An Alignment in US Interests

IF there is any confirmation required that the Modi government is fully aligned with the United States’ strategy in Asia, it has come with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India. During the visit, various agreements were signed which established close military and security ties with Japan. This is what the United States has wanted India to do as Japan and India are the two pillars in its Asia-Pacific strategy. It is under the urging of the United States that the trilateral security alliance was forged during Modi’s visit to Japan in September 2014.

India-Pakistan Talks:Move Forward

THE visit of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to Islamabad to attend a conference on Afghanistan, preceded by the meeting of the national security advisors and foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan, mark an abrupt reversal by the Modi government of its stand with regard to talks with Pakistan. While it marks a welcome change, it also underlines the flip-flops and the lack of consistency in Indian diplomacy vis-à-vis Pakistan.

West Bengal: Rising Resistance

WEST Bengal is witnessing rising resistance and mass activities against the misrule and terror tactics of the Trinamul Congress. The Bengal Platform of Mass Organisations (BPMO) had organised jathas to cover 64,000 polling booths in the state. The rest of the 17,000 booths were to be covered later. These jathas took place between November 14 to 30. According to the reports received so far, over 60,000 booths were touched by around 18,000 jathas. Approximately, 16 lakh people participated in the jathas.

A Vacuous Tribute

THE winter session of parliament is to begin with a two-day special sitting to observe the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar and the adoption of the draft Constitution on November 26, 1949. There is no doubt that the legacy of Dr Ambedkar, the champion of social equality and one of the main architects of the Constitution should be commemorated. But the question is, how it is to be done.

Paris Outrage: Change Course in Syria

ANOTHER terrorist outrage, this time in Paris. On November 13, on a Friday night, gunmen wearing explosive vests mowed down 129 people and injured 200 others in six places in the city. The fact that most of those killed were young men and women who had gone to a concert or were in restaurants for fun and relaxation makes their deaths more reprehensible and poignant. That this happened in the French capital which is the centre of European culture and civilisation makes it a barbarous crime. There were other terrorist attacks in the same week.

Stop Bullying Nepal

THE Modi government’s confrontationist policy towards Nepal has led to an unprecedented breach in India-Nepal relations. After adopting a negative attitude to the Constitution promulgated in Nepal on September 20, the BJP government has gone ahead with further exacerbating tensions.

No Protein for the Poor

DAL prices have continued its upward trend causing real suffering for the people. Tur Dal is now more expensive than chicken with its retail price at Rs 220 per kg. Prices of arhar and urad are double what it was in October 2014. The prices of pulses is not just a problem of price rise, it is also of food security as the bulk of the population derive its protein requirements from pulses. As against the recommended daily requirement of 50 to 60 grams, current availability of pulses is less than 30 grams per day.

In the Name of the Cow

DADRI was not just an aberration or an isolated incident. Following the killing of Mohd Akhlaq by a mob in a village in Dadri on the false accusation of eating beef, there have been a spate of similar attacks using cow slaughter as the pretext. The death of 20 year old Noman after a truck carrying cattle was attacked in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh was followed by an arson attack in Udhampur on a truck carrying coal from Kashmir valley. Twenty three year old Zahid Ahmed died of burns sustained in this attack which was based on a malicious rumour about the killing of two cows.

Writers Stand Up

INDIA’S writers have done the country proud.  They have stood up to condemn the rising attack on freedom of expression, the worst manifestation of which was the killing of Prof M M Kalburgi who was murdered by extremists on August 30.


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