KARACHI, Nov 1: A book titled ‘Genealogy of the Post-Colonial State in India and Pakistan’ by Tariq Amin-Khan was launched at T2F on Thursday evening.
The author is associate professor in the department of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, Toronto.
Talking about the genesis of the book Tariq Amin-Khan said it began as a PhD project which got shelved for a certain period. He resumed working on it and after three reviews (and some additions and subtractions) the book saw the light of day. The edition that was being launched had a different title from the original version. He said it was the distinguished scholar Hamza Alavi who began to analyse the post-capitalist state in the 1970s. He had written a critical piece in response to Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas theories which did not properly see the issue outside the western world. Hamza Alvi came up with the term peripheral capitalism mentioning that all states that got colonised became peripheral capitalist. This he (Amin-Khan) questioned.
Mr Amin-Khan said he wrote the book from a political economy and social history perspective, because political economy was about power, how it’s exercised and how it’s asserted. He said the colonial powers in Latin America were different from those in Asia and Africa because they weren’t essentially capitalist. They were there for God, gold and glory and wanted to proselytise the people, whereas the North European powers wanted to extract surplus (as they did in the West Indies through slaves). He said the issue of ethnicity and religion was rooted in colonisation, because the colonial powers in Asia and Africa ruled the regions by bringing people into conflict over these issues. He argued the voiceless Baloch and Sindhis in Pakistan were an example of it as the state was not sensitive to them.
He then touched on different chapters in the book and read out two excerpts from his book, one on India and the other on Pakistan.
Earlier, Masood A. Naqvi and Latif Chaudhry gave their impressions of the book and its author. Asma Mundrawala hosted the event.—Peerzada Salman