Today marks the 60th anniversary of Indian independence from British rule. In reality, the partition of India in 1947 cut through the living body of whole communities, leading to untold death and misery. This was all part of the tried and tested method of “divide and rule” and behind it lay the interests of privileged ruling elites, not those of the poor masses.

In this first article Jamil Iqbal outlines Marx’s analysis of how British imperialism, by introducing capitalist methods, broke down the old Asiatic mode of production and with it the old type of social structures. The British capitalists did this simply to facilitate the exploitation of Indian resources and labour, but by so doing also prepared the ground for the modern struggle against British imperialism.

On March 14 up to 100 peasants in Nandigram, West Bengal, were brutally massacred by the police as they protested against land-grabbing operations. The leaders of the CPI-M in the local government have justified this action as part of their so-called “development model”. The contradictions between the leaders of the Indian communist movement and the millions of workers who support them are posed here sharply.

There is a lot of hype in the media about India’s booming economy. The truth is that this affects a small minority of the 1.2 billion population. Some 300 million Indians survive on less than $1 a day. In this situation there is revolutionary ferment taking place that will shake India to its foundation.

It is not easy to be a saint, and least of all in the sinful world of the 21st century - or so one might think. But this opinion is definitely not shared by Pope John Paul II. In fact, he has already manufactured no fewer than 474 of them during his stint at the Vatican. So there can be no complaints about his level of productivity. He has become an enthusiastic market leader in the saint-manufacturing business.

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