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Railway Reforms: Pursuit of Profit Trumps Public Interest

NEO-LIBERAL economic policies are set to unbound the Indian Railways, the country’s largest public transport. “Rail by market and not by the government” is the mantra of the Modi regime. The Indian Railways is crying for funds for capacity expansion and safety, but the government refuses to acknowledge it. Why should this network be a “Sarkari monolith”? -- is the argument forwarded by the propagators of its privatisaion.

The Debroy Committee Report

Privacy is now an inherent right, but will Parliament act?

BY ruling not just that privacy is a fundamental right but that it is an integral part of the right to liberty, a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court, on August 24, held unanimously that the right to privacy would come under both the right to life, liberty (Article 14, Article 21 of the Constitution) and therefore part III of the constitution. The fundamental reasoning behind the verdicts delivered separately and as a collective was that these rights are the inherent rights of man, born with him, not granted by statute (even the constitution) and hence cannot be suspended or taken away.

Roads of Battle Greet G-20 Summit

THE recent protests that welcomed the G20 Summit are a reflection of the brewing discontent against the continuing global economic crisis. With their future at stake, young people constituting the majority of the protesters led the way in expressing dissent. They stood up bravely to police brutality. Creativity was on wide display during all the days of protest before and during the Summit.

That Attraction...Socialism

A RECENT media report revealed a startling fact: “Around 580,000 respondents in 35 countries were asked the question: Would you actively participate in large-scale uprising against the generation in power if it happened in the next days or months? More than half of 18-34 year-olds said yes”. This shows the latent discontent among the youth today. And it is not without reason.

The Communal Path to Neoliberalism

THE BJP and the RSS are not only whipping up a frenzy of communalism and nationalism, but also using such sentiments to aid neoliberalism. With all the hue and cry over the central government’s jolting decisions in the recent past, what comes to fore is the discussion on communalism and nationalism, while its direct correlation to neoliberalism is being sidelined, which is precisely what the primary focus should be on.

BAN ON CATTLE SALE FOR SLAUGHTER: Is it the First Step in Corporatising the Meat Value Chain?

THE Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 were published on May 25, 2017, just days before the commemoration of the third anniversary of the Modi government. Through these rules, the government has effectively dealt a blow to small producers and the farmers who sell their unfit animals to traders and commission agents in the livestock markets. Further, the foundations of meat export industry are also steeped in informal supply lines and trading networks which supply cattle to ‘modernised slaughter houses’.

Kisans Versus Vigilantes

IF we are to believe the propaganda of the BJP and Sangh Parivar – the cattle of India are on the verge of extinction. The blame for this imminent extinction, is laid at the door of those who consume and sell bovine meat – mainly Muslims. Equally blamed are the slaughter houses from where, apparently, beef is being exported on a massive scale, threatening the survival of the species.

Ruling Class Nationalism and Religion: A Counter to Rakesh Sinha

IN his article ‘Not an Imagined Community’ (Indian Express, April 22) the RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha claims that the Sangh’s conception of nationalism is not invented but is a historical fact which is based on culturally inclusive development of the Indian civilisation. This article (and especially its title) is a direct critique of the idea of the ‘nation’ as an ‘imagined’ political community which was potently described in Benedict Anderson’s seminal text ‘Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism’.

Alarming Rural Distress

THE incidence of rural distress is assuming alarming proportions in many parts of the country. In those areas which are either perennially prone to drought or have suffered drought-like conditions in the last two years, the situation is nothing short of deadly. Even a short visit to such an area is enough to expose the hollowness of the assurances being given by the state and central governments and also their complicity in destroying lives and livelihoods here.

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