Publisher: AK Press
Released: April 9, 2019
M.P.T. Acharya (1887–1954) was a contemporary and critic of Mohandas Gandhi during the Indian Independence Movement. A lifetime of anticolonial struggle led him to embrace anarchism and he saw tremendous revolutionary potential the practice of nonviolent direct action. A transnational figure, Acharya engaged in anticolonial activism across India, Europe, the United States, and Russia. He was also a prolific writer for publications across the globe, penning essays that are testimony to a tireless agitator and intellectual seeking to develop a radical, internationalist idea of national liberation. Acharya’s work demonstrates the global reach of anarchism in the interwar period and gives us a more complete and nuanced understanding of Indian anticolonial struggles.
Praise for We Are Anarchists
“Ole Birk Laursen has done us a valuable service in tracking down and collecting the work of M.P.T. Acharya, scattered across countries, decades, and publications, and not least placing this work in well-researched context.… This is a treasure chest that will enrich our picture of both global anarchist and South Asian radical history.”
—Maia Ramnath, author of Decolonizing Anarchism: An Antiauthoritarian History of India's Liberation Struggle
“With this collection of writings—many made available in English for the first time—Ole Birk Laursen recovers the extraordinary life and writings of M.P.T. Acharya, perhaps India’s most important but least remembered anarchist activist and theoretician.... Anyone interested in anticolonial struggles past or present should read this book.”
—Kenyon Zimmer, author of Immigrants against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America
“This fascinating and rich collection of essays by M.P.T. Acharya significantly deepens our understandings of transnational radical thought in the early twentieth century, placing Indian activists at the center of critiques of communism emanating from Berlin, Paris, Bombay and London.”
—Kama Maclean, author of A Revolutionary History of Interwar India
“M. P. T. Acharya was one of that mass of significant and undeservedly neglected figures active in international anarchist movement, in India and across Europe, who fought for the implementation of anarchist principles during a period of dramatic geopolitical change in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. Ole Birk Laursen’s breathtakingly meticulous and riveting account of his life and his interactions with other leading figures in the anarchist movement is a perfect introduction to an important collection of writings that cover issues from non-violence to race, nationalism, and Bolshevism. Anyone interested in Indian and transnational anarchism, nationalism, anti-colonialism, and the cross-fertilisation of anarchist ideas and practices will cherish this book.”
—Ruth Kinna, author of Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition
M.P.T. Acharya (1887–1954) was an anticolonial activist who co-founded the Communist Party of India. After the Russian Revolution, he became disillusioned with communism and became India's most prolific anarchist writer.
Ole Birk Laursen is a Lecturer in Postcolonial Indian Literature at New York University, London. He specializes in South Asian literature and history, anti-imperialism, and anarchism.