Vol. XLIV No. 44 November 01, 2020

BIHAR: First Phase of Elections: Mahagathbandhan Gets Good Response

THE first phase of voting in 71 constituencies of out of 243 ended with more than 50 per cent voter turnout. All the indications from different sources point towards a change of government on November 10 in Bihar; the people of Bihar particularly workers...

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People’s Alliance: Rising to the Challenge in J&K

THE People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) that has taken shape in Jammu & Kashmir augurs well for democratic politics and the future fight for safeguarding the constitutional and democratic rights of the people of J&K. The first Gupkar declaration was on August 4, 2019 when six parties met at the house of Farooq Abdullah in Gupkar Road after which the declaration was named. The statement talked of safeguarding...

Labour Hours Lost During the Pandemic

THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) has for some months been bringing out a report that monitors the impact of the pandemic on the world economy, especially the labour-hours lost because of the lockdown and their ramifications. The statistics it provides are not compilations of official data from different countries; they are based on the ILO’s own estimates made with whatever information is available from these countries. One cannot say how accurate...

DST’s Super Model: Or How Not to Model an Epidemic

THE Department of Science and Technology has sponsored a model, described as a “Super Model” that – according to the governmental hype –claims India’s lockdown was highly successful and we perhaps have reached herd immunity. The media has widely reported that according to the DST Super Model, the lockdown saved nearly two million lives, and by February 2021, even without a vaccine the epidemic in India will be over. The only...

Military Alliance with US not in National Interest

THE 2+2 meeting of the Indian and US defence and foreign ministers held in Delhi on October 27 has resulted in the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on geo-spatial cooperation. With this agreement, all the so-called foundational agreements for a military alliance with the United States have been completed. This also comes in the wake of the joint naval exercise, “Malabar exercise”, between the four partners...

AP: Ruling & Opposition Parties Vying to Befriend BJP

POLITICS in Andhra Pradesh are reflecting a dangerous trend. The YSR Congress Party, TDP and Jana Sena are vying with each other in playing to the tunes of the central government headed by the communal BJP. There appears to be no difference between those parties in power in the state and those in opposition in this regard. The very bifurcation of the united AP was a painful experience for the people. It is all the more...

Left Front Objects to Tripura CM’s Remarks Encouraging Violence

THE Left Front has written an open letter to Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb objecting to his “grossly unparliamentary and undemocratic” remarks egging on BJP cadres to annihilate the Communists from the state before the 2023 assembly election. The Left Front also highlighted the government’s failure on all fronts – be it tackling the coronavirus pandemic or employment generation or...

Grim Reality of the J &K Situation

ON August 5, 2019, the Government of India abrogated Article 370, divided the state of J&K into two union territories, depriving its people of their democratic and citizenship rights in the most draconian manner. The government claimed that this was necessary to end militancy and terrorism and to bring development, jobs and prosperity. The reality of the past one year has given the lie to these claims.

Beware: Wicked US Imperialism in our Region

TO better understand the real reasons behind the frequent visits of the officials of US administration to India and their interest in our region, one needs to study some of the recent documents of the US administration. A series of documents starting from the National Security Strategy (2017), Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region (2019) to the latest titled United States Strategic Approach to...

Fixed Term Employment: Backdoor Policy to Legalise ‘Hire & Fire’

ON fixed term employment – the new system of employment for fixed duration – the BJP-led NDA government at the centre has been moving in a planned manner to give special benefits to the domestic and foreign corporates under the garb of labour law reforms. It is one of the major concessions being granted to them.

Subterfuge, Amendments will rob the J & K People of their Foremost Asset

Very few had imagined that the so-called integration of J&K, post-August 5, 2019 after the scrapping of Articles 370 & 35 A of the Constitution would mean losing land by the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Before we go into the intention of the amendment brought into the land laws in J &K on October 27, it is pertinent to mention and to understand as to who will buy land in the...