INSAF Bulletin [37]   May 1, 2005
Postal Address: Box 272, Westmount Stn., QC, Canada H3Z 2T2 (Tel. 514 346-9477)
(e-mail:; View the old bulletins)

                   Editors : Daya Varma (Montreal) & Vinod Mubayi (New York)   Produced by : South Asia center - CERAS
    Proof & Editing : Yumna Siddiqi (Middlebury)

May Day message from the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)
Towards a Unified Communist Party Congress! - Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi
LEFT: Needed a new poet - Jawed Naqvi
A Three Kings' January 6th 2005 Year of the Rooster Offering - Part 4 - Andre Gunder Frank

News Briefs
Harkishan Singh Surjeet’s memorable visit to Pakistan
Nepal update
Post-Godhra riots were a conspiracy: Narayanan

Obituary: Andre Gunder Frank (1929-2005)
Personal words of farewell by Maya Khankhoje, Montreal
A note to Gunder’s family by Shree Mulay, Montreal
A farewell note by Vinod Mubayi and Daya Varma
A note by Pat Manning, World History Network; sent by Sukla Sen


May Day message from the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) warmly greets the working people and trade unions all over the world on the occasion of May Day 2005, and conveys its international solidarity with the struggle for economic and social demands, for peace in the world ending all wars, occupation, threats, economic pressures, oppression and exploitation and to build a better life for all nations and peoples.

This May Day has special significance for the WFTU, its affiliates, friends and trade union movements the world over, as we are preparing for the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the WFTU on 3 October 2005 and the 15th Congress of the WFTU in Havana, Cuba from 1 to 4 November 2005.


Towards a Unified Communist Party Congress!
Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi

The Communist Party of India (CPI) held its 19th Congress at Chandigarh from March 29 to April 3, 2005. This was followed by the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) in Delhi. One can hope that the proximity of dates and the venue of the two congresses were not accidental. One can also hope that the issues which led to the split of CPI in 1964 into CPI and CPM are no more relevant; at least that is the conclusion one reaches by a perusal of the 1985 document “On CPI(M)-CPI Differences” by Harkishan Singh Surjeet, the outgoing General Secretary (GS) of CPM. Whatever has been the thinking of the leaders of the two parties on issues that have kept them apart, the mood at both of the recent Congresses was one of working together towards a common cause. The presence of GS Surjeet at the CPI Congress and the high respect shown to him by the GS of CPI, A.B. Bardhan, show that the differences between the leaders of the two parties have now become secondary.

When the split occurred in 1964, the principal point of disagreement of CPM with CPI was the CPI’s favorable attitude towards the Congress Party, which was then the hegemonic ruling political party, and all matters that related to this attitude. However, with the emergence of the Sangh Parivar as the principal obstacle to building a progressive, democratic and secular India, it is clear that a new look was required on the part of both parties. Indeed this was done at both the Chandigarh and Delhi Congresses. As expected, both Congresses acknowledged the significance of the danger posed by the Sangh Parivar. While both parties were critical of certain policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), both correctly felt the need for such a united front to prevent another period of disastrous rule by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

It is encouraging to see that both Party Congresses stressed the need for greater left unity. What is the dimension of this left unity? Why not one Left Party as the nucleus of a broader unity of all democratic, secular and anti-feudal forces?

It is not difficult to understand that the combined strength of the two separate communist parties is much less than what a single united party would have both in electoral battles and in mass mobilization. Indeed the combined strength of all organizationally separate left parties is also far less than what it would be if all or most who had departed from the parent organization were now to come together. The ultimate responsibility of the CPI and CPM is to the people of India. In the changed circumstances of today’s India, the people do not understand anymore why these parties are separate and they do not believe that two separate parties exist just because of some personality differences. So why not move towards one Congress of one party rather than separate Congresses of two parties.

Of course unity will have to be a process just as separation was. But once the new leadership of the two parties decides that it is in the best interests of India that they unite, it should not be too difficult for them to chart out a viable process for achieving unity. The Left Alternative cannot be conceived of as a perpetual opposition. It has to develop and implement a vision of coming to power at an all-India level. The broadest possible organizational unity and cohesion is a necessary first step for this to occur. Left Front with CPM as the main element has been in power for a long period in West Bengal and Tripura and alternates with Congress in Kerala. However, despite having pockets of influence, neither CPI nor CPM have been able to develop and grow in a significant manner in other states. Popular perception of the communist parties and cadres is generally that they live by and operate on certain principles and values unlike all other parties, including the BJP, that see politics mainly as a route to power and personal enrichment. Unity between CPI and CPM thus may provide a catalyst that allows this perception to be translated into a growth in popular mobilization, especially in the states belonging to the Hindi belt. India’s polity would benefit if the Left, sooner rather than later, emerges at the helm of its affairs.

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LEFT: Needed a new poet
Jawed Naqvi

There was a time up to the early 1960s, or just a little after that, when the Indian left, led by a resurgent united communist party - the Communist Party of India - would dream of a socialist revolution in Pakistan, which would then, as a few had hoped, trigger a ripple effect across India and elsewhere in South Asia. Although this was not written in any of the Communist Party resolutions, the belief was an article of faith nevertheless, the kind of stuff revolutionary lore is made of. There was camaraderie and poetry - mostly Urdu poetry, but also Bengali and Punjabi poetry - to work as a kind of ideological and cultural glue that bonded leftist intellectuals of a common hue across the subcontinent.

Communist poet Majrooh Sultanpuri's moving ghazal that rang through the streets of India about that time was penned to express solidarity with Pakistan's leftists who were then locked in a grim battle against the draconian military regime of Ayub Khan.

Jala ke mishal-i-jaan, hum junoon sifaat chale Jo ghar ko aag lagaaye hamaaray saath chale.
Sutoon-i-daar par rakhte chalo saron ke chiraagh Jahaan talak ye sitam ki siyaah raat chale.

Borrowed from Kabir, the peerless mystical-revolutionary poet of the 15th century India, the fiery verses and many others like them ignited the hearts and minds of millions. Exhorting the youth to selfless social commitment, the idea of family, home and hearth - today's me, mine and ours culture was frowned upon. On the political front the Indian left was not terribly enamoured of Jawaharlal Nehru and critiqued him and Gandhi alike. Nothing less than truly revolutionary fervour was accepted.

"Commonwealth ka daas hai Nehru, maar lo saathi jaane na paaye!" (Nehru is a slave of the Commonwealth. Let's give him the boot), echoed the slogan from the left at a meeting at Aligarh Muslim University which was to be attended by the Indian premier.

Compare this with today's tragic come down in which India is seen quibbling over Pakistan's mere membership of the Commonwealth and in which Pakistan looks forlorn and friendless when reprimanded by the same group or even shown the door. The "bourgeois" leaders of India and Pakistan, including those from the Bengali flank of Pakistan, were identified, rejected and targeted without fear or favour. Faiz Ahmed Faiz, never seen as merely a Pakistani poet, was a celebrity in Delhi, Lucknow, Bombay and Dhaka alike.

Then something happened with the Indian communists which was not entirely the doing of the parting of ways of China and the Soviet Union, which had in any case split the international communist movement into two. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and several variants of Maoist groups came out of the mother party to set up their own shops. At some point the CPI-M went ahead and apologized for its support in 1942 of the movement for Pakistan. The CPI, which was the mother party at the time but is now a junior partner in the CPI-M led Left Front, remained quiet on the issue. It has still not publicly recanted on supporting the idea of Pakistan.

It was obvious that rightwing nationalist fervour of the kind which the likes of Bharatiya Janata Party revel in was taking root in a big way and the left was not immune from its influence. In fact the left and the right had already begun to find common ground, first against Nehru and later Indira Gandhi's Congress. In 1967, they - the communists and the Jan Sangh, the forerunner of the BJP - came together in a proper, conscious, thought-through alliance in India's first experiment with coalition government. The Samyukta Vidhayak Dal coalition government that started with Uttar Pradesh in 1967 mutated again 10 years later when the Jana Sangh got its first chance to grab federal power, albeit through the back door, with the support of the CPI-M. This was the 1977 Janata Party experiment. Then in 1989, the CPI-M and the BJP came together to shore up the anti-Congress V.P. Singh government for as long as it could last. The point is that the revolutionary fervour of yore was giving way to what you would otherwise dismiss as bourgeois politicking, a kind of hobnobbing in the power arithmetic. And yet in a strange kind of way, the communists have abjured power.

To borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, they were offered the kingly crown thrice, which they thrice refused. At some point, as they got more and more involved in their state-level politics in West Bengal and Kerala, and also in their newfound zeal as national-level king-makers, the communist parties appeared to lose track of their brethren in the neighbourhood.

When the general secretaries of the two main communist parties began to embark on their first visit to Pakistan last week, which ought to be a landmark tour, there where whispered queries about the protocol in Pakistan. Should they meet President Pervez Musharraf, who they see as a military dictator? Which of the numerous communist and socialist parties, groups and individuals should they liaise with? For answer, they got an embarrassing message. There are communists in Pakistan, the Indian communists were told, who support Musharraf as a bulwark against rightwing religious groups. On the other hand, as irony has it, the rightwing groups are viciously anti-American and Musharraf, who is supposed to be fighting the mullahs, happens to have become a key ally of the Americans. Of course there are communists in Pakistan who oppose both the mullahs and Musharraf. Take your pick.

So what were the Indian communists to do? Nothing much really: they would do what they have been doing at home. After all they had all lined up to meet Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in New Delhi. They can't really quibble about a meeting Pakistan's head of state. What they need really is a new poet to pen the new reality. So what if there is no certainty that the poem would be accepted by their followers, much less sway them.

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A Three Kings' January 6th 2005 Year of the Rooster Offering - Part 4  [Part 1 Part 2 Part 3]
Meet Uncle Sam - without clothes - parading around China and the world. Observed From the Top of the Great Wall through the Eyes of the Innocent Little Boy.
Andre Gunder Frank (read Obituary)
[Part 4- The final part of the article by Late Professor Andre Gunder Frank, who died of cancer (neuroblastoma) in Luxemburg on April 23.]


Nonetheless, Uncle Sam has plenty other geo- political economic military plans going again. For starters, he has already built 800 military bases around the world and especially in the oil rich ''heartland'' of Zbigniew Brzezinski [Ziggy's] global ''Chessboard" and to surround China. The Pentagon is also to redeploy 60 percent of U.S. Submarine fleet to Western Pacific [according to a P. Jakob Förg December 12 e-mail] All that is for future use but also already present political influence. Apart from that, Uncle Sam President Bush has a new "Plan for the Middle East," which now stretches from Morocco beyond Pakistan - to Muslim Indonesia? Just what this plan involves is not yet clear, but civil society is already paving the way as well: Yale University Press already lists Pakistan among its "Middle Eastern" Studies, and Swissair has a paper place mat that places Karachi, Delhi and Mumbai on its ''Middle Eastern" destinations. What is clear is that Israel is to remain the Uncle Sam political and military stalking horse in the region that it has always been. Never mind whether Republicans or Democrats rule in Washington, Israel's hunting dog like role for Uncle Sam in its oil rich area of operation remains, and so does the security Israel in turn enjoys from Uncle Sam's international diplomatic, political and military protection no matter what, as well as Uncle Sam's direct economic and military support without which of Israel could not exist. Only now, Israel's assigned and self-appointed regional reach may expand even further as the two above mentioned high placed Pentagon neo-cons even went there to make a plan for the racist chauvinist Likud party now in power. And Bush himself went to Africa, especially West Africa to look at its oil.

In the Americas, his Plan "Colombia" [it has oil too] has been extended to the whole Andean region [Ecuador also exports oil], he has yet another plan for the Amazon [maybe some oil is to be found there and in the meantime he built a huge base there, allegedly for NASA which is not unknown to engage in military ventures], a plan to ''take care of " with World Bank help the world's largest underground deposit of sweet water under Iguazu Falls, where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet, and he is already again training 40,000 Latin American military personnel at a time on Uncle Sam bases at home, of which he has another half dozen beyond his shores as well.

Just recently Rummy went to Ecuador to meet with, lay out his plans for, and reportedly cajole, his counterpart assembled ''Defense" Ministers form all the Latin American countries. All this is a giant global military political economic foundation on which to maintain Uncle Sam's financial Ponzi Scheme Confidence Racket, and cheap at twice the price for those that end up with the $ as long as he can pay for it all with the self-made paper $ that so far also maintains the global Ponzi business. Well to be honest, it's not only for the $. After all that is only useful if you can actually buy something with it, especially the oil that keeps the foundation running. Not only does Uncle Sam have to buy ever more oil, today with self-printed $, but perhaps tomorrow with Euros or Yuan. He also has to try to make sure to have his hand on every spigot; so he can control who else can, and especially who can not buy it. So that is why we now find him attempting political and financial $ control of the oil spigots, wherever he still can, and for establishing a military presence as in Central Asia, or Uncle Sam-ing military power to go in as to Iraq. That is both to use it as a lever of control and/or to warn its neighbors what may happen to them if they fail to continue to play along with Uncle Sam. Fortunately for him, most of East Asia and especially China also seem to be obliged to buy foreign oil, even if tomorrow perhaps no longer with $ but with Yuan/Yen. On the other hand sad but true, the world's biggest seller of oil is Russia, whose spigots remain beyond Uncle Sam control. But how could Uncle Sam continue to pay for and maintain all these bold Uncle Sam ventures in Defense of Freedom with that self made paper $ -- if nobody accepts it any more? And why should anybody ?


The December 10 FT offers some additional tip of the iceberg examples of Uncle Sam Defense of Freedom in Iraq. Though poor Iraq sits on top of the world's largest still unexploited pool of ever more precious oil, it remains in the background or only at the bottom of this story that barely mentions it and, like the present essay, focuses instead on related $ and Uncle Sam. In two different reports, it relates how three helicopters flew 14 tons of $ 100 dollar bills in to the Kurds, who long since have been an Uncle Sam Fifth Column in the area. The money, much of the $ 1.8B Uncle Sam pay-off to the Kurds, was part of Iraq's earnings in the UN ''oil-for-food" fund. Initially, of course, the bills simply were the product of the self-same Uncle Sam printing press, for which Iraq had exported real oil. It did not come from the $ 18B that Uncle Sam's Congress appropriated for 'reconstruction' of Iraq. As an FT graph graphically shows, no more than $ 388 million - or 2.15 percent - of that Uncle Sam money had yet been spent, and only $ 5B of it had even been budgeted by Uncle Sam in Iraq by the time Uncle Sam pro-consul Brenner went home with a job well done. No, instead in his wisdom the Good Uncle had thought it best to have spent $13B of the $ 20B of Iraqi funds. That was 65 percent of the Iraqi money compared to the still only 2 percent of the nearly equivalent amount of original Uncle Sam money. By the time the new Iraqi government took over some tasks from Uncle Sam who put them there, they discovered that a full $ 20B of their funds had been spent, $ 11B from sales of oil [IHT]. How come? - we may ask. So simple is the answer of the ''responsible'' finance officer, Uncle Sam Admiral Oliver, "I know we spent some money from [the Iraqi] fund. It was purely the matter that we'd run out of Uncle Sam money" - of which there was only another $ 17.5+B unspent. We might wonder whether the good General was schooled in Clausewitz on war and happened to discover his good advice about making the conquered victim pay for his own military occupation, in this case by Uncle Sam.

The Iraqi representative on the funding disbursement and oversight committee attended only one of its 43 meetings; but why bather with more, when most expenditures were authorized without any meeting at all. So although Uncle Sam funds were budgeted for all sorts of projects, they were nonetheless paid out of Iraqi funds. Of these, many disbursements were even made without any contract whatsoever, in one case a mere $ 1.4B. Most others occurred without any multiple competitive, nor otherwise open bids. The Uncle Sam funds, on the other hand, remained virtually unspent in Iraq. Maybe Admiral Oliver had ''run out of Uncle Sam money" in Iraq, because it remained with Uncle Sam at home in Washington; and if disbursed at all, it simply changed hands and bank accounts right there. After all, that is much more efficient than it would be to send it back and forth, and a bit of it might not even get back. Moreover also, it has long since been SOP for the bulk of the $ that Uncle Sam lends or even "gives" "to" and ''for" all Third World countries, just to leave the $ at home where it belongs and would return to anyway. No matter; Uncle Sam Congress has already appropriated another $ 30B to ''prepare for transition to elections" in Iraq in January 2005.

All that being the case, it would of course be altogether undesirable for Iraqi, let alone Uncle Sam's, funds to be squandered on any Iraqi service of old foreign debt to others. So it was only logical to strong-arm ''allies'' who can't help already losing Uncle Sam debt to them, also to forgive the Iraqi debt. That is, as we may recall from above, while Uncle Sam still insists that the rest of the Third World must continue servicing their debts to him! For God forbid that any re-payment of Iraqi debt should go instead to those un-Godly Russians, traitorous Frenchmen or even to the Chinese best friend indeed, who most invested in Iraq, a dastardly thing to do in the first place, when Uncle Sam has much more worthy causes for the Iraqi money.

And what are these grander worthy Uncle Sam causes?, we may ask. The largest single payment of $ 1.4B was of course to the self-same Vice President Cheney's Halliburton. Yet we now know that at the same time it was also cheating even his generous Uncle Sam benefactor out of hundreds of millions more $ on the side, buying petrol for x $ in Kuwait and selling it in Iraq for 5 -10x $ and other sly frauds. Altogether, Halliburton got Iraq contracts for a cool $ 10B - plus change. [IHT]. [Cheney also has an interest in UNOCAL that has long wanted to build an oil pipe line from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean through Afghanistan, first with the help of Taliban whom Uncle Sam had put in charge there for precisely that purpose and then invited to Texas for talks while they still seemed to be doing their assigned job. Indeed, they also visited the purely Afghanistan ''academic research'' outfit at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. But alas, Taliban was not up to their assigned task of keeping order for the construction of the pipe line, and so had to go. Now Uncle Sam and UNOCAL will instead use the good offices of the new Afghani President and Uncle Sam Ambassador there, both of whom just ''happen'' to be former [?] UNOCAL people].


Without the shadow of a doubt, most of the other abundant Iraqi and so far sparse Uncle Sam $ that was spent in Iraq went to other Uncle Sam crony, with some crumbs off the table for UK, corporations and even to private and military individuals who have their fingers in the till. Alas, we will never know who they all are; since, as per Uncle Sam's Inspector-General, "I was, candidly, not interested in having army auditors because I thought we had to slide into the Iraqi system as quickly as possible." Frankly being both non and anti-military, I have not myself read Clausewitz. So I do not know what, if any, good advice he gives about relying on corruption as the first principle in cutting and dividing up the conquered pie.

All of the above ''speculation'' of mine was written before the UN International Advisory and Monitoring Board for Development in Iraq IAMBDI just issued a report on its findings about the Uncle Sam stewardship. Before we get to the Report, we should keep in mind that the FT observes diplomatically "the UN has been reluctant to take Uncle Sam to task publicly over its spending of Iraqi funds." The FT quotes directly from the Report: "There were control weaknesses . inadequate accounting systems, uneven application of agreed-upon contracting procedures and inadequate record keeping." The IHT also makes its own summary of the same report: "There had been widespread irregularities, including financial mismanagement, a failure to cut smuggling [outward of oil and other Iraqi physical property; nobody knows at what price and to whose benefit] and over dependence on no-bid contracts" [IHT]. The FT, for its part, offers a bit more specifics from the Report: "Of particular concern . were contracts with sometimes billions of dollars that were awarded to Uncle Sam companies such as Halliburton from Iraqi funds without competitive tender." Yesterday, Uncle Sam President Bush gave Uncle Sam's highest civilian award, The Medal of Freedom, to L. Paul Bremer III, the Uncle Sam civilian pro-consul who oversaw it all, and to General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion that made it all possible in the first place. George Tenet, the Director of the CIA that provided all the bogus Uncle Sam information to ''legitimatize'' the whole enterprise to begin with and who has since been discredited and forced to resign was not forgotten either and received the third award. The IHT published a ceremonial photograph of the three all smiles with George W. who was smiling too. After all it's due recognition for a job well done, thank youWe may rest assured that those who in their service to "Freedom" [for whom and what? we may ask].


We may rest assured that others who had hands in the till and trough were among those whom, we may recall, the Fed's Dr. Greenspan labeled as the upper 20 percent of Uncle Sam's income earners. They are the most privileged over-consumers, who are totally [ir]responsible for the Uncle Sam under-saving, he said, and also for the growing trade deficit about which the Dr. recently complained in Berlin. If we examine the Uncle Sam income distribution a bit further, we may well learn that among these 20 percent, the lion's share of this $, like most of that from the Pentagon, ends up in the pockets of the upper 2 percent most super-privileged, so they can over-consume still more of the fat of the earth. Who would deny them that this is surely a worthy cause for the protection of Freedom at any price. That includes President Bush's [in]famous invitation to the Iraqis ''let them come on" against Uncle Sam. It is difficult to understand the President when he encourages the Iraqis ''to come'' when they are already at home in Iraq and it is Uncle Sam who sent his troops there. But maybe Faluja explains what President Bush had in mind about the Iraqis ''coming'' our against Uncle Sam. But as Uncle Sam's President Bush himself told the world, it is only right that ''we'' exclude other countries from the trough and till in Iraq. After all he explained when the Iraqis accepted his invitation, it was ''our boys who put their lives on the line." I wish the personification of Uncle Sam had also explained for what and for whom.

The few numbers that are not generally available, or from the cited FT of December 10 and 15, 2004 and other sources like the International Herald Tribune [IHT] also of December 15 and EPW, Economic and Political Weekly,[ Mumbai Dec. 4,2004: 5189] are from "The Economics of Uncle Sam Imperialism at the turn of the 21st Century" by Gerard Dumenil & Dominique Levy in Review of International Political Economy 11/4/Oct. 2004:657-676. The author is thankful to them in Paris, to Jeffrey Sommers in Riga, William Engdahl in Frankfurt and Mark Weisbrot in Washington for their useful and much Uncle used comments. Barry Gills in Newcastle insisted that I refer only to Uncle Sam and proposed the world division of labor between Uncle Sam consumers and producers everywhere else and referred me to Clausewitz. Readers will be most grateful to Arlene Hohnstock for having rendered all this tale readable. Of course none of them have any responsibility for the doughnut shaped use I have made of them. Much more of my - through the eyes of that little boy - observations can be found on my web site at and in regard to Uncle Sam et al within it especially in the sections: and

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News Briefs

Harkishan Singh Surjeet’s memorable visit to Pakistan

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, Harkishan Singh Surjeet, and of the Communist Party of India, A.B. Bardhan, visited Pakistan in late February (Surjeet stepped down from his position on April 13 at the 18th CPM Party Congress and was replaced by Prakash Karat). For Surjeet, it must have been a trip down memory lane. In the pre-partition days, when Punjab used to extend from Gurgaon (now in Haryana but bordering Delhi) to Lahore, Surjeet used to cycle to Lahore from Jallandhar. Apart from participating in the activities there, he was a regular visitor to the Dwarkadas Library.

Surjeet was convicted at a tender age of 14 for hosting the tricolour atop the district courts at Hoshiarpur on the first anniversary of Bhagat Singh's martyrdom, (Note 1) and was sent to a reformatory school in Delhi. But he was too hot for the authorities to handle, motivating the inmates to join the freedom movement. It was then that the authorities decided to transfer him to Borstel Jail, near Lahore. And it was at the Borstel Jail that Surjeet came in contact with revolutionaries Tika Ram Sukhan, Inder Singh Gujaranwala and many of Bhagat Singh's colleagues. He was released from Borstel jail in 1934.

After the outbreak of the Second World War and the ban on the Communist Party, there was an arrest warrant against Surjeet. He went underground. One day after attending a meeting, he boarded the train from Amritsar to Lahore. By coincidence, Karam Singh Mann and Surjeet were traveling by the same train. Karam Singh Mann was being trailed from Amritsar. Unaware of the presence of Mann, Surjeet got out of the train at Bhagbanpura Railway station. Mann too got down at the same station. The police took Mann into custody. After a while they got suspicious of Surjeet and caught him too. But they were unable to establish his identity for three full days. It was only after going through the papers collected from Mann's possession that they realised that they had landed a big catch.

Surjeet was then sent to the Red Fort at Lahore where he was subjected to immense torture. He was put under solitary confinement in a dark cell, No. 3, where he was unable to see light for days together. He was kept in this dark chamber for three months. Even the basic necessities and amenities were denied. Conditions were so harsh that Surjeet became frail, his hair was full of lice, and he contracted an eye ailment.

One day an Irish medical officer insisted on meeting Surjeet and refused to sign papers testifying to his well being without examining him. It was because of his insistence that Surjeet was relieved of further torture. The doctor ordered that Surjeet be shifted to hospital immediately. Later on he was treated and shifted to Montgomery jail, which again is situated in today's Pakistan part of Punjab. A few days later he was shifted to the Deoli concentration camp (Note 2) communist detainees like, B T Ranadive, S A Dange, Soli Batliwala, Patkar etc. were kept. (Based on an article by Muralidharan in Political Magazine , March 1, 2005).

Note 1: Bhagat Singh was lodged during the Second Lahore Conspiracy Case (1929-31) in Camp Jail, for hoisting a bomb in the Parliament, which did not hurt any body and was not intended to hurt any body). He was hanged along with Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23, 1931 by the British authorities. Nothing now remains of this jail except a wall; even the gate from where the British slyly took out the bodies of these martyrs has been demolished. This jail was once so big that the jailer used to go from one to another part in a horse-drawn coach. Now, in place of the jail, there stands a sprawling residential colony called Shadman. (Ed.)

Note 2: Communist prisoner in Deoli jail were the first to advocate support for the People’s war and British war efforts in 1941 after the Soviet Union was attacked by Hitler. The under ground party outside the jail then led by PC Joshi had a different position. A few months later, Deoli jail communists and the underground party leadership outside the jail arrived at the same conclusion and supported the people’s War. The ban on the Communist Party was lifted. It is speculated that a note from the British Communist Party was allowed by the British authorities to reach Deoli jail communists. (Ed.)

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Nepal Update

General Strike: According to an Associated Press report dated March 31, 2005, the general strike call given by Nepal Maoist to protest the king's seizure of power shut down businesses and schools across eastern Nepal. This call was 2 days ahead of an 11-day nationwide strike planned by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists).

More activists detained: According to a Nepal news bulletin of March 31, more than two-dozen Nepali Congress (NC) activists were arrested during pro-democracy demonstrations. Police also arrested about a dozen women activists associated with the Nepal Women’s Association affiliated with NC. Nine protesters from NC were arrested in Chitwan district and seven in Parsa district. In addition, police arrested another 120 people for defying a protest ban imposed by the King.

Nationwide Protest: Nepal's main political parties held nationwide protests on April 8 to mark the 15th anniversary of mass pro-democracy demonstrations that ended autocratic rule by Nepal's kings.

Military aid suspended: Britain and India have suspended military aid to Nepal. US has not stopped military aid and Pakistan is considering providing military assistance to the King.

Many groups support the General Strike: The call of the 11-day general strike starting April 2 has been supported by many organizations. Also Janadhikar Suraksha Samiti, an organization of Nepalese people staying in India, held a support demonstration in New Delhi on the 6th of April.

Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) office raided: Plainclothesmen vandalized the office of the Party Headquarters at Balkhu in Kathmandu on April 25 soon after the funeral procession of Sadhana Adhikari, the wife of the late leader Man Mohan Adhikari. The CPN (UML) was mourning the death of Sadhana Adhikari, herself a rising leader, at the Party Headquarters. Her dead body was kept inside the Party premises so that people could pay homage to her. Different party leaders and activists from different political parties were present to pay solemn tribute to her. This act of brutality has been condemned by all the major political parties. April 26, Press report by J. N. Khanal, Acting General Secretary of CPN (UML)(

Montreal Public meeting on Nepal

CERAS and Forum for People’s Democracy in Nepal will be hosting a public meeting on Sunday May 15 at 11.a.m. at 3720 Park Ave. The meeting will be addressed by journalist and political scientist Dr. Chitra Tiwari. All are welcome.

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Post-Godhra riots were a conspiracy: Narayanan

According to a Times of India (April 26, 2005) report, former President K R Narayanan confirmed to the Nanavati-Shah Commission that he had talked about a definite "conspiracy" between the Centre and the state government in perpetuating the riots in Gujarat in 2002. Narayanan also confirmed that the contents of his interview published in a Malayalam magazine, indicting the Vajpayee government for inaction, were correct. These revelations could lead to the deposition by the former President before the Nanavati-Shah Commission, especially now that the expanded terms of reference deal with the role of the chief minister and the Gujarat administration.

Narayanan had stated in this interview published last month that there was governmental and administrative support for the communal riots in Gujarat, in that the Centre did not give powers to the military to shoot. The ex-President had said, "I gave several letters to Prime Minister Vajpayee in this regard on this issue. I met him personally and talked to him directly. But Vajpayee did not do anything effective. I requested him to send the Army to Gujarat and suppress the riots. The Centre had the constitutional responsibility and powers to send the military if the state governments asked. The military was sent, but they were not given powers to shoot. If the military was given powers to shoot at the perpetrators of violence, recurrence of the tragedies in Gujarat could have been avoided. However, both the state and Central governments did not do so."

According to him, "had the military been given powers to shoot, the carnage in Gujarat could have been avoided to a great extent. I feel there was a conspiracy involving the state and Central governments behind the Gujarat riots," a vital disclosure.

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Obituary - Andre Gunder Frank (1929-2005)

Personal words of farewell by Maya Khankhoje, Montreal

Andre “Gunder” Frank, one of the foremost economists of the 20th Century, passed away on 23rd April 2005 in his home in Luxembourg, leaving behind him 1000 publications translated into 30 languages, including 43 book titles in 140 different language editions and more than 160 printings, 169 chapters in 145 books and around 400 articles published in 600 issues of periodicals and newspapers, both academic as well as popular. But it is not for his prolific writings alone that he shall be remembered. The scholar, Gunder Frank, shall remained etched in our collective memory for doing what he loved doing best: turning paradigms upside down, displacing the centre to the periphery, making us turn our eyes towards the South and Re/Orienting our thinking away from a Eurocentric world. Gunder –nicknamed after a famous long-distance runner- the man, shall be remembered for his courageous personal and professional stance in anti-imperialist struggles.

Andreas Frank was born on 24 February 1929 in Berlin to German-Jewish parents who in 1933 were forced to flee to Switzerland with Hitler’s rise to power. It is in this multilingual country that Frank started what he called his odyssey which later led him to become an “itinerant medieval scholar” making the rounds of centres of learning, accumulating academic honours and plaudits and then becoming unemployed or underemployed “always for the same reason – insubordination” to an unjust establishment whose authority he refused to recognize.

Frank’s academic accomplishments defy compression into a few words, but it would be fair to say that “Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America” (1969) and “ReOrient” (1998) are the distillation of a lifetime devoted to hard and lucid thinking. In the former, Frank challenged the tendencies of classical Marxist theories for their failure to explain underdevelopment in the periphery. In the latter, a book characterized by many as “brave” , Frank shattered Delphi’s Eurocentric claim as the omphalos of the world to place it squarely in the Middle Kingdom of China in the 19th Century.

In spite of his American and French doctorates, Frank always credited his true education to his hitchhiking adventures throughout the breadth and length of the United States in his youth, a period in which he worked at different trades and acquired an understanding of the world. In 1962 he started his Latin American period when he began teaching anthropological theory in Brasilia. He also went on to teach in Mexico and Montreal. In 1968, another pivotal year in world history, he became Professor of sociology and economics in Santiago, Chile. There he met Marta Fuentes, his first wife, with whom he struggled to build a new Chile under Allende. After the military coup of 1973, he and his family fled to Europe, where Frank taught at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. Ironically, the very country whose passport he carried all his life would refuse him permanent employment, so he was forced to travel wherever universities would invite him: England, Holland, Canada, United States, Italy and finally Luxembourg, where he was close to his sons Miguel and Paul and their wives and children. There, Alison Candela, his third wife, valiantly nursed him till the very end of his long and painful battle with cancer.

Andre “Gunder” Frank has stopped running, but the world will go on, hopefully a better one, as Gunder would have wanted. He shall be remembered and cherished, not in a 1000 publications, but in a thousand hearts and minds.

A note to Gunder’s family by Shree Mulay, Montreal

Dear Allison, Paul, Miguel, Veronique:
I got the news about Gunder’s passing from Maya. I have tried calling both at Miguel’s place and at Gunder’s and I have not been able to get through.

Although the news is not unexpected, I am very saddened by it. I do not have the words to describe what Gunder and Marta (his first wife, mother of Paul and Miguel, who too died of Cancer-ed.) meant to me.

We did not meet frequently, but both Gunder and Marta were very important to me and to my development. I know that Gunder was able to keep going because of the care that Allison gave-no holds barred. I know his prolonged struggle with cancer made life difficult for all of you but he managed to keep going and his writing continued to be incisive and undoubtedly, when someone writes his biography and earns a PhD for it, they will record that he had enormous influence on hundreds and thousands of people around the world.

I am glad to have known Gunder and as a result all of you. I am particularly glad that I was able to visit in January and spend a couple of days with all of you. He was tired and weak but every bit interested in what I was doing and that was so special about him; unlike other well-known people, who are known for their intellectual prowess, he took genuine interest in what others did and made an effort to connect them to the people who he thought would be helpful.

Having all his family close to him must have been a great solace because that was one thing Gunder longed for; being in the bosom of his family. In the coming days, you will have his friends writing to you from all over the world so I am hoping to get through before the deluge.

All my love to you all and Lucas, Saskia and Laure (Gunder’s grandchildren. ed.).
In sympathy, Shree

Editorial Note by Vinod Mubayi and Daya Varma

A towering figure in the progressive academic and political circles of the 20th century, Andres Gunder Frank passed away last Saturday, April 23rd, after a long struggle with cancer. Gunder was a model of the engaged intellectual, sincere, honest, and passionately involved. His writings on the political economy of Latin America are very well known along with writings on imperialism generally. Gunder came to India in 1973 along with Harry Magdoff, the editor of Monthly Review. This was at a time when he was based in Chile and his visit was just prior to the fascist coup by Pinochet with U.S. support that overthrew the democratically elected Allende regime. His lucid analysis of the situation in Chile helped many Indian leftists to acquire some knowledge of the events unfolding there. He will be sorely missed.

INSAF Bulletin had the privilege of reproducing one of the latest articles of Gunder " A Three Kings' January 6th 2005 Year of the Rooster Offering MEET UNCLE SAM - WITHOUT CLOTHES - PARADING AROUND CHINA AND THE WORLD: Observed From the Top of the Great Wall through the Eyes of the Innocent Little Boy.

On behalf of the INSAF Bulletin as well as our personal behalf, we wish to convey to you all our deep felt sympathies.

A note by Pat Manning, World History Network; sent by Sukla Sen

Andre Gunder Frank died peacefully at 8:30 a.m. on April 23, 2005 in Luxembourg, in the presence of his loved ones, after a long and brave struggle against cancer and its complications. He was a brilliant and highly productive analyst of political economy and related social sciences who produced fundamental insights on global social interactions, from the 1950s until his death, and whose analysis was always connected to campaigns for social justice. He was a founding figure in the current expansion of studies in world history, and his 1998 book, ReOrient, won the World History Association's book prize.

He is survived by his wife, Alison Candela, who gave him loving and essential care in his last years, by his sons Paul and Miguel Frank, and by their families. His remains will be cremated at a small ceremony on April 26, and his ashes will be placed next to the remains of his first wife, Marta Fuentes, in Amsterdam. He was born in Germany in 1929, spent his formative years in Switzerland, and moved to the United States in 1941. He did his undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College and his doctoral work in economics at the University of Chicago, in 1957. In 1962 he moved to Latin America, soon married Marta Fuentes, and worked with her in studies of political economy and social justice; they and their children escaped Chile at the time of the Pinochet coup in 1973. Thereafter he worked in Europe, including over ten years at the University of Amsterdam. From 1994 he lived and worked in the U.S.; he and Alison Candela met in Florida in 2000 and later married in Boston in 2003.

He had already gained wide attention for his economic analyses when his 1966 article in Monthly Review, "The Development of Underdevelopment," coined an essential phrase and an interactive historical analysis of dependency in economic growth. In the course of 34 books, 350 articles, and 130 book chapters (with numerous translations in 25 languages), his analysis of world affairs evolved steadily, always ahead of the current consensus. His biography and publication list is online.

While his work had world-historical implications from the first, it was in his last fifteen years that it became explicitly world-historical, in The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (co-edited with Barry Gills, 1993); The Centrality of Central Asia (1992); and ReOrient: Asian Economy in the Global Age (1998). At his death, he was near to completing a sequel to ReOrient, a volume on the fundamental changes of the world economy in the nineteenth century. It is expected that his colleagues will prepare this work for publication.

Gunder Frank was an extraordinary individual, able to sustain an immense international network of friends and associates, and able to carry on an energetic campaign of original and critical scholarship though he never gained strong institutional support for his work. He was blunt in academic debate, brilliant in his linkage of history and theory, extraordinary as a phrasemaker, and warm and caring to a fault in his personal relations. All those who knew him will have specific memories of his contribution to their lives.

For myself, I want to express gratitude for his friendship and advice, and for his decade of association with the World History Center and his contribution to the studies of a dozen doctoral students in world history at Northeastern. (email addresses:;;

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