P. Sainath

The Unforgettable Poor

Submitted by admin on Sat, 02/10/2018 - 13:37
Prashad with Abahali baseMjondolo (People of the Shacks) movement in Durban



Dear Friends,

In 1969, the Honduran poet Roberto Sosa published a book called Los Pobres. The title poem is haunting. It opens,

The poor are many
and so—
impossible to forget.

The poor are also impossible to forget because they lead their struggles for emancipation from the injustice of our social order.

Last week, I spent a little time with Abahali baseMjondolo (People of the Shacks) movement based in Durban (South Africa). They gave me a full sense of their philosophy of 'living politics'. It allowed me to better understand their movement, which I had read about thanks to the work of

History's Good and Bad Side - from Jerusalem to Theog

Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/21/2017 - 22:51


Dear Friends,

The girl in the picture is Amal. Ten days or so ago, I signed a letter with a hundred other artists and writers to Donald Trump against his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The letter carried this picture. Amal saw this picture. She wrote us letter, which I posted on my blog. I recommend it. Amal, like 'Ahd Tamimi (age 17 from Nabi Saleh in Palestine's West Bank) and Fawzi Al-Junaidi (age 14 from Hebron) are the new frontline fighters for justice for the Palestinian people. There will be no end to this resistance. As the UN put it in 1960, the

Socialist Writing, Kurdish Futures

Submitted by admin on Thu, 10/05/2017 - 15:51
Socialist Writing Workshops


Dear Friends,

Thanks to Sudhanva Deshpande, I've been doing a series of socialist writing workshops across India - from Delhi, at Studio Safdar (see above), to Bengaluru to Mumbai to Chennai to Kolkata. Next year, we hope to take our LeftWord Books caravan on the road across Kerala and perhaps to Hyderabad.

After last summer's set of workshops, Mark Nowak of the Worker Writers School in New York interviewed me about the 'essentials of socialist writing', which was published in Jacobin magazine. After this summer's workshops, Mark wondered if we should continue our discussion. There was a

Unemployment, Social Contract, Modi in Israel

Submitted by admin on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 23:48
Antonio Berni


Dear Friends,

Traveling from one side of the Mediterranean Sea back to the other - from Spain to Morocco and back - provides a vivid appreciation of the way the histories of these countries are intertwined. Not merely during the time of the Nasrid sultans of Andalusia, but also during the Spanish occupation of Morocco and during the military coup led by Franco in 1936 that began in Spanish occupied Morocco and came northward to inaugurate the Spanish Civil War. Even so now, when unemployment racks both sides of the sea - from Barcelona to Fez. That is the heart of the story which I am

Human Wall

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Thu, 12/29/2016 - 20:11
Human chain in Kerala to protest notes ban


<Human Wall> Across Kerala, organised by the Left, people formed a human chain to protest the ridiculous demonetarization policy of the Government of India. To learn more about the policy from a granular level, visit the website of the People's Archive of Rural India - where you can read a shocking essay by Sainath (https://ruralindiaonline.org/articles/bpl-xi-theyre-mobile-their-money-isnt/Rahul (https://ruralindiaonline.org/articles/staying-half-hungry-due-to-the-demonetisation-drought/). In the new PD, there is a very good write-up of the study of the impact of demonetarization in Kerala

Farmers on the March & Palestine

Submitted by admin on Thu, 11/03/2016 - 05:17
Farmers on the March


Dear Friends,

As you read this, across India, hundreds of thousand of kisans (farmers) are on the march - walking from the ends of the country to converge on 24 November in Delhi. They have many grievances, but one purpose: to get their voices heard towards a shift in policy. At our LeftWord Books blog, I have a short post that tries to lay out the farmers' agenda. You can read it here. In time, we at LeftWord Books, hope to publish a Kisan Reader - with essays on the struggles of Indian farmers from the 1940s to the present. Keep an eye out for it. The picture above is from the start of

Colombia, Afghanistan

Submitted by admin on Thu, 10/06/2016 - 02:25
Street art in Bogota
Street art in Bogota


Dear Friends,

The referendum in Colombia on the peace deal failed by a very narrow margin. My report - derivative of the mood in the country - appeared yesterday in The Hindu. The takeaway is in the last paragraph,

  • Gloom prevails across the country. If the vote had gone the other way, Colombia might have shown the world that even intractable civil wars can come to an end. It would have been a message to Syria and to the Congo, a message of the power of negotiation towards a new civic compact. But this did not come to pass. Even as President Santos and the FARC


Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/22/2016 - 09:53
With P. Sainath, Vijay Prashad


Dear Friends,

A special offering: a report on a walk through Bombay's journalism history with P. Sainath. During our LeftWord Books Bombay tour, our team (Sudhanva Deshpande, Suvendu Mallick and I) encouraged Sainath - one of India's finest reporters - to give us a tour of his Blitz Days. He agreed.

We began at Kitab Khana, one of Bombay's fine bookstores and ended at the office of the People's Archive of Rural India. It was a magical trip.

I've heard these Blitz stories for years, but never thought to write them down. So this time, with the benefit of having gone to the old Blitz building