a bimonthly publication of
the forum of indian leftists

Volume 1: Number 1                    May 1, 1997

In this Issue...
Disciplining the Mother Jude Fernando
Facilitating Genocide Niraj Pant
Gendered Boundaries Richa Nagar
Intervening Carefully Ashwini Tambe
Beauty Contest Debate K.Philip and P.Gopal
Debate: Politics of Resistance Shishir Jha
Foil Briefs


Ghadar arrives! Eight months in conceiving, one month in naming, and three in production. The baby weighs sixteen pages and is looking good!

You hold in your hands a journal slash newsletter slash rag that is born out of a need for the left to have a print medium for organizing and discussion. We, the "left," are diasporic Indians (and South Asians) in the US, and some in Europe, who have banded together under FOIL (Forum of Indian Leftists). FOIL's goals are to put forth into the mainstream the ideas of secularism, social justice, and equality.

Many of us felt a need for a medium where we could formulate our ideas and argue out our positions consistently. A publication with similar goals, but with a narrower readership, existed earlier, called Sanskriti. So, in response to the greater readership and the possibility of a larger editorialship, Sanskriti folded and Ghadar was conceived.

The choice of the name "Ghadar" deserves some mention. The hottest ever debate to burn up the flip-flop circuits ensued over the naming of the publication. FOILers jumped into the debate with alacrity. Suggestions, criticisms, and support jammed the mailboxes. Names such as "Red Brownie", "Samvaad", and "Counterfoil" poured in. "Ghadar" won by a reasonable margin in a vote. The name resonates with the historical, revolutionary, anti-imperialist Hindustan Ghadar Party (of the 1920s), that existed in India as well on this continent. Today, however, Ghadar has no relation whatsoever with the Canada based HGP.

In this inaugural issue of Ghadar, we take up the gender-capitalism nexus. Articles in this issue examine the linkages between patriarchal practices and the current conjuncture of global capitalism. Given the current climate of liberalization in South Asia, we focus on the relationship between the operations of neo-liberalism and the entrenchment of social and cultural practices that target and affect women. Jude Fernando examines the much celebrated micro-credit based women's empowerment projects of Bangladesh. Articles by Shishir Jha, Kavita Philip and Priya Gopal take up the prickly issue of the left in India appearing to stand in common with the right-wing Sangh Giroh while protesting the Miss World Contest in Bangalore. Niraj Pant writes analyzes the place of female educators/ideologues of the Hindu-right within the patriarchal, neo-liberal agenda. Ashwini Tambe offers a methodological treatise on how to read a bleeding-heart-western-liberal's (Friedman's) writing about Bombay prostitutes. Richa Nagar subjects traditional Marxian analysis of political economy to critical scrutiny in light of gender based experiences of structure and institutions in Tanzania.

So, there it is folks, hot off the fusing rollers of the photo-copiers, the very first issue of Ghadar. Enjoy!

This issue was put together by Sanjay Anand, Rahul De', Shubra Gururani, Bikku Kuruvilia, Biju Mathew, Niraj Pant, Gautam Premnath, Mir Ali Raza, Sharmila Rudrappa, Anitha, S. and Gautam Sethi. Address all correspondence to: Ghadar, c/o Mir Ali Raza, School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. Or by email to This publication is partially funded by readers like you.

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