THE military backed interim government in Egypt, since taking over power last year, has shown scant regard for domestic and international public opinion. It had ridden roughshod over the media, banned the largest political party, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and incarcerated its top leadership along with thousands of its members and sympathisers. Since the beginning of this year, the crackdown has extended to secular and liberal parties and individuals.
THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has urged upon the entire Indian peasantry and the people at large to observe June 5, 2014, the World Environment Day, as the ‘Save Environment, Save Agriculture Day’ as a mark of opposition against the dire environmental consequences of corporate driven capitalist development and its impact on agriculture and industry all over the world.
ORGANISED by the Kerala State General Insurance Employees Union (KSGIEU), which is affiliated to the All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA), a seminar sought to highlight the plight of public sector undertakings in Ernakulam district of the state. The seminar on ‘Relevance of Public Sector Undertakings,’ organised at Kochi as part of the General Insurance Nationalisation Day observances on May 13, 2014, highlighted the threat the profit making public sector general insurance companies are facing from the government’s reckless privatisation and liberalisation policies.
IT is as certain as we can be in science that we will lose the Antarctic ice sheet within the next 200-500 years, leading to a devastating rise of about four metres in sea level. Worse, the process is now irreversible. Two separate studies --- one by the NASA used satellite and airborne radar data for the past 40 years, and the other by European Space Agency's CryoSat2 satellite that measured the height of the glaciers --- have both come to very similar conclusions. The Antarctic is losing ice from the glaciers at approximately 160 billion tonnes a year.
THE results of the recently concluded elections to the European Union parliament were compared to an 'earthquake' by the French prime minister. He was referring to the setback received by the social-democratic and conservative parties in these elections. Media reported that these 'mainstream' political parties, though had retained their hold on the EU parliament, had lost the elections. According to them, these elections were won by 'Euroskeptic', 'fringe' parties, belonging to both extreme right and left.
CALLING for a review of all saffron terror cases, Indresh Kumar, an important RSS leader who was interrogated for his suspected involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast case, told The Indian Express on May 24, 2014 that “The election results have come as second freedom; this freedom we have got from our own people. Digvijaya Singh and Manish Tewari (Congress leaders --- Ed) must realise that they do not have any right to spoil anybody’s life. These leaders and these agencies must apologise publicly.”
AFTER the Lok Sabha polls were over in West Bengal, post-poll attacks have reached alarming proportions in almost all districts of the state. At least three CPI(M) activists and sympathisers have been killed in these attack while another, a student, succumbed to the physical and psychological trauma after attack. Several members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) and former MLAs have been assaulted. A number of party offices have also been attacked, ransacked, destroyed and burnt. More than 1000 Left supporters have been injured in these attacks.
THAT the RSS/BJP speaks with a forked tongue has been well-established. This perfection of the practice of `double speak’ is designed to pursue a dual agenda. One that constitutes the pursuit of the RSS’s core agenda – sharpening communal polarisation – while pursuing another agenda for public consumption. That the RSS/BJP adopted such a dual agenda during its election campaign was articulated in these columns earlier.
THE CPI(M) led Left and Democratic Front (LDF) has registered an enthusing victory in the byelections for various local bodies. Elections were held for 35 seats in different districts on May 22.
Out of these 35 seats, the LDF has won 18 seats; it wrested from the rival United Democratic Front (UDF) the latter’s 10 sitting seats. While the UDF was able to won only 13 seat, the BJP won just one. Political commentators in the state have described these results as indicative of a possible pro-LDF edge in the upcoming local body elections which are to be held in 2015.
THE brutal violence against the CPI(M) and the Left Front in West Bengal is continuing after the Lok Sabha elections. For about fifteen days after the polling ended on May 12, there have been widespread attacks targeting the CPI(M) workers and Left Front supporters in various districts. A report of such attacks is published in this issue of People’s Democracy.