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Maia Ramnath and the Search for a Decolonised Antiauthoritarian Marxism

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A Review of Haj to Utopia and Decolonizing Anarchism by Maia Ramnath

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In her two books, Maia Ramnath attempts to construct an antiauthoritarian/anarchist anti-colonialist politics through an analysis of India’s freedom struggle. Ramnath reconstructs a history of Indian anti-colonial movements from an anarchist perspective, while seeking to locate forgotten possibilities such as the ‘libertarian Marxism’ of the Ghadar party and its successors. Haj to Utopia is an important addition to the literature on early communism in India inasmuch as it allows us to revisit said history in India in a renewed and critical manner. On the other hand, Decolonizing Anarchism is an ambitious book that seeks to unearth an antiauthoritarian account of India’s struggle for independence, but falls far short of its intended goal because of Ramnath’s inattentiveness to the implications of Hindu revivalism on caste and gender in India. Thus, she reproduces many of the characteristics of mainstream nationalist narratives.

Affiliations: 1: York Centre for Asian Research, York University Toronto dhruvj@gmail.com

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1. Basu Pradip Towards Naxalbari (1953–1967): An Account of Inner-Party Ideological Struggle 2000 Calcutta Progressive Publishers
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10. Roy Arundhati Ambedkar B.R."‘The Doctor and the Saint’" Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition 2014 New Delhi Navayana
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/content/journals/10.1163/1569206x-12301270
2017-08-03
2017-11-23

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