Social Scientist. v 15, no. 173 (Oct 1987) p. 1.


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Editorial Note

THE EMERGENCE of capitalism in Western Europe was associated with a forcible knitting together of the regions of the globe in a network of trade relationships, and with tremendous changes in the production structure. To bring about these changes in the production structure at a global level, capitalism moved vast masses of population from one corner of the globe into another.Indeed, shifts of large masses of population are a crucial element in the history of capitalism down to this day, though the means used to bring about such shifts may have varied over time, from the slave-trade, to the indenture system, to a mere reliance on the pull of the market. Capitalism thus brought together, especially within the colonial setting, uprooted peoples of diverse ethnic origins, and indeed made use of this very diversity as a lever for perpetuating their subjugation. And even after formal decolonisation, the post-colonial societies, victims simultaneously of both capitalist industrialisation as well as of the inadequacy of it, have been torn by racial and ethnic tensions which fracture any coherent class-consciousness and keep these societies entrapped within a vicious status quo.

The plight of the overseas Indians in this context is the object of investigation in the lead article by Prakash Jain in the current number of Social Scientist. The author critically examines alternative approaches to the race relations situations of overseas Indians, in particular the so-called "pluralist" and middleman-minority" theories; he rejects both in favour of a class-approach whose merit lies in locating the problem within the wider setting of capitalism and colonialism. His specific discussion of the race relations situations of overseas Indians on this basis should be of interest to readers.

K.C. Surfs paper draws attention to yet another aspect of the complexity of a colonial situation. The agrarian revolution, there is no gainsaying the fact, constitutes the pivot of the national revolutionary struggle. The task before the revolutionaries has always been to carry forward the anti-colonial struggle towards a socialist denouement via the agrarian revolution, while the bourgeois leadership in the national struggle has always made strenuous efforts to delink the question of the agrarian revolution from the anti-colonial struggle. This basic difference, deriving in turn from the lateness of the arrival of the bourgeoisie in colonial countries on the his-storical scene, shows itself in the emergence of distinct agrarian programmes and strategies in the course of the anti-colonial struggle; and this is clearly evident in the Indian case too. To be sure, the bourgeoisie, in order to garner the support of the rural poor, often is forced to promise in it^



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