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).
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 Associate Professor of English specialising in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Dayton. Her research and teaching emerge from her intersecting interests in global, gender and environmental issues and include South Asian literature and culture, environmental justice and ecofeminist theory. Rahman’s work has appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, ariel: A Review of International English Literature, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental Communication, and Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. She is also the guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of South Asian Review titled “The Environment of South Asia” and the author of Place and Postcolonial Ecofeminism: Pakistani Women’s Literary and Cinematic Fictions (University of Nebraska Press, 2019; Folio Books, 2021).
Razi Azmi has lived in six countries across five continents and has visited many more, making a total of ninety-six. He has studied at universities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, getting his PhD in modern history from Miami University, Ohio. An academic affiliated with Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad (Pakistan), he has also taught at universities in the US and Morocco. Finally settling down in Australia, he retired after many years of service with the government there. In retirement, he travels as often as possible. When not travelling, he works part-time as a translator and interpreter in five languages. Dr Azmi is the author of two books, dozens of research papers and hundreds of newspaper articles. He is married with two sons and four grandchildren.