A Creeping Authoritarianism

JUNE 25 marked the 40th anniversary of the internal emergency which lasted for 19 months. The imposition of emergency was an infamous and dark chapter in the history of post-independent India. Indira Gandhi, who had won a huge majority in the 1971 Lok Sabha election, was faced with rising popular discontent which erupted in the form of various mass movements such as the Nav Nirman movement in Gujarat and the JP movement. This period also saw the biggest working class struggle in the form of the railway strike in May 1974 involving 17 lakh workers.

Lalit Modi and BJP: Cosy Nexus

THE Modi government is faced with a major scandal concerning the Lalit Modi affair. What this episode reveals is serious impropriety on the part of a senior minister in the cabinet, the cosy nexus of crony capitalism and the typical response of a government which wants to deny and cover up the whole affair.

A Small Victory

THE ban on the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) at the IIT Madras and the subsequent lifting of the ban has exposed the intolerance and hypocrisy of the BJP government at the centre.  This episode has come at a time when the RSS and the BJP are trying to appropriate the legacy of Dr B R Ambedkar utilising the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of this illustrious leader.   In order to do so, they are falsifying history and facts to show that Dr Ambedkar was a supporter of Hindutva and an admirer of the RSS.

Brazen Assault on States’ Rights

THE manner in which the central government headed by Narendra Modi is assaulting the rights of an elected state government is truly brazen.  For the past few weeks, the lieutenant governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, has been taking one arbitrary decision after another bypassing the chief minister and the council of ministers.  The Lt. Governor has been indulging in this unconstitutional and undemocratic behaviour at the behest of the Modi government and the home ministry.

Abandoning Palestine for Israel

THE External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel at a mutually agreed date. This will be the first time an Indian prime minister visits Israel. The significance of such a visit would be that the close strategic relationship existing between the two countries will be given an official stamp. As some commentators have put in, Indo-Israeli relations will be “coming out of the closet”.

Propaganda Can Never Fill Stomachs

THE official celebrations of this BJP-led NDA government’s completion of one year have begun, Prime Minister Modi launched the celebrations amidst a flurry of media blitz from Mathura. The BJP has announced the holding of 200 public meetings across the country. All union ministers, we are told, are to hold at least three public meetings and three press conferences each, ie, over 200 public meetings and 200 press conferences across the country. This may be in addition to the 200 public meetings other RSS/BJP leaders may hold.

Triple Dangers

DURING the course of this one year, Prime Minister Modi has gone on a record eighteen foreign visits. While the country and the people wished that he paid more attention to solving domestic problems, the RSS is elated that through these visits, the PM helped in spreading RSS networks in 40 countries across the world! Clearly, he continues to discharge his responsibilities as an RSS pracharak!

PM MODI’S KOLKATA VISIT: Lethal Political Opportunism

IT was not too long ago that the chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee hurled abuses at the CPI(M)’s Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar for having received, in accordance with official protocol, the prime minister who was visiting Agartala. On prime minister Modi’s recent visit to Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister spread out the red carpet and their new found bonhomie clearly consigned the acrimony between her and the prime minister during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls to the records of history.

Undermining Parliamentary Democracy

THE CPI(M)’s recently concluded 21st Congress spoke of the trident of challenges facing the country and the people. The aggressive pursuit of the neo-liberal policies of economic reforms; the relentless onslaughts on the secular democratic foundations of the Indian republic by the sharpening of communal polarisation and the movement towards an authoritarian rule through the erosion of democratic institutions and methods considered sacrosanct in a parliamentary democracy, constitute the current constellation of challenges before us.

Resist Modi Govt’s Anti-farmer Policies

THE tragic suicide of a kisan during the Aam Aadmi Party rally in New Delhi last week sharply brought out the real face of the deep agrarian distress that has gripped our country. Though these columns were highlighting this growing crisis and distress in Indian agriculture periodically, the depth of what this means to India in general and rural India in particular came under sharp focus with this suicide. Official governmental records show that nearly three lakh farmers have been driven to distress suicides during the last two decades.


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