Undoing the Dominance of the Corporate-Hindutva Alliance

THE farmers’ struggle represents a major step towards undoing the dominance of the corporate-Hindutva alliance that has characterised India in the last few years. The peasants, other petty producers like craftsmen, artisans and fishermen, have been among the worst victims of neoliberalism, which has progressively removed all fetters against the spontaneous tendency of big capital to encroach upon their domains.

Reviving the Economy through Incantations

VOLTAIRE had said “one can always kill a man with incantations, plus a little poison”. Voltaire was a rationalist which the BJP government alas is not. It believes that one can revive an economy with incantations alone, for that is what the budget for 2021-22, presented a few days ago by the finance minister promises to do to the Indian economy.The Indian economy is supposed to have shrunk by 7.7 per cent during the fiscal year 2020-21 compared to the previous year, and it is supposed to rise by 10.5 per cent during 2021-22 compared to 2020-21 according to the Reserve Bank of India.

Hype in the Midst of a Crisis

IN an attempt to persuade listeners into believing that Budget 2021 will complete the conquest of disease and unleash an era of post-Covid expansion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman placed special emphasis in her budget speech on two sets of initiatives. The first was a claim that the budget marks a new beginning for the Indian state’s engagement with peoples’ health, riding on an unprecedented 137 per cent hike in allocations for the health sector, from a mere Rs 94,452 croreallocated in Budget 2020-21 to Rs 2,23,846 crore in Budget 2021-22.

Biden’s Rescue Package

EVEN before taking office, Jo Biden, the new American president, has announced a rescue package of $1.9 trillion, of which as much as $1 trillion will be in the form simply of transfers to the working people. Since the estimated US GDP was $20.8 trillion in 2020, the size of Biden’s rescue package comes to almost 10 per cent of current US GDP. This is on top of the rescue package, again amounting to 10 per cent of GDP, that Trump had announced some time ago in the context of the pandemic.

A Dangerous Red Herring

IN its systematic attempt to vilify the farmers’ movement against the three infamous agriculture bills that open peasant agriculture to corporate take-over, the government keeps using the argument that the opposition to these bills is confined to farmers only from a couple of states, that farmers from other states are happy with the bills.

Engels on the Peasant War in Germany

AT a time when peasant masses in the country are engaged in a valiant struggle for the repeal of the central government’s three infamous laws, and have laid peaceful siege to Delhi, braving rains and bitter cold, it is worth recalling Friedrich Engels’ study of the peasant war in Germany in 1525, that also celebrated its outstanding leader Thomas Muenzer.

The Timidity-cum-Callousness of the Modi Government

THE Modi government must be the most timid in the world vis-à-vis international finance capital. By the same token, it must be the most callous in the world vis-à-vis the working people of the country. The one is the flip side of the other; and the government’s economic policy during the pandemic bears ample testimony to its timidity-cum- callousness.All the advanced country governments provided sizeable relief packages to their populations whose income sources had dried up because of the pandemic and the associated lockdown.

A Matter of Survival of the Peasantry

THE kisans gathered around the Delhi border have unerringly put their fingers on the real issue confronting them, namely their very survival as peasants. Till now there was an arrangement in the country which, though crumbling under the impact of neo-liberalism, still kept the peasantry alive. The three laws brought in by the Modi government are meant to remove this life-line altogether. These three laws thus carry the neo-liberal agenda in this sphere to its limit.

Misconceptions about the Food Economy

THE Indian intelligentsia has an incredible propensity to swallow the self-serving arguments of metropolitan capitalism that are typically supposed to constitute ‘economic wisdom’; and nowhere is this more evident than in the case of India’s food economy. There are a plethora of centre-page articles in newspapers these days suggesting that Indian kisans should move away from producing foodgrains towards other crops, which is actually a demand that metropolitan countries have been making for quite some time.

Countering the Corporate-Hindutva Narrative on the Nation

THE kisan agitation has become more than simply a fight for MSP or against the corporatisation of agriculture. Through its practice, it is recovering a narrative that is opposed to the hegemonic narrative promoted under neo-liberalism. And as the Modi government’s skulduggery for breaking the movement intensifies in the coming days, this recovery will become more and more comprehensive, clear-cut, and oppositional.