By PTUDC Baluchistan
Amid extreme state oppression, violence and state-sponsored terrorism prevalent these days in Balochistan, on Friday afternoon 13th October, 2017, The Struggle Publications and PTUDC organized a book inauguration ceremony of the recently published Urdu translation of Leon Trotsky’s masterpiece “History of the Russian Revolution” at Balochi Academy in Quetta, the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The chief guest of this ceremony was Lal Khan, the editor of Asian Marxist Review. The ceremony was attended by a large number of participants from all walks of life i.e. students, trade unions, political parties, literary societies, women, youth etc. The hall was fully packed.
The ceremony was chaired by Ali Raza Mongol. He gave a brief introduction of the book and talked about the importance of this publication at this particular time. He was followed by Nazar Mengal, the Central Chairman of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign. He said the publication of this book was of utmost importance for the revolutionaries in Pakistan. Today’s Pakistan bears many similarities to the Tzarist Russia of 1917. This book is not only an account of the events which unfolded during the Russian revolution of 1917 but also a deep analysis of the socioeconomic conditions of the colonial countries including Russia. We must learn from the experiences of the Bolsheviks who led the successful overthrow of the Tzarist empire and established the first workers’ state in the world. After him, comrade Zafar recited a revolutionary poem which charged the whole atmosphere.
Shakila Baloch talked about the role of working-class women in the Russian revolution of 1917. The revolution was actually ignited by a strike of working-class women on International Woman’s day on March 1917. Habib Mengal congratulated the Struggle publications for the publication of Urdu version of Leon Trotsky’s book. Saeed Kurd of Balochistan National Party also spoke on the importance of the book and shared his experiences of the struggle for socialism during his student life. Manzoor Baloch, the general secretary of Merck Employees Union, stressed the role of working class in a revolution.
Editor of Asian Marxist Review, Lal Khan was the last speaker. Lal Khan said that this was not merely a history book. It is an account of that historical event in thousands of years of history of mankind which proved that human society can be managed and run without parasitic landlords, capitalists, profiteers and bureaucrats. It is a treasure house of experiences. Above all this book shows how the Bolshevik Party and Lenin devised a policy on the national question in Russia. Lenin described the Russian empire as the prison house of oppressed nationalities. The Bolsheviks wholeheartedly supported the right of nations to self-determination including the right to secede and form their own nation-state. But at the same time, they also fought vigorously against all kinds of bourgeois nationalism and struggled for a larger voluntary socialist federation of different nationalities. Lal Khan compared the Tzarist national oppression to the national oppression in Pakistan. The struggle in Balochistan against national oppression has always been an inspiration to us. The British imperialists carved up the South Asian subcontinent and drew artificial borders to divide the indigenous population along religious lines. He said any successful socialist revolution in Pakistan would wipe out these artificial borders and lay the foundation for a voluntary socialist federation of the South Asian subcontinent.
During Lal Khan’s speech, there was pin-drop silence in the hall and the audience listened to every single word he spoke. It made them so enthusiastic that at the end of the ceremony the whole stock of Urdu edition of the book was sold out.