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
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.
Romila Thappar is Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been General President of the Indian History Congress. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and holds honorary doctorates from Universities of Calcutta, Oxford and Chicago, among others. She is an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and SOAS, London. In 2008 she was awarded the prestigious Kluge Prize of the Library of Congress, USA.
Bilal Zahoor studied Chemical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, but didn’t let his academic training hinder his passion for establishing an independent publishing house in Pakistan. An avid reader of local and foreign progressive literature and a freelance editor and writer, Bilal believes that his reading, writing and editing experiences could be best converged only in the form of a publishing platform. He founded Folio Books in 2017 and is currently the Editorial Director of the publishing house while also playing Creative Head and Editor-in-Chief.
Sahar Shafqat is Professor in the Department of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she focuses on political parties, social and political movements, democratization, ethnic conflict and nationalism, and gender and sexuality studies. Sahar received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Economics and International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. Sahar has previously taught at Southwestern University in Texas, and at Habib University in Karachi. Sahar has published articles in academic journals like Law and Social Inquiry and Asian Survey, and in publications like Express Tribune and Baltimore Sun, and has done media appearances on outlets such as Al Jazeera and Democracy Now.