Tag Archives: identity politics

Save the left from left scholars

I have just returned from an atrocious talk delivered by a famous Nepal expert, David Seddon, who claims to belong to the ‘old British Marxist tradition of Eric Hobsbawm and E P Thompson’.

So this Mr Seddon is well known in Nepal for a book he wrote three decades back – Nepal in Crisis. More recently, he got along with a local activist to edit a book on the People’s War.

Now, Seddon sahib comes here. He tells a Nepali audience how he is worried about the rising violence and the ‘law and order’ problem. He links the violence with identity – “people feel they have a legitimate basis to pick arms and throw stones because they belong to a caste and ethnic group.” He tells the audience, many of whom have struggled for long to bring some change in the exclusionary Nepali state structure, that ‘identity politics is profoundly undemocratic and federalism is not necessary.” And here is the clincher, “When your constituent assembly members adopted a federal democratic republic, I am sure they were thinking only about the republic part. No one really thought about the federal part.” Continue reading Save the left from left scholars