Tariq Ali

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Tariq Ali is a writer and journalist who comments on social and political matters.


Ali was born in Lahore, now in Pakistan, then part of British-ruled India, in 1943. He attended Catholic school but has remained a life-long atheist.

"Joining the University Labour Club, he was a committed member of its Socialist Group before becoming President of the Oxford Union in 1965. With the Vietnam war at its height, Tariq Ali earned a national reputation through debates with figures like Henry Kissinger and the then British Foreign Secretary, Michael Stewart. After one of these was televised in the United States, the actor Marlon Brando invited Tariq to dinner...

"Ditching the Labour Party he embraced Leninism, becoming a leader of the International Marxist Group (IMG). "One can see," he said then, "that we shall once again see (workers') Soviets in Europe in the 70s".

"But it was not to be. Tariq Ali quit the IMG as the burgeoning consumer society swallowed 60s radicalism and the highly-factionalised radical left imploded under the weight of a host of trivial internecine arguments.

"Since then he has devoted himself to writing books, newspaper articles and polemical commentary on social and political matters. Still a radical, he has remained at the forefront of anti-war campaigns. Conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia have all led Tariq to speak out." [1]

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  1. Tariq Ali, BBC, accessed April 23, 2010.
  2. About, New Left Review, accessed April 23, 2010.