Tag Archives: Nepal

‘This is no rah-rah revolt’

‘This is no rah-rah revolt’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, April 25, 2006

Nepalese have lost their fear of repression and are making a genuine, old-fashioned revolution

There is something refreshingly old-fashioned taking place in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal: a genuine revolution. In recognition of this, the US has told citizens except for “essential diplomats” to leave the country, usually a good sign. Since April 6, Nepal has been paralysed by a general strike called by the political parties and backed by Maoist guerrillas. Hundreds of thousands are out on the streets—several have been shot dead and more than 200 wounded. A curfew is in force and the army has been given shoot-to-kill orders.

But the people have lost their fear and it is this that makes them invincible. If a single platoon refuses to obey orders, the Bastille will fall and the palace will be stormed. Another crowned head will fall very soon. A caretaker government will organise free elections to a constituent assembly, and this will determine the future shape of the country. read more

From the archive

  • A Review of The Book of Saladin

    November 11, 2008

    The Book of Saladin reviewed by Vinod Joseph in Epic India, November 11, 2008

    In The Book Of Saladin, Tariq Ali goes back a few centuries from his first book, Shadows Of The Pomegranate Tree. This second novel in Tariq Ali’s Islam Quintet is set in the 12th Century and is narrated by Ibn Yakub, a Jewish scribe retained by Saladin to pen his memoirs.

    As the name suggests, The Book Of Saladin revolves around Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty and the Sultan of Egypt and Syria. As most people know, Saladin’s biggest achievement was the recapture of Jerusalem from the Crusaders and its defense against subsequent invasions. Tariq Ali has done an excellent job in portraying Saladin’s character. Saladin is not your average, run-of-the-mill brave King who dashes off into danger  …

  • The Leopard and the Fox

    January 1, 2007

    Published by Seagull, 2007

    The BBC commissioned Tariq Ali to write a three-part TV series on the circumstances leading to the overthrow, trial and execution of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. As rehearsals were about to begin, the BBC hierarchy—under pressure from the Foreign Office—decided to cancel the project. Why? General Zia ul Haq, the dictator at the time, was leading the jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He was backed by the USA. According to expert legal opinion, there was a possibility of a whole range of defamation suits from the head of state to judges involved in the case. In consequence, it was decided not to broadcast this hard-hitting and provocative play. The Leopard and the Fox presents both the script and the story of censorship.

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  • “World in Crisis,” Part 2 Broadcast

    December 2, 2011

    On December 6, 2-3 PM EST, Alternative Radio will be broadcastingPart Two of “World in Crisis,” a special two-part program and interview with Tariq Ali.

    On December 17, 2010 Muhammad Bouazizi, a street vendor in a small town in Tunisia, burned himself to death. He was protesting harassment and mistreatment by state authorities. His death fueled a revolt in Tunisia which toppled the Ben Ali dictatorship. The spark spread to Egypt and within weeks the decades old Mubarak regime was overthrown. The so-called Arab Spring rocked the entrenched old order. Those revolutionary currents have stirred the waters elsewhere. The economic collapse is shaking things up in the U.S. Witness the Occupy Wall Street movement. Americans, fed up and struggling to make ends meet, watch their military bomb and occupy countries from Pakistan to Yemen, are taking to the streets. Citizens are challenging and questioning the status quo. Are we on the edge of genuine change in the structure  …