It is interesting that though Marxism was born in Europe, it has found its most enduring habitat in the Global South, but this has meant very little in terms of its overall theoretical formation and structure. Thinking about this encounter of ‘Marxism’ and the ‘Global South’ – the continents of Africa, Asia and Latin America – is a daunting task for the sheer range of experiences and questions it has thrown up. It has thrown up fundamentally new concerns as well as produced, in practice, some of the most grotesque outcomes. But the task is also daunting because despite the range of experiences that Marxism has gone through and has put us through, it has not so far given us any serious body of theoretical knowledge that reflects this experience. It has not given us anything like the way, say, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese and Sinhala Buddhism have produced their own versions of Buddhist philosophy. One could also perhaps say the same thing about Christianity in Europe, where – at least up to a point – its philosophy was elaborated and innovated or transformed by the best minds of their time.
It has been for about 13 months I am living in Bangalore, India. I am here to study masters. India to me, as it is, is incredible. I feel as if I am at home. People here are friendly. My teachers and colleagues are just great. I have to confess that for a student that is his first time to leave his home for such a long time, certainly, will face many difficulties, but no difficulties have hurt me as much as a question of Indian people ‘where are you from?’
I am from Iraq, but Iraq is not my country. I cannot speak Arabic which is the official language the country. Luckily three more Iraqi people are with me who have helped me to manage my Arabic. My culture is different from Arabs. I don’t want to look like a nationalist, because I am telling the truth. I am a Kurd! My mother tongue is Kurdish. My homeland is Kurdistan.
So, who are the Kurds?
Kurds are the original inhabitants of Middle East. They are the biggest stateless nation around the world that they are still struggling for freedom and independence. They have been forgotten by the world.
Yes, Kurds are a forgotten nation of 40 million populations. In India, few people know who Kurds are. I am really surprised when some Indians ‘love’ Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president. Saddam has killed more than 300,000 Kurds. He used poisoned gas against Kurds and killed 5000 Kurds in only one hour in Halabja, which is known as Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s sister! He mass murdered more than 182,000 Kurds in Anfal (Genocide) operations. The Anfal case is going to be an international case. Sweden Parliament has just decided to recognize it as a genocide act against humanity. In UK, Kurdish people have started a huge campaign to make pressures on UK parliament to recognize as Genocide. Continue reading Kurdistan, a Forgotten Nation of 40 Million People: Kamal Chomani→
The hectic discussion over the Kashmir meeting in Delhi in October entitled ‘Azadi – The Only Way’ has made it urgent to revisit the debate between Lenin and Luxemburg on the right of nations to self-determination. Lenin, starting from his experience in imperialist Russia, insisted on the right of nations like the Ukraine to self-determination (in the sense of their right to form separate states), contending that denial of this right would merely strengthen Great Russian nationalism. In a colonial situation, Lenin was surely right. When a country is under foreign occupation, all sections other than a very small number of collaborators want to be free of the occupiers, even if there are sharp differences between these sections. A striking example is RAWA (the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) which, despite speaking for a section of the population which is sorely oppressed by the Taliban, and continuing to fight against it, nonetheless shares with the latter the goal of ending the occupation by US and NATO forces. In such situations, the right of an occupied nation to self-determination makes sense.