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ISLAMABAD: The first ever Urdu translation of Leon Trotsky’s The History of the Russian Revolution was launched at the National Press Club on Sunday.

Speaking at the launch, which was organised by the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), columnist Dr Lal Khan said the Russian Revolution had changed the fate of labourers, farmers and those living in poverty and given them the opportunity to change their lives.

He said Pakistan needed a similar revolution.

Trotsky was one of the leaders of the 1917 revolution, and was exiled and later assassinated in 1940.

He wrote The History of the Russian Revolution while in exile in 1930, and the book was translated to English by Max Eastman two years later.

The Urdu translation, which was written by Imran Kamyana, is the first time the book has been translated to any South Asian language.

Dr Khan said the people of Pakistan are facing the same problems as the people of Russia.

“A socialist revolution can bring change in the country and liberate the poor class from the capitalist system,” he said.

Farzana Bari from the Awami Workers Party said a number of laws were passed awarding rights to women in the first 10 years after the revolution, which addressed many of their issues.

Mr Kamyana, the translator, spoke to participants about the role Trotsky played in the revolution.

“I suggest everyone, especially the youth, read the book because it will guide them and give them basic information about getting the rights and bringing the change in society,” he said.

Writer Ashfaq Saleem Mirza said that translating the book into Urdu was a great service for the people of Pakistan.

“More literature regarding the Russian Revolution should be translated into Urdu, because only that is how people will be able to learn about how nations are built and how they can progress,” he said.

PTUDC organiser Zafarullah said at the Russian Revolution was the legacy of the working class and labourers. “Currently, there is a need for Marxist ideology, because only that is how labour will get rights,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2017