We have been greatly anticipating our edition this week – themed Red for Revolution.
In the lead up to the Students’ Solidarity March last November, when slogans like ‘Jab lal lal lehraye ga’ and ‘Asia Surkh Hai’ reached the masses in every nook and corner of the country, many people had questions about the colour red, and the meaning of these slogans. It is tragic that such slogans appeared new and unfamiliar to the masses – and reveals how the sequence of history and the tradition of revolutionary struggle has been erased from the consciousness of the masses.
We were asked by everyone the meaning of these slogans, and we did explain that ‘Surkh’ is an essential and inevitable part of our struggle. We hope that the meaning and essence of our slogans is clear to the readers of TSH, especially after the Students Solidarity March. But it is important to mention and remember these slogans again, especially during these times when humanity is confronted with a great challenge.
‘Red’ has always been identified as the colour of revolution in history, but it was the struggle and sacrifice of the workers of Chicago which was immortalised in the colour red, which became a symbol of revolutionary struggle for emancipation from the clutches of capitalist oppression.
Red also signifies the colour of our blood, and reminds us of the oneness of humanity despite differences in gender, ethnicities, religions or nations. It is a call for a united struggle for liberation from all those structures that prevent us from realising our dreams.
Red is also a reminder that the world we see around us is built and sustained upon the labour of millions of working men and women who work in industries, workshops, farms, brick kilns and textiles, and so on. These are the people who have shed their blood, sweat and tears while constructing the world around us. Yet they are exploited and deprived of any true reward for their labour each and every day. Red is a reminder of the exploitation and struggle of the makers of this world to reclaim it.
Red signifies advancements, sacrifices and struggles made by the many, the masses, to end the tyranny of the few. And it applies not only to some specific struggle, but to all kinds of struggles that envision an emancipated human society; whether it be the anti-imperialist, anti-racial, anti-capitalist, anti-feudal, anti-patriarchal struggles, for they are eventually and essentially the same. Finally, red is the colour of love, the human society and the revolution we envision can never happen if love is not the essence of it.
The time in which our generation grew up has been an anti-revolutionary period in human history in which the onslaught of neoliberalism, imperialism, fascism and right wing authoritarianism, feudal and capitalist logic and religious fanaticism shaped our world and consciousness. Great philosophers of our times have been calling this period ‘The End of History.’ But it is never the case in human history, for it always progresses in the logic of dialectics, it can never cease to progress. After the revolutionary period of 1960s and 1970s, the victory of the capitalist world was what made these philosophers declare ‘the end of times’, but it was a battle lost, not the war. For as long as humanity exists, the contradictions will continue to intensify and the war between ideas and contradicting forces will continue. 1968, the red year, was the immediate past that we related ourselves with, and we did claim before the march that the voices of 68’ will echo again. These slogans that we raised were the powerful announcements that we are here to reclaim our history and heritage. Red is for the Revolution!
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