India Yields to Pressure at Bali

THE Indian media for which the WTO meeting at Bali was of no more than passing interest made out on December 7 that India had achieved a great victory at that meeting. Even The Hindu’s headline read: “India’s Stand Prevails at Bali”. The media were merely echoing the view of the Indian government whose commerce minister even took pride in the fact that it was the Indian draft that was put up for endorsement to the member countries. The truth regrettably is exactly the opposite.

The WTO and Agricultural Subsidy

THE United States and Europe subsidise their agriculture massively. In the US for instance, government expenditure by way of subsidies to the agricultural sector is on average nearly half of the GDP originating from its agriculture. The figures for Europe are broadly similar. In India by contrast, government expenditure by way of subsidies to agriculture is estimated to have been less than 10 percent of the GDP originating from agriculture in the past, and is now just likely to exceed this figure.

The Elusive Recovery

THE world capitalist crisis which began in 2008 not only persists but is worsening. The second half of the current year was supposed to be the period when growth in the major advanced countries would gather momentum. The IMF had predicted in spring that activity would “gradually accelerate”. But the latest figures show that instead of a recovery we have an actual deceleration in growth. In the Eurozone, quarter-to-quarter growth which had been 0.3 percent in the second quarter of this year fell to 0.1 percent in the third quarter.

The War of Words between the US and Germany

ADVANCED capitalist country governments, no matter what their differences, generally put up a common front. They do not attack one another in public. It was surprising therefore when recently the United States attacked German economic policy in an official document and the German government replied in kind. It showed the kind of desperation to which advanced capitalist countries are getting pushed these days by the persistence of the global economic crisis.

On Communal Violence in Muzaffar Nagar

On Communal Violence in Muzaffar Nagar

D P Singh

RECENTLY the district of Muzaffar Nagar in the western part of Uttar Pradesh was engulfed by communal violence and some 44 persons had lost their lives by the time of going to press. The fire had spread to the rural areas of the district and to some nearby districts. Thousands of people had left their ancestral villages, while Muzaffar Nagar city and Shamli town had had to be handed over to the army. Some one thousand people had been arrested but the violence seemed to be continuing unabated.