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After the collapse of the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the East European communist bloc, capitalism abandoned its liberal programmes worldwide, and this brought about three-fourths of the worlds population at the mercy of the blind and ruthless forces of the market. In India too, the wave of liberalization under a new economic policy, which had been agreed upon and promoted by both the big political parties, i.e. Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, put untold pressures, uncertainties and hardships on the toiling masses. Welfare schemes and subsidies to goods and services provided by the state were slowly withdrawn and the representative class of finance capital took a reactionary posture in political and social life. In India, the crisis at grass-roots' levels has led to a historical unity among trade unions affiliated with different political parties, and there is hope that they may join hands in the struggle for better living conditions. Against this backdrop, this book, which is an outcome of a national seminar, tries to understand and analyse the conditions of the working class people in India. Various dimensions of working class peoples life and politics have been deliberated here. Also, an attempt has been made to present a working class perspective on various economic and social issues of contemporary Indian society.
In India, there has been a resurgence of interest, among radical intellectuals and activists, in the socio-political philosophy of the revolutionary named Bhagat Singh, especially in the post-globalization period, with concerns of neo-imperialist and capitalist forces causing misery to marginalized social segments as well as weaker nations. Peasant suicides in various areas of India, the growing economic disparity between the rich and the poor, the widening gap of wealth between rural and urban regions, the accelerating agitations of poor farmers against capitalist exploitation, and hegemonic military intervention of the US in other countries especially in the Middle East and Central Asia, in the name of fighting 'global terror' necessitate revisiting the anti-imperialistic and anti-capitalist radical socio-political ideology of Bhagat Singh, a great immortal martyr of Indian sub-continent. It is against this backdrop that Rethinking Radicalism in Indian Society, which is an outcome of a national seminar, re-examines the life, works, and philosophy of Bhagat Singh. The book also discusses the revolutionary contribution and vision of Bhagat Singh that interfaces with other streams of Indian national movements with the objective of initiating appropriate measures for building a truly representative democratic society in India.
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