Liberation Archive  
VM's Selected Writings






Bihar By-poll Pointers :  Growing Rejection of Nitish Kumar’s Reign of Loot, Hunger, and Lies

It is commonly believed that by-election results tend to go in favour of the incumbent ruling parties. But recent by-election results have come as a major jolt to the powers that be in Delhi and Bihar. The ruling Congress has lost both the Assembly seats for which by-polls were held in Delhi, while in Bihar the JD(U)-BJP combine could win only 5 of the 18 seats that were up for grabs. Earlier, the Congress also suffered heavily in Gujarat where the BJP managed to wrest as many as five seats from the Congress.....Full text


Chaos in the BJP and Prospects for the Left

Political Observer

In the wake of its second successive defeat in Lok Sabha elections, the BJP finds itself in a deep and protracted crisis. The summary expulsion of Jaswant Singh following the publication of his book on Jinnah has only added fuel to the fire. Rebellion and desertion by prominent leaders, bitter factional infighting, and growing differences and debates over many past incidents and ‘settled’ issues and policies have become the order of the day in the party....Full text

Act Against ‘Honour’ Killings Now!
An Open Letter to P Chidambaram
(Circulated by the AIPWA)


Dear Home Minister,
We appreciate your strong statement in Parliament on July 28, 2009 against killing of couples by caste panchayats in Haryana. You said that you “hang your head in shame” at such killings in the 21st century. This is welcome......Full text

The Ambanis: Private Plunder of Public Resources

The ongoing Ambani brothers’ case before Bombay High Court and now in Supreme Court has brought to fore the spectre of loot of our natural resources (land, water, mines) by tiny elite hand in glove with corrupt politicians....Full text

WTO : US Plays Villain Again

 The limping Doha round of WTO negotiations has stumbled once again, this time too on the rock of American obduracy. Senior trade officials from around 11 countries — the United States, European Union, Brazil, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico among them — met in Geneva recently to explore how they could resolve their differences. However, with the negotiating table being reduced to the US on one side and the other 10 countries on the other, no substantive progress could be made....Full text

  Investigation 7

The Vedic Village Scam

Ugly and Tragic Culmination of the Social Democratic Model of Development

(Abridged version of an article by Partha Ghosh published in Deshabrati, 17 September 2009, with additional inputs from Rajarhat comrades.)

A local level football match played on 23 August at a place called Shikharpur under the Rajarhat Police Station near Kolkata eventually erupted into a tumultuous incident beset with a high degree of political drama. The controversy apparently broke out on the issue of a disputed goal which decided the fate of the match. The losing side, reported to be sponsored by a local land mafia, Gaffar, popularly known as ‘Land Gaffar’, started throwing bombs at the supporters of the winning side followed by firing, in which one of the local youths died. This enraged the local people who set on fire the nearby luxury resort ‘Vedic Village’ alleging that the miscreants responsible for the bombing and killing were provided shelter in that resort. A large part of the resort was razed to the ground by the fire, but the political heat which the incident generated is showing no signs of mitigation thereafter....Full text

Anatomy of a School Stampede

Based on the findings of a fact finding team that visited the Government Girls Senior Secondary School (GGSSS: 1104153), Khajuri Khas, Delhi where several girls got injured and five died in a stampede. The members of the team included Professor Azra Razzack, Dr Farah Farooqui, academics from Jamia Milia Islamia, Kavita Krishnan of AIPWA, Radhika Menon of Forum for Democratic Initiatives, Omprakash Sharma, Rahimuddin and Vinod Kumar of Building Workers Union, and Ram Abhilash of Delhi State Committee, CPIML. The activists of the building workers union also reside in the area hence information was collected by them on an ongoing basis.

Radhika Menon


Afroz Ansari, a student of Government Girls Senior Secondary School (GGSSS), Khajuri Khas, Northeast Delhi began her Ramzan fast as usual on the morning of 10 September 2009 and rushed to her school to appear for the first term examinations. A 17 year old student of class XI, she was seen as a serious student and was also the first in the family to have attained higher secondary education. A few hours after she had left, came the news from panic struck girls that Afroz was caught in a human crush on the stairs of her school supposedly because of the rains. When she had been pulled out from a pile of girls, she had already collapsed. Shamsheran, her mother, hurried to the school but with no one to inform her on what had happened. She then  rushed with several other parents to GTB Hospital, where after much confusion Afroz’s dead body, which had gone blue and had marks on the shoulder, body, and stomach, was handed over to her....Full text

  Working Class 7

Women’s Work in Globalising India : Cutting Through the Hype

(Globalisation is empowering Indian women economically and socially. Right? Wrong! Never Done and Poorly Paid: Women’s Work in Globalising India studies the world of women’s work in India and challenges many of the widely held beliefs about the impact of globalisation on women’s work and lives. Liberation examines some of the trends and issues that the book brings to light. – Ed/- )

Never Done and Poorly Paid, published by Women Unlimited as part of its ‘feminist fine print’ series, is a collection of essays by Jayati Ghosh. It looks at the impact of the last nearly two decades of ‘liberalisation’ of the Indian economy on women’s work. Apart from being a rigorously researched study of the state of women’s work in India, it is also a larger comment on the realities of India’s globalised economy, reflected in the mirror of women’s lives and work. 
It is useful to take some of the notions widely peddled by governments and pro-globalisation economists, and confront them with the Never Done’s rigorous analysis....Full text

Impact of Agrarian Crisis on Peasant Women

Preliminary findings of a survey in Punjab

Ranjana Padhi

The havoc caused by capitalist-intensive agriculture in a deeply traditional and feudal society is borne out in the daily lives of women, dalits, children, youth and the elderly. Each peasant suicide in Punjab is an indicator of the plight of millions of agricultural poor who are struggling for survival. This article shows how the economic and social realms are inextricably linked in the lived reality of the peasantry, including peasant women. The current grave situation threatens to not only engulf even more lives but along with it the dreams and aspirations of the next generation too. The picture of the laughing Punjabi farmer in calendars was mere propaganda of the Green Revolution as there’s depression, alienation and suicide written on many young faces today. Both research and ground reality show how it is the Green Revolution and the measures undertaken then that led to the rapid deterioration of soil conditions, increased demand of high cost pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and a network of institutional funding that extended to non-institution sources too; the latter subsequently brought almost the entire of the farming community into the vicious grip of indebtedness. In this article, I share some preliminary findings of a survey of women of 125 families across 10 districts of the Malwa region – the region most affected by the agrarian crisis in Punjab. This survey has been made possible with the active support and co-operation of BKU Ekta (Ugrahan), Punjab Kisan Union and BKU Ekta (Dakonda)....Full text

Labour Migration

Not a ‘Positive Development’ but a Manifestation of Inequality

Shankar Ray

The World Bank’s logic that the informal sector “is a safety net” is not only structured on laboured arguments but seems mischievously interpreted too. Prof Jan Breman, noted comparative sociologist who worked extensively among unorganized and migrant workers in south Gujarat as also in the east coast of China, and is now a visiting professor at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, questioned this imposed perception. “According to the World Bank, one is poor if one earns less than $ 2 a day and $ 1 a day. In Surat, a diamond cutter or polisher on an average earns Rs 125 a day against previous rate of Rs 250 a day, due to the recession in the diamond market abroad. On an average, a worker has seven dependants. Even when a worker used to earn Rs 250 a day, the per head income to survive is a little more than Rs 30 which means a little more than half a dollar”, Prof Breman stated. He was speaking at the Sashipada Bandyopadhyay Resource Centre on 9 September at Jodhpur Park in Kolkata....Full text

  Party Building 7

Implementation of the CC’s July 28 Call


Initial Reports from Bhojpur

 28 July call of the CC has evoked quite enthusiastic response among the Party rank and file in most of our areas of work and vigorous efforts have begun to achieve a new breakthrough in the field of mass struggles....Full text

Jharkhand Diary


Following the July 28 CC Call, organizational measures were accompanied by an intensification of movemental initiatives in Jharkhand. In particular, there have been sustained and militant struggles against the widespread corruption in schemes like PDS and NREGA....Full text

  Policy Watch 7

Towards a People’s Charter on Food Security: a Note


In a season of recession, all-time high food prices, retrenchment and wage cuts, decline in food production and drought that is affecting large swathes of the country, the UPA Government has announced its promise of a National Food Security Act, with the agenda of “assuring food security for all” and also ensuring “broader systemic reform in the Public Distribution System.” The Prime Minister, too, has announced that “not a single Indian will be allowed to go hungry.” No Government has any moral right to rule if even a single citizen goes hungry; in India, ironically, boasts of “high growth” have only led to more hunger, with India enjoying the dubious distinction of being home to an estimated one quarter of the world’s hungry people....Full text

Concerns on Proposed Amendments to NREGA

 (Text of a letter addressed by the AIALA to the minister for Rural Development, Shri C P Joshi)


It  is in the context of the recent moves to amend the NREGA Act that we would like to highlight a few serious issues for consideration by the Ministry of Rural Development and your government for action....Full text

  Updates 7

AIPWA State Conference In TN

TN AIPWA held its First State Conference in Madurai on September 12. A rally was held before the conference which was flagged off by AIPWA National President Com. Srilata Swaminathan. The rally raised slogans against the DMK government’s betrayal of women, especially working women....Full text

  International 7

Death Squads, Disappearances and Torture in Pakistan

Bill Van Auken

(Courtesy, 16 September 2009)

As the Obama administration prepares a major escalation of the so-called AfPak war, reports from Pakistan’s Swat Valley, near Afghanistan’s eastern border, provide a gruesome indication of the kind of war that the Pentagon and its local allies are waging....Full text

Militant Demonstration in Bangladesh against Sell- Out of National Interest...Full text

  Cover 7

Halt paramilitary offensive in Chhattisgarh

(Statement issued by CPI(ML) Central Committee, 20 September 2009)

Halt ‘Operation Green Hunt’
War on the people
cannot bring peace to Bastar
Disbanding Salwa Judum and ensuring rights of adivasi people is the only road to peace...Full text