– SK Mohan
Ham saada hi aise the ki yuun hi pazirai / Jis baar khizan aai samjhe ki bahar aai..
(We were so simple minded and accepted just like that/ When the autumn came, we took it to be the spring)
– Faiz Ahmad Faiz
On the 8th of November they claimed it was a surgical strike on the ‘black’ money. … Read More
‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.’ – Walter Scott, Marmion
After sounding the bugle for ‘War on black money’ on the night of 8th November, the Generals appear to have changed the tack, hardly three weeks into it. Prime Minister’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ and the RBI Governor’s interview on 27th November emphasised the need for ‘Going cashless’ with less cash. It is interesting to note that the Government’s press release and the Prime Minister’s speech announcing demonetisation harped primarily on the issue of ‘black money’ and terror funding through counterfeit notes. There wasn’t much about ‘Going cashless’ then. There is an obvious shift in the narrative. While one can agree to the fact that there exists a (close) association between ‘cash’ payments and ‘black money’, it needs to be recognised that they are not the same. Curbing black money and encouraging ‘cashless’ payments are two different objectives. The means and methods to achieve those objectives would have to be different. Leaving aside the political motives of the party in power, the new objective and policies of the government need to be assessed based on the ground reality and the consequences.
There are estimates that ‘black money’ in the form of currency notes does not exceed 6% of the total ‘black money’.… Read More
Fidel Castro who had led the overthrow of US backed Batista dictatorship in Cuba and had also led Cuba in the direction of socialism after this, died on November 25, 2016 aged 90 years.
Son of a wealthy plantation owner, Fidel was active in the democratic movement since his student days. In 1945 there was a widespread movement in Cuba against US intervention in the Caribbean in which Fidel also participated. As a student activist, during 1947-48 while pursuing his law degree, he was attracted towards Marxism. He joined the Party of Cuban People led by Chibas. From 1950 to 52 he practiced law. However, with the help of CIA, Batista seized power and annulled 1952 elections.
After the end of Second World War, US Administration was alarmed at the victorious advance of the Communist movement worldwide and had taken to supporting all the reactionaries and dictators in its anti-communist strategy. US rulers any way considered Latin America its backyard and an exclusive zone for exploitation. Towards the end of Cuban war of independence from Spain, US had militarily intervened in 1898 and made Cuba its virtual colony as it had done in Philippines and Puerto Rico. Jose Marti who had become a symbol of Cuban independence struggle, had died at the beginning of this third and final war of independence from Spanish colonialism.… Read More
The Supreme Court verdict on compulsory playing of national anthem at the start of every show of a film in a theatre is a retrograde decision. This Supreme Court verdict over-rules the 1986 decision of the apex Court that nobody should be forced to sing the national anthem. Such decisions have also been given by top courts in a number of countries. However, this decision is in sync with the RSS-BJP attempt to whip up ultra-nationalist hysteria.
Supreme Court has obviously laid down a wrong rule. Article 53-A(a) is part of the Directive Principles dealing with the duty of every citizen and is non-justiciable i.e. cannot be enforced by a Court of law though this is not the only Article of the Directive Principles which the apex Court is setting out to enforce. Further, Article 53-A(a) deals with the duty of every citizen to give due honour to national symbols like national flag and national anthem i.e. due respect be accorded to them and not their forcible observance. The distinction is vital and important. Compulsory playing of national anthem in the places of entertainment cannot foster love for the country.
The Supreme Court verdict is alarming as the RSS-BJP ruling dispensation is trying to unleash severe repression on the people in the name of nationalism.… Read More
To perpetuate their rule and to crush and divert people’s struggles, ruling classes of the country have been using, besides repression and reforms, the weapon of communal division of the people. Ruling classes have inherited this weapon from their colonial masters, the British imperialists. With this weapon, they disrupt the unity of the people, dissipate the anger of the people and divert their struggles into mutual conflicts to camouflage their treachery against the country and the people and safeguard their anti-people rule.
Ruling RSS-BJP represents the most rabid form of majority communalism, Hindutva. They paint the minorities as internal enemies and subjugate oppressed castes, women and tribals under the tyrannical caste system ‘Brahminism’ and inculcate reactionary revivalist fantasies about the past. Under their rule, attacks against Muslims and Dalits have grown many fold, particularly in the states where they are ruling and where they have significant strength. The state machinery they took over from the colonial rulers has been further sharpened in wielding this weapon of communalism. This machinery suppresses the minorities, shields the perpetrators of communal violence and engineers the large scale genocides at the behest of and in league with the ruling politicians.
The organizers of the anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat have not been punished, rather they are ruling the country.… Read More
Eight activists of SIMI have been killed by Madhya Pradesh police after they allegedly escaped from high security Bhopal jail in the early hours today i.e. 31st October, 2016. The story given to the press raises many questions about the veracity of the police claims.
Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Bhupendra Singh is quoted as saying that the prisoners were armed with spoons and plates with which “They attacked the police and injured them. The police had no choice but to kill them. They were dreaded terrorists.” From this statement it is clear that there were no grounds for the police to kill all of them. Mr. Singh’s statement further makes it clear that there is no need to respect the law if the concerned person is an alleged terrorist. It has dangerous portents for the democratic rights of the people. All that is required to eliminate a person is to accuse him of terrorism. It should be further kept in mind that the deceased were under trial prisoners.
There has been a systematic campaign by the RSS-BJP Govt. at the Centre and in states to show the law of the land as an impediment to dealing with alleged terrorists.… Read More
On 1st October, 1949 Com. Mao Ze Dong proclaimed the creation of People’s Republic of China and declared liberation of one fourth of mankind. Eight months to this great victory in February 1949, Com. Mao had his maiden appearance in ‘Time magazine’ with the headline ‘Communist boss learned tyranny as a boy’. The western world campaigned for Chiang Kai Shek as the representative of Chinese nationalism and Mao was completely ignored. The pioneering writing of Edgar Snow – Red Star over China – in 1937 introduced Mao Ze Dong to a wider circle in the western world. The famous western journalists, authors and economists like Jack Belden, Theodore White, Rewi Alley, Felix Greene, Jan Myrdal, Joan Robinson, John Gurley, William Hinton and Dr Josua Horn have given accounts of the Chinese revolution and its leaders in a positive way.
John Gurley of Stanford was so much influenced by the Chinese revolution that he changed his world outlook. In 1976 Gurley wrote : “The basic overriding economic fact about China is that for twenty years it has fed, clothed and housed everyone, has kept them healthy and has educated most. Millions have not starved, sidewalks and streets have not been covered with multitudes of sleeping, begging, hungry and illiterate human beings; millions are not disease-ridden.… Read More
The politics in Maharashtra has sprung up an unexpected surprise before the ruling BJP led government in the state. The importance of the caste factor in the state politics has once again come to the fore. The recent initiative of political assertion of the Maratha identity is under the banner of ‘Maratha Kranti’. Considering that kranti i.e. revolution is a term used to describe the struggle of the downtrodden against the establishment, it can not be denied that this movement too enfolds trends against exploitative policies of the establishment. In fact a frustration arising out of inability to improve the living conditions of their own lot, is at the centre of the social turmoil in the offing.
The irony of the situation is that, traditionally, the ruling elite in the state also comes from their own community. This section of Marathas has been enjoying power in each and every field of state governance and rural economy. They are being, somewhat, side lined by the present ruling BJP led government . BJP is making alliance with the new elite players from the OBC sections and trying to woo the dalits in the state. In such a situation, the elite Maratha is trying to find its way back into the corridors of power.… Read More
Chest thumping by ruling BJP leaders over so-called surgical strikes carried out by Indian Army on the morning of September 29, 2016. Prime Minister Modi, Defense Minister Parriker and a host of ministers and BJP & RSS leaders have claimed these to be proof of new assertiveness of the BJP Govt. against Pakistan abandoning what is being termed as “strategic restraint”. Since these claims by the Govt. functionaries, other ruling class politicians have doubted the veracity of these strikes on the one hand and Congress and other UPA constituents claiming that such strikes were carried out earlier by the UPA Govt. on the other. Denial of any such strike by Pakistan, even carrying a large posse of foreign journalists to the sites claimed to have been hit in these strikes and the statement of UN monitoring mission Kashmir that no LoC violation had occurred on the time claimed in the Govt. statement, has resulted in confusion further confounded. Moreover, the claim by Govt. ministers and BJP leaders that this was first time that such an action was carried out by the Indian Army has been disputed and has been so admitted by the foreign secretary. It is clear that Modi Govt.… Read More