor of Economics at Azim Premji University, Bangalore where he also heads the Centre for Sustainable Employment. He is the lead author of State of Working India, a periodic report on India’s labour market. Urdu poetry as well as history and architecture of the Indian subcontinent are his passions.