UPA-II’s Pro-Corporate, Anti-people Offensive
Exposed by one CAG report after another and challenged increasingly by popular agitations across the country, the UPA government has now begun to behave as a veritable autocratic regime. At one go it has now announced all the drastic measures it had been contemplating for a long time but had to put on hold in the face of massive opposition of the people. Price of diesel has been hiked by Rs 5 a litre, subsidy for LPG cylinders has been halved, sectors like multi-brand retail, civil aviation and broadcasting service have been opened up for foreign investment and shares of several profit-making public sector units have been offered for sale....Full text
CPI(Maoist)’s Left Adventurism:Questions from Within
The recent expulsion of Sabyasachi Panda, former secretary of the Odisha State Organising Committee (OSOC) of the CPI(Maoist), has once again fore-grounded tensions within the Maoist party, and serious questions about its praxis....Full text
Promoting Social Justice
In the wake of the introduction of the Constitution (117th Amendment Bill) 2012, a fierce ‘debate’ was sought to be manufactured in the media over the merit of allowing reservations in promotions for SCs and STs. It was projected as though the constitutional amendment sought to introduce the principle of reservations in promotions for SCs and STs, for the first time....Full text
AISA Wins Majority in JNUSU
Polls Third in DUSU
The JNUSU and DUSU elections were held on the same day – September 14 – and the results have been encouraging for the Left forces.
In JNU, it was an overwhelming mandate for the Left. AISA once again won a majority in the Union, with 3 out of 4 office-bearer posts and 12 councillor posts. The SF-JNU candidate won the President post, while the other three posts of Vice President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary were won by the AISA candidates....Full text
Waves of Resistance
The past few weeks have been seeing a heroic protest by the desperate villagers of Idinthakarai and surrounding villages, against the commissioning of the Koodankulam nuclear plant and loading of the VVER reactors....Full text
Jal Satyagraha in MP
Villagers protesting imminent forced eviction by the Omkareshwar Dam in Ghogalgaon village of Khandwa district, Madhya Pradesh, achieved a hard-won victory on 10 September. After standing in rising waters for 17 days, they forced the MP Government to agree to lower the water level in the Omkareshwar reservoir from 190.5 meters to 189 meters, to abandon its plan to increase the water level to 193 meters, and to announce that it would comply with the Supreme Court judgment of 11th May 2011, requiring allotment of a minimum of 2 hectares of land to each displaced cultivator family....Full text
Sedition Law: Weapon to Suppress Dissent
The jailing of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition, for his political cartoons on corruption, attracted countrywide outrage. Undoubtedly, the arrest of this young cartoonist is one of the most blatant attacks on freedom of expression and the right to dissent. Trivedi declared he would not seek bail, and went to jail declaring that if telling the truth was sedition, then so be it! Eventually he was released on bail. But the outrageous charges against him are yet to be withdrawn....Full text
In Solidarity With Maruti Workers
Convention Demands Industrial Democracy and Upholding of Labour Laws
The AICCTU and AISA held a Convention on September 7th at the Indian Social Institute, Delhi, in solidarity with Maruti workers. The Convention was on the theme, ‘Intensified Assault on the Working Class: Challenges Before Democracy.’ It was attended by workers from the Delhi-NCR area, students, as well as concerned citizens and activists....Full text
The Myth of the Bangladeshi and
Violence in Assam
(The Bodo-Muslim violence in Kokrajhar (Assam) has since set off a spiral of fear, disinformation, violence, and an exodus of people from the North East from cities across the country. On the one hand, there has been a malicious campaign to ignore the social, historical, and political specificities of the conflict in Kokrajhar, and instead brand all those from the North East as perpetrators of atrocities on Muslims. On the other hand, there is a deliberate and organised communal campaign, spearheaded by the BJP and RSS, to hold ‘illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh’ as responsible for the conflict. The BJP, otherwise the most virulently opposed to the democratic aspirations and self-determination of the peoples of the North East, and the most chauvinistic defender of AFSPA and draconian militarism in the name of counter-insurgency, has been posing as a defender of the North East in order to make communal capital of the situation.
In this context, we reproduce excerpts from a detailed write-up by Nilim Dutta, exposing the myth of ‘Bangladeshi immigration’ in Assam. The entire article can be read at http://kafila.org/2012/08/16/the-myth-of-the-bangladeshi-and-violence-in-assam-nilim-dutta/).
The recent spate of violence that began in the Kokrajhar district of Assam in the month of July 2012 and then spread to the adjoining districts of the Bodoland Territorial Council, primarily between the Bodos and the Muslim community of immigrant origin settled in these districts, has once again unleashed a vicious debate on the perils posed by alleged unrestricted illegal immigration from Bangladesh, this time even on the floor of the Lok Sabha....Full text
AILC Jail Bharo Call
Lakhs of people court arrest
Demanding resignation of UPA Govt. over Coalgate Scam
Protesting Corruption, Price Rise,
Social Oppression, State Repression
Lakhs of people responded enthusiastically to the call of the All India Left Coordination (AILC) and courted arrest all over the country on 31st August, as part of an all-India ‘Jail Bharo’ protest, demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister who has been caught red-handed in the Coalgate scam, and of the entire scam-ridden UPA Government. They protested the privatization policies that promote corporate plunder of natural resources and public assets, unrelenting price rise, crackdown on the right to dissent and protest, and growing social oppression on dalits, women and minorities. Protests were held at 173 centres, and a total of 1, 40,000 people all over the country, under the banner of CPI(ML), CPM Punjab, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), CPRM, and Left Coordination Committee (Kerala), were taken into custody in the course of the Jail Bharo protest....Full text
Punish the Culprits, Rehabilitate the Victims!
A seven member fact finding team of CPI(ML) and AICCTU visited Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu on 7th September, where more than 50 workers have already died and several are critical in a massive blast in a fire-crackers’ factory....Full text
Violence on Women in W Bengal
In the year 2011, West Bengal with 7.5% share of country’s population has accounted for nearly 12.7% of total crime against women by reporting 29,133 cases.
Torture cases in the country have increased by 5.4% over the previous year. 19.9% of these were reported from West Bengal (19,772 cases). The highest crime rate of 21.6 was also reported from West Bengal as compared to the National rate at 8.2....Full text
Islamophobia and Ignorance
(Excerpted from Counterpunch, September 18)
Koran discovered with coffee cup stain on the front cover, US marines deployed to all Starbucks franchises.’
The quip, retweeted by celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins, exemplifies the belligerent incomprehension with which so many, including self-proclaimed liberals, have responded to protests against the film The Innocence of Muslims....Full text
Chicago Schoolteachers’ Strike
We hope Kapil Sibal is watching the schoolteachers’ strike in Obama’s home constituency of Chicago. Sibal, as India’s HRD Minister, is pushing for an education system that is increasingly more privatised, and he is doing so based on the wisdom peddled by the US-backed World Bank and IMF. In the US itself, school teachers and students are beginning to protest privatisation and ‘reforms’.
The US itself has traditionally enjoyed a strong publicly funded school system. But increasingly, in the US too, schooling is facing huge subsidy cuts, rendering students and teachers both vulnerable and deprived. The Chicago strike highlighted some of the major issues of struggling schools in the US....Full text
Countrywide protests against Price Hike
and Anti-People Measures
In response to the CPI(ML)’s central call, CPI(ML) units all over the country implemented a Bharat Bandh strike on 20 September.
The unprecedentedly steep hike in the price of diesel and the move to limit subsidised cooking gas cylinders to six per family per year, as well as introduction of FDI in multi-brand retail and civil aviation are body blows to the common people’s livelihood and survival....Full text