Editorial

BJP Hypocrisy about Dalits Unmasked

THE Una incident in Gujarat where seven dalit men were attacked and of whom four were stripped, badly beaten and paraded in the town is the latest dalit atrocity which has come to nationwide attention. That this has occurred in Gujarat is significant. The Hindutva campaign against cow slaughter and the targeting of Muslims and dalits in this connection is being conducted all over the country but it has been virulent in this bastion of the BJP. The four men who were assaulted had gone to skin a dead cow at the behest of its owner, a farmer.

End Impunity: Scrap AFSPA

THE Supreme Court, in a salutary judgement, has declared that the armed forces cannot act with impunity in the disturbed areas where it operates under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). The court has held that there cannot be “absolute immunity” from trial by a criminal court if any offence is committed by an army soldier. The court has ordered that all allegations of extra-judicial killings in Manipur should be probed.

Jammu & Kashmir: Stop Repression, Start Dialogue

THE outburst of mass protests throughout Kashmir, consequent to the killing of Hizbul leader Burhan Wani, has paralysed the valley for the past five days. Upto now, 34 persons have been killed, mostly young men and one policeman; 1,400 have been injured, many with serious wounds. The valley has been simmering with discontent for quite some time. The growing alienation of the people, particularly the youth, was visible in the big gatherings when the funerals of militants killed by the security forces were held.

Bad Loans of Banks

THE burden of bad loans of the banks has worsened in the last six months according to the latest Financial Stability Report of the Reserve Bank of India. According to the report, the gross non-performing assets (NAPs) ratio has risen sharply from 5.1 percent last September to 7.6 percent in March this year. The share of large borrowers of gross bad loans increased to 86.4 percent and their share of total loans is 58 percent in March 2016. According to one estimate, corporate debt worth Rs 6.7 lakh crore is facing the risk of default.

Brexit: Freed from EU Shackles

FROM the barrage mounted by the corporate media globally, it would appear that the decision of the people of Britain to quit the European Union is an unmitigated disaster for Britain, for Europe and for the world. There are mournful requiems for the end of globalisation and a “liberal-capitalist” order. The crash in the world’s stock exchanges and financial markets indicate who is really hurt by “Brexit” – the masters of big finance and the banks. But there is an alternative view about the referendum held in Britain on whether it should remain in, or, leave the European Union.

NSG Fiasco

THE Modi government has suffered a humiliating setback in its frantic efforts to acquire membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The diplomatic effort to enlist support for the NSG membership was led by Prime Minister Modi himself. In the run-up to the Seoul meeting of the NSG, Modi visited Switzerland and Mexico to muster support from these countries. The 48-member NSG works on the basis of consensus. In the Seoul meeting, ten countries did not agree to take up India’s membership in the NSG at this stage.

FDI: Ruinous Policies

THE Modi government has announced another set of sweeping liberalised norms for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in various sectors. In the last two years of the Modi government, there has been successive liberalisation of FDI norms across the board. The current relaxations include 100 per cent FDI in the defence sector, retail food trade, civil aviation, cable networks, DTH and other telecom services. Apart from this, 74 percent FDI through the automatic route will be allowed to facilitate takeover of existing Indian pharmaceutical companies.

BJP: Division of Labour

THE two-day national executive of the BJP held in Allahabad on June 12-13 has confirmed the division of labour between the Modi-Shah duo. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi harped on vikas and his government’s commitment to push forward development, the BJP president Amit Shah spoke about the Hindutva issues such as the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana in Western Uttar Pradesh. The national executive, being held in Uttar Pradesh, focused on the BJP strategy for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state to be held by February 2017.

Dadri: Hate Politics Over “Beef”

THAT the BJP will indulge in “beef politics” to create communal polarisation in Uttar Pradesh has been made amply clear in recent days. Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in his house in Bisara village in Dadri in September last year on the false charge that he had kept beef and consumed it in his house. Eighteen persons, including some BJP men, were arrested and are now facing trial for the murder of Akhlaq.

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