Editorial

Modi as Gandhi

THE BJP and the RSS have been trying to appropriate Gandhi for quite some time. After demonising Gandhi and all that he stood for, the outcome of which was the dastardly assassination of Gandhi by the Godse brothers, the BJP-RSS have been systematically striving to appropriate all the national figures from Gandhi to BR Ambedkar.

Assembly Elections: Battleground against BJP

ELECTIONS to the five state assemblies in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa have been notified.  Of these, in two states, Goa and Punjab, there are governments of the BJP and its allies; in Uttarakhand and Manipur, there are Congress governments; but it is in Uttar Pradesh, where there is a Samajwadi Party government that the most significant electoral battle will be fought. 

An Abstract Judgment for Secularism

THE basic concern of the majority verdict of the seven-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on the appeal of religion in the election process was to uphold secularism  and to assert that religion can have no place in elections and that appeals to voters on the grounds that religion, caste, community or language cannot be allowed.

New Year: Meet the New Challenges

2017 IS beginning on a dismal note for millions of people in India. They have lost their livelihoods and are deprived of their hard-earned wages. Many are unable to access their meager savings which are locked up out of reach in banks. All this pain has been inflicted on them by Narendra Modi’s quixotic demonetisation announced on November 8. With the fifty days for depositing old notes ending on December 30, there are no signs of the travails of the people coming to an end. So the new year begins with the continuing cash war on the people.

Appointments BJP style

THE Modi government is going about making appointments in key positions of the government and the state which are controversial and liable to inflict damage on the institutions concerned. Lt. General Bipin Rawat has been appointed as the chief of Army Staff. The government has selected him by superseding the most senior general, Lt. General Praveen Bakshi.  The next in line in seniority was Lt. General P M Hariz.

Demonetisation Fiasco

THE Modi “surgical strike” on black money and corruption has turned out to be a fiasco coupled with a scam on an industrial scale. 36 days after the withdrawal of the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, ie, 86 percent of the currency in circulation, ordinary people are struggling to get meager amounts of cash from their own bank accounts or ATMs.  Long queues and endless wait outside banks and ATMs continue.  There is no cash available for those who need it the most – the casual labourer, the vegetable vendor, the domestic worker and the whole workforce involved in the informal economy.

Assault on Judicial Independence

THE stand-off between the higher judiciary represented by the Supreme Court and the Modi government has escalated in the past few weeks.  The Supreme Court was informed by the attorney general last month that out of the 77 names proposed by the collegium for appointment as judges in the High Courts, the government had accepted the appointment of 34 judges while 43 names were sent back to the collegium. This unprecedented step by the government has raised the pitch of the confrontation with the Supreme Court.

Strengthen Resolve to Fight Communal Danger

DECEMBER 6 marks the anniversary of the dark deed of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Thirty four years ago the RSS-Hindutva hordes struck a severe blow at the secular-democratic character of the Indian republic by bringing down the Babri Masjid. By this single act they challenged the constitution and declared their intention to dismantle the democratic and secular framework put in place by the constitution.

Make Railways Safe

THE railway accident involving the Indore-Patna Express at Pukhrayan, near Kanpur, has taken a terrible toll.  146 passengers perished and over 250 were injured, some of them maimed for the rest of their lives. Accidents of this type in the Indian Railways are not an aberration but are becoming alarmingly frequent.   There have been 80 major railway accidents this year against 69 in the previous year.  Thousands of minor railway accidents take place every year. 

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