HUNDREDS of peasants from Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu and Karnataka took out a march and staged a militant dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on January 31, 2014, against the implementation of the Kasturirangan committee recommendations on Western Ghats. The dharna was inaugurated by Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS). Amra Ram, president of the AIKS, presided over the meeting.
THIRTY-TWO members of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), that represents nearly 55 lakh organised rural workers from states as far as Punjab and Tripura to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka, met at Chennai on January 29 and 30, 2014, to discuss the unbearable conditions that have been thrust on the mass of the Indian people, eighty four crores of whom live on a paltry Rs 20 a day.
IS Aadhaar compulsory? If so, what is its legal basis? Without Aadhaar, can one buy subsidised cooking gas? What is the government's policy on this? In fact, the UPA government’s response to these questions is marked by “intentional ambiguity”. Ambiguity is intentional because the intentions of the government are completely different from what it proclaims; hence, the ambiguity maintained is deliberate. The UPA government's strategy of “intentional ambiguity” regarding Aadhaar has had elements of obfuscation, misinterpretation, inconsistency and dishonesty.
MEETING at Delhi on January 31 and February 1, the national Secretariat of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) called upon all its affiliates to conduct countrywide campaigns and agitations on two important issues confronting a large number of workers in the country.
THE last session of the parliament before the forthcoming 15th general elections to the country has begun as we go to press. The manner in which this session has been conceived and structured, created apprehensions at the outset about the government's intentions to use this session more as a launch pad for its election campaign, rather than to transact business to implement important, long-standing, pending legislations, particularly those aimed at providing relief to the already beleaguered vast mass of the people.
THE decision of Arvind Kejriwal's government in Delhi to have the accounts of the three distribution companies (discoms) subjected to a CAG audit has had immediate repercussions. The three discoms are moving the courts against a CAG audit and the two Reliance Anil Ambani Group discoms – BRPL and BYPL – have also threatened long power cuts as they claim they have no money to pay NTPC its outstanding dues. The matter has escalated with the Delhi government asking DERC, the Delhi Electricity Regulator to revoke their licenses under section 19 (d) of the Electricity Act, 2003.
THE pursuit of neo-liberal policies necessarily means bending to the caprices of international finance capital, so that it does not take offence and leave the country’s shores. This in turn necessarily means an attenuation of democracy, for democracy means that policies should be made in accordance with the wishes of the people and not those of international finance capital.
A RECENT notification, dated September 25, 2013, by the ministry of personnel of the government of India is virtually a vote of no-confidence on India’s health system. The notification amends existing laws regarding entitlements available to senior government officials to receive treatment abroad for what are identified as ‘complex’ medical conditions. The amended rules make it easier for such treatment and the government also takes upon itself the responsibility to pay all the medical costs as well as the travel and related costs of the patient and an attendant.
THE 16th meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) was held in the aftermath of the horrendous communal disturbances in Muzaffarnagar and in the backdrop of the continuing tensions in western Uttar Pradesh. The Resolution adopted unanimously, amongst others, resolved “To condemn violence in any form committed to disturb communal harmony and to deal with all those indulging in such violence in a prompt and resolute manner under the law.