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Budget Puts Urban Poor At the Mercy of Corporate Capital

THE Modi government’s first budget lays out a clear road map for the privatisation of governance and corporatisation of public spaces. Key to this strategy is the development of smart cities which have emerged as the pet project of Prime Minister Modi. As the finance minister stated in his speech, “the pace of migration from the rural areas to the cities is increasing. A neo middleclass is emerging which has the aspiration of better living standards. Unless, new cities are developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, the existing cities would soon become unlivable”.

The “Role” Governors Play

EVER since the Congress’ monopoly of power ended, first in the states and then at the centre, the governor’s post has been mired in controversies. It began with the first breach in the Congress’ monopoly of power in 1957, when in Kerala the then undivided Communist Party of India won the elections. The Communist Legislature Party, which included five independent MLAs, elected EMS Namboodiripad as their leader, who in turn staked claim to form the government. Governor Ramakrishna Rao, refused to accept the claim.

The Intelligence Bureau Report

THE Intelligence Bureau report suggesting that foreign-funded NGOs are holding up the nation’s “development” could be dismissed as a silly piece of officialese, were it not for the fact that the government of India seems keen to use it not just for acting against some particular NGOs but for breaking down any opposition to the process of primitive accumulation of capital unleashed by neo-liberalism.

Calendar of Shame: Rapes Every Day & Every Where

HUMANITY'S collective conscience is raped. Of course, if we have one. Strong feelings? Feeling disgusted and sad that could not express in more stronger terms. If December 16 was not enough, what else would? Experience of each passing day teaches that sadism can get even more sadistic, brutality even more brutal and violence, even more violent. If December 16 was a red letter in the calendar, there are no more blue letters on it. Every day is getting a new coat of red, as it recedes into history. A paint of red. A stain of blood.

On European Union Election Results

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.

A Case for Proportional Representation

THE recently concluded general elections, apart from spelling out the winner, also threw many interesting, but important sub-texts. Here are a few:
No party has ever before won more than half the seats with a vote share of just 31 percent, the previous lowest vote share for a single-party majority was in 1967, when the Congress won 283 out of 520 seats with 40.8 percent of the total valid votes polled.
The Congress secured 19.3 percent votes, winning 44 seats, while in 2009, the BJP secured 18.5 percent votes but won 116 seats.

Is More Proof Required to Debunk the Gujarat Model?

IN his column ‘No Proof Required,’ Surjit Bhalla has been regularly deriding left and secular intellectuals who oppose the fascistic corporate Hindutva ideology represented by Narendra Modi and the BJP. Last week he once again defended the indefensible by calling upon the critics of Modi to ‘give evidence’ against the Gujarat model (The Indian Express, April 26, 2014). He says that the criticism of Modi is “just name calling” and based on no hard evidence.

TIREDNESS WITH MARXISM

MUCH is written these days about how “the youth” is “tired” of the “rigid ideological positions” of the Left, how Marxism itself, notwithstanding its immense appeal in the past, has ceased to be attractive to today’s “youth”, indeed how “grand narratives” of all kinds, of which Marxism of course is the leading example, have become passé.

THE EXTINCT LIBERALS

RESISTANCE against fascism has always come from two quarters, the Left, and the liberal bourgeoisie. The Second World War was fought between the fascist powers on one side and an alliance of the Soviet Union with liberal bourgeois States on the other. Even in anti-fascist resistance movements in Europe, there was, apart from the Communist contingent, a liberal bourgeois one as well, whose leading personality in France for instance was Charles De Gaulle.

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