Editorial

The Poison Spreads

THE pace of communalisation has quickened in the past few weeks, both through the official level and by the Hindutva outfits on the ground. Soon after the “Samanvay Baithak” of the RSS held in the first week of September, the minister for culture, Mahesh Sharma came out with a series of pronouncements regarding cultural pollution by western values and about restoring Indian culture based on the thinking established in the Gita, Mahabharat and the Ramayana.

Nepal Constitution: A Historic Step

THE adoption of a federal, democratic and secular Constitution in Nepal is a historic occasion. The protracted struggle of the Nepalese people against feudal authoritarianism and for democracy has culminated in the establishment of a federal, democratic and secular State. Eight years after the interim Constitution, after a tortuous political process, the Constituent Assembly voted overwhelmingly (507 out of 601) to approve the Constitution.

Public Health Crisis

THE tragic suicide by the parents of a seven year old boy who died due to dengue in Delhi is a shocking reminder of the dismal state of the health care system in the country.  30 million Indians are infected by dengue fever every year and 80 percent of them do not get medical care, or, are refused admission in hospitals on the plea that no beds are available. This illustrates the public health crisis facing the country.  Dengue epidemics break out in Delhi frequently, but the government and the health system have regularly failed to cope with the outbreak.

A Swayamsevak Club

THE three-day meeting of the RSS and its affiliated organisations from September 2 to 4 called the “Samanvya Baithak” was widely reported as a coordination meeting between the RSS and the BJP government.  The meeting was attended by all the senior ministers of the Modi government – Rajnath Singh, the home minister, Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, Sushma Swaraj, the external affairs minister, Manohar Parrikar, the defence minister and others.  The BJP president Amit Shah was present. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended on the last day.

Historic Strike of the Workers

THE countrywide general strike on September 2 called by the Central Trade Unions and independent national federations received massive response from the workers all over the country. Crores of workers employed in almost all the sectors of the economy participated in this strike. Police was used on the workers in several states. The Trinamool government in West Bengal used the brutal force of its police as well as its goons to physically attack the workers on strike. The workers bravely fought back this terror and participated in the strike.

Mayhem on the Markets

THE blame for the collapse of prices on the stock markets, commodity markets, and foreign exchange markets (against the US dollar) around the world, which occurred on Monday, August 24 and is continuing, has been laid at China’s door. The US has asked China to carry out “reforms” in its financial sector to stem the collapse, and many Western bourgeois commentators have also urged the Chinese government to intervene for this purpose.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: A Hollow Speech

COMPARED to the grandiose vision and slogans set out in his first speech at the Red Fort on Independence Day last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a defensive speech on August 15 this year.  Actually, Modi has much to be defensive about. His speech was mostly about what has been accomplished by the government regarding the announcements made in the last Red Fort address.  But he had to labour hard and in vain to prove the point that much has been done.

Foxconn in India

FOXCONN, the world’s largest contract manufacturing company for consumer electronics, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set-up a factory in Maharashtra with an investment of $ 5 billion (Rs 32,000 crores).  The Taiwan based Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, whose trade name is Foxconn, has become a giant manufacturing company which, on contract, supplies all the leading electronic companies like Apple, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Samsung and others.  That such a company is setting up hardware manufacturing facilities in India is noteworthy.  But Foxconn has another reputation that one

Shielding Wrongdoing

THE monsoon session of parliament has been stalled ever since it began on July 21.  The main reason for this is the Modi government’s obduracy in refusing to even recognise that there are serious charges against a union minister and against the two chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. After refusing to respond to the opposition demand that action be taken in these three cases, throughout the prime minister has remained silent. He refuses to take a stand and his ministers have been trying to hurl counter-charges against Congress chief ministers.

Implications of the Gurdaspur Attack

THE Gurdaspur attack by an extremist squad crossing over from Pakistan is a first of its kind in Punjab. The three-member group is reported to have crossed the international border a few kilometers from the site of attack in Dinanagar. Two similar attacks by Lashkar –e-taiba squads had taken place in Jammu earlier this year.

The terrorist attack killed seven people altogether, three of whom were civilians. The extremists ended up in the Dinanagar Police Station where they were finally killed by the security forces after a 15 hour gun battle.

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