Tripura: Left Front Set for Victory in ADC Elections

AFTER registering a sweeping victory in urban local body elections in the state in December last, the Left Front in Tripura has plunged into another electoral battle. Election to the village committees under Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) will be held on February 24. The counting will take place on February...

More

TRAI Bars Facebook's Data Colonialism

ON Monday, February 8, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued its regulations barring differential pricing of data based on content. This has been welcomed widely as a step forward in keeping the internet free from capture by an emerging alliances of global internet monopolies and telcos....

More

Iniquitous Taxes on Petrol and Diesel

IN the month of January alone, there have been three rounds of increase in excise duties by the central government on petrol and diesel. These increases amounted to Rs 2.12 per litre of petrol and Rs 5.5 per litre of diesel. So far there have been nine hikes in excise duties since November 2014, as a result of...

More

A Welcome Decision

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement on February 9. THE CPI (M) welcomes the decision of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) disallowing service providers from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. The CPI(M) has always held that net neutrality is a fundamental pillar of the internet.

Commodities and Democracy

CAPITALISM is a “spontaneous” system, in the sense that it is a self-driven entity propelled by its own immanent tendencies. There is no human agency shaping its dynamics, and even the human beings who are at its helm, viz, the capitalists, do not act on their own volition but are coerced into acting in specific ways by the logic of the system itself, so much so that Marx had called the capitalist “capital personified”.

The Zika Crisis Needs a Global Response

GLOBAL concerns about a new viral pandemic have started making headlines barely weeks after resolution of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The virus responsible for panic buttons being pressed, with the WHO declaring a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, is the Zika virus. Threats to health at a global scale in the form of epidemics caused by viruses are now too frequent to view these threats as one-off events. There are structural...

CITU Denounces Govt moves for Strategic Sale of PSUs

The following is the statement issued by the Centre for Indian Trade Unions on February 5: AS per a report in one of the leading national English dailies, The Hindu dated February 5, 2016, the government of India is planning to go in for strategic sale of some of India's most efficient and highly profitable public sector undertakings (PSUs). It is also planning aggressive disinvestment of shares in other PSUs.

Alternative Agricultural Policies Necessary for Development of Bihar

THE All India Kisan Sabha and the Prantiya Khetihar Mazdoor Union have jointly organised a one-day seminar on alternative agricultural policies for the development of Bihar in the era of neo-liberalism. From all accounts, it was a very rich experience where veterans of peasant movements were joined by Patna-based intellectuals and teachers who were unanimous that the agricultural scenario and the...

Defend the Employment Guarantee Scheme!

AS I write, roughly 10.3 million workers return home as the sun sets on 4.9 lakh worksites across the length and breadth of this vast country under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. About 23 percent are Scheduled Castes, and 17 percent are Scheduled Tribes. With a failed monsoon and drought behind them, and fall in the growth rate of real wages, this employment and wages could offer the much needed succor from the consequent...

Thinking Together

More than 65 years after our Constitution was passed, is it not time to do away with reservations based on caste? Is it not true that all poor people should be given the benefit of reservation in government jobs and educational institutions? R K Singh, Bulandshahr, UP RESERVATION for socially, educationally and economically backward castes is a provision in our Constitution. This has been given wide acceptance because of the long history of social discrimination suffered by those belonging...

Professor Randhir Singh

Professor Randhir Singh, Marxist thinker, activist and teacher passed away on January 31, 2016, at the age of 94. His immense popularity as a teacher gave him almost a cult status, which however remained irrelevant to him personally. It was his activism, combined with his intellectual engagement as a communist ideologue, that was relevant for him. With his remarkable oratorical skills he forcefully critiqued, both in the classroom and outside, all forms of exploitation –...

Saudi Executions Raise Regional Tensions

THE execution of the prominent Saudi Shia cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, by the Saudi authorities on January 1 along with 47 others, has led to a dangerous exacerbation of tensions between the Saudi monarchy and Iran. The execution of al-Nimr, whose only crime was calling for a peaceful struggle against the authoritarian regime in Riyadh, has further accentuated the dangerous sectarian divide in West Asia. Last year, 157 people were...