Tithi Bhattacharya is a professor of South Asian History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford University Press, 2005) and a long time activist for Palestinian justice. She writes extensively on Marxist theory, gender, and the politics of Islamophobia. Her work has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia Research, Electronic Intifada, Jacobin, Salon.com and the New Left Review. She is on the editorial board of Studies on Asia and the International Socialist Review.
In 1990, I watched the Polish film maker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blind Chance (1981/1987) without registering the paralyzing potential of a particular scene.
The protagonist, Witek, meets an old Communist by chance on a train. As a result of that meeting Witek decides to join the Communist Party. Later, again by sheer chance, he runs into an ex-partner, also his first love. A beautiful, tender and fierce sex scene follows. In the calm of the after, Witek, almost absentmindedly, whistles the Internationale. His partner murmurs something approvingly. And then Witek says ‘How would you like it if I sang this everyday?’ The young woman recoils. She knows he has joined ‘The Party’. She leaves the room and his life.More
The Colonial, Postcolonial and the Politics of Anti-Imperialism: An Interview with Tithi Bhattacharya
Tithi Bhattacharya interviewed by George Souvlis
The ascent of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India has brought to light the dark underbelly of Indian society - often seen in Europe and North America as a beacon of democracy and hope for the Global South. Modi, in many ways, shows the strong continuity between the strategies of the British colonial rulers of India and the Indian post-colonial elites in their respective forms of social domination. In this interview with Tithi Bhattacharya, professor of South Asian History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University, she discusses Modi's upper caste, majoritarian violence; the nature of the postcolonial India state; her work on the bhadralok class; gender violence and social reproduction; and Palestinian solidarity and the BDS movement.More