After that publication, as the next step Moscow published in 1959 an English edition of a collection of the articles by Marx and Engels under the title On Colonialism. In this official publication as many as 13 articles from the NYDT on 1857 Revolt were included with Marx and Engels as their authors.
Again, the publishers of this anthology didn'tbother to explain how the authorship of these unsigned articles was determined. The publishers? note simply says, ?When a national revolt against British rule broke out in India in 1857, Marx and Engels came out with a series of articles in the NYDT. Some of these articles have also been included in this collection.? It further says, ?The articles from the NYDT are reproduced in this collection in accordance with the newspaper texts… Articles which appeared in the NYDT without a heading have been supplied titles by the Institute of Marxism Leninism (IML) of the CC of CPSU. In all cases where the NYDT editors inserted their own passages into the text of Marx and Engels articles, these were deleted since they do not belong to the authors.?
On what basis did the editors identify the interpolated passages? Did they have the original texts written by Marx and Engels with them? If so, where was the need of reproducing the article. ?in accordance with the newspaper texts?? No Marxist intellectual cared to raise such questions. So the process of ?discovery? galloped further.
In 1959, a separate collection of Marx and Engel'swritings on India was published from Moscow in Russian, and was immediately followed by an English edition under the attractive title The First Indian War of Independence, 1857-59. While the earlier title, On Colonialism, carried only 13 articles on 1857 from the NYDT, this number in this new publication got inflated to 28 articles published in the NYDT between July 15, 1857 and October 1, 1858. In addition to these articles, six letters exchanged between Marx and Engels are also included in this anthology. Here also the publishers? note asserts, ?Certain sentences inserted by the editors of the daily Tribune and obvious misprints have been eliminated.? How was it done? No answer. Interestingly, this book gives the date of publication of every article in the NYDT as well as the date on which that article was written by Marx or Engels in England e.g. the article published on July 15, 1857 was written on June 30, the one published on August 4, 1857 was written on July 17, 1857. Obviously, it was easy to get the date of publication from the NYDT files but from where did they find the dates of the writing of the articles?
The process of discovery did not stop here. In 1968, Shlomo Avineri, a communist of Jew origin, edited and published in America, a new anthology under the title, Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernization (Doubleday and Company, New York 1968). He added two more unsigned articles from the NYDT (dated April 5 and 26, 1858) to the list of articles attributed to Marx. Avineri claims in his preface, ?All the material included in this volume has been printed accordingly to the photostats of Marx'soriginal articles as published.? (p. ii) Did he have the photostats of Marx'soriginal articles or did he strictly follow the text printed in the NYDT? We leave it to be discussed later.
As a next step in this journey of ?discovery? we need to consider a recent publication Karl Marx on India edited by Iqbal Hussain of Aligarh Muslim University and financed by the ICHR with a hefty publication grant of Rs. 75,000 received by Prof. Irfan Habib himself. It carries an introduction by Irfan Habib which is a 23-year-old article titled ?Marx'sPerception of India? first published in the inaugural issue of the CPM journal The Marxist in the year 1983. This book also carries an appreciation by Prabhat Patnaik, a prominent CPM intellectual.
Its copyright is with Aligarh Historians Society, a creation of Irfan Habib and is published by Tulika Books Delhi, 2006, a commercial venture run by the same nexus. Its high price of Rs 495 in the light of a liberal grant of Rs 75,000 from the ICHR, is clearly incongruous. What a curious mix of ideology and commercialism! According to the Editor, Iqbal Hussain, ?Prof. Irfan Habib suggested the project and has vetted the entire final text. The Indo-US Education Foundation (with the collaboration of the UGC) made possible a trip to the US in 1990 and so enabled me to use the NYDT files.? (Karl Marx and India, Acknowledgement, p. xi). In preparing this compilation, the editor has made use of the latest enlarged edition of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels (Moscow 1975-2005). In the appendices, (pp. 235-253) he reproduces four new unsigned articles published in the NYDT as leading articles?one in 1853 and three in 1857-58. Though the editor seems to have suppressed his temptation of attributing them also to Marx, who knows about the future? This only suggests that there still remains much unsigned material on the 1857 Revolt published in the NYDT waiting to be appropriated by future communist spin masters. What a leap forward from one article in 1953, to nine in 1957, to 13 in 1959, to 28 in 1960, to 30 in 1969 and to 34 in 2006 and possibly to many more in the coming years.
…..(To be continued)