fter nearly two years of dormancy, Ghadar is back. With a change in the editorial collective and a new look to the website, the collective returns with the hope of a renewed sense of urgency. In this issue we reaffirm the mission of Ghadar as a forum for Left debate and dialogue through reports on political activism on the ground in South Asia and the diaspora.
The new editorial collective came together, as is almost always the case, through a mixture of pragmatism and serendipity. During Fall 2003, yet another discussion on the prospect of a name change on the FOIL list - one that would exchange the 'Indian' in FOIL for something that better represented the breadth of our membership and the scope of our activities - spurred the resuscitation of Ghadar. During the debate several veteran FOIL-ers voiced the reservation that while a change in name was important for FOIL to resolve, another more important issue was how to reactivate the several FOIL projects that were languishing for various reasons. This conversation - which ultimately resulted in the switch to FOIL as the Forum of Inquilabi Leftists - fired many of us up to take on the projects in question. One of these was Ghadar.
A couple of us (the Toor siblings) independently expressed interest to members of the last collective. Meanwhile, Urbana-Champaign's FOILer population had recently hit critical mass, and the combined result of all these events was the consolidation of a new collective. In an effort to get Ghadar off the ground as soon as possible, we ran with our ideas and the fact of our concentration in Champ-bana (plus the Toor on the Left Coast). None of us were part of any of the previous collectives, but former editors of Ghadar were more than forthcoming with advice, support and valuable council. For that we are truly thankful and remain in awe of the work done before us by these dedicated and wonderful people.
In this issue we have emphasized reportage from those active in social movements, in South Asia as well as within the US. For us, this is the logical outcome of the debates over what 'FOIL' should stand for in the desire to move beyond the 'Indian' both as identity and politics. This change in name also reflects a need to think in comparative-thematic terms. In this vein we are looking to share, as well as debate, the role of the Left in South Asia and the diaspora through an understanding and analysis of social and political movements. Our 'modest' goal (and we feel the Left should not shy from thinking big) is to provide a space where Left networks can exchange ideas, where we can produce a certain 'synergy' through shared ideas and plans, and reinvigorate our analytic and political capacities. Needless to say, this is a collective enterprise.