The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement on March 11, 2017
THE BJP has won a sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh getting over three-fourth of the seats in the assembly. This victory has been accomplished by a mix of rank communal appeal and by putting together a wide ranging caste coalition. It was this combination that propelled Narendra Modi and the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in the state and that momentum has been maintained.
IN his speech to BJP workers in Delhi after the assembly election results had been declared, Narendra Modi announced that his policy henceforth would be to empower the poor by providing them with opportunities, instead of handing out doles to them, which, he believes, is what the various “pro-poor” welfare programmes amount to. Newspapers were quick to underscore, and in general laud, this shift in approach from “welfarism” to “development”. Since government policy is set to reflect this shift from now on, its implications are worth examining.
WHEN Narendra Modi sat in the wilderness of American political opinion, sections of the NRI community came to his defence. Graphic human rights reports on the pogrom in Gujarat had turned the US State Department against Modi. He was denied a visa to enter the United States. It did not help Modi that there was clear evidence of discrimination against Christians in Gujarat, most notably in the Dangs region where Modi’s allies used violence against Christian missionaries. This did not sit well with the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
A FORTNIGHT before the results to the Uttar Pradesh and other four state assemblies were declared, the same rightwing offensive was evident in the elections to 10 municipal corporations (MC), 25 zilla parishads (ZP) and 283 panchayat samitis (PS) in Maharashtra. These elections took place last month and the results were declared on February 23.
PAKISTAN and Afghanistan have in recent weeks and months witnessed a wave of serious terrorist incidents that have cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. Alarmingly, most of the attacks have been the handiwork of the so-called Islamic State (Daesh). It no longer can be denied that the lethal terrorist group has sprung roots in the sub continent. The suicide attack on one of the most famous Sufi shrines in the region, the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, situated in Sindh province, in the third week of February is an illustration.
TAMIL Nadu is facing an unusual situation. The entire state has been badly affected by a severe drought the like of which has not been seen for over a hundred years. On account of the shortfall in rainfall, from both the South West and the North East monsoons, agriculture in Tamil Nadu has been badly hit.
THE budget of 2017-18 is an expression of the commitment of the government of Kerala to take bold and imaginative decisions in the service of the people, despite resource constraints and the inequalities of centre-state financial relations.
A Two day state level convention of Women agricultural workers of Karnataka concluded on March 9, 2017, demanding from the central government a sum of Rs 3000 each to all the poor rural families, every month, as drought relief. The main resolution that was adopted by the convention said that all the states in south India, including Karnataka were under severe drought. The rural poor get no work to earn any income. The public distribution system does not work. In most of the places, the people do not even get water to drink. The cattle are dying of starvation.