KERALA'S renaissance movements in the past 100 years made big strides. These movements had helped women in the struggle to shake off patriarchy and advance towards gender equality. But unfortunately, following the recent Supreme Court verdict which allowed the entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala temple, there had been attempts to belittle the achievements of the women in Kerala and to sideline them as second class citizens.
THE National Rural Employment Guarantee Act that brought the MGNREGS into being was a unique piece of legislation in the history of independent India. It stipulated that employment was to be made available on demand, within a fortnight of being asked for, failing which an unemployment allowance had to be paid. True, its scope was confined only to rural areas, and it promised employment only upto 100 days per household per year; but it made employment a right.
THIS year also, the Indian Science Congress held in Jalandhar, covered itself with shame; as it has been doing for the last few years. Venkataramanan Ramakrishnan, the Nobel Prize winning scientist, had called it a circus for discussing in Mumbai session of the science congress the irrational: ancient India had aircrafts, genetic engineering, etc. This tradition of celebrating mumbo jumbo as science from the Dinanath Batra School of Nonsense continues, with more and more outrageous claims being paraded each year in the science congress.
THE country has witnessed a massive two days countrywide general strike on January 8-9, 2019 by the working people against the anti-people, anti-worker and anti-national policies of the BJP-led government of India. The general strike was called by all, in the united platform of 10 central trade unions and almost all independent national federations. The strike by the working class had drawn countrywide support and solidarity, with various forms of protest actions by the people of other walks of lives, the peasantry and agricultural workers in particular.
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has visited 92 countries since 2014. In sharp contrast, Manmohan Singh, his predecessor at the PMO undertook only 93 foreign trips during his 10 years in office. The difference in number of diplomatic visits reflects the style and priorities of the two prime ministers. Manmohan Singh largely travelled to meet diplomatic commitments and obligations. Modi, the flamboyant of the two, has used the trips more for promoting his own brand than to achieve foreign policy goals.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau has issued the following statement on January 8, 2019
THE Supreme Court judgement reinstating the CBI Director Alok Verma shows how the Modi government has subverted and subordinated every single rule and norm in the functioning of institutions like the CBI, to suit its narrow political interests.
THE magnificent country wide general strike on January 8-9, 2019 reflected the tide of people’s anger against the anti-worker, anti-people and anti-national neoliberal policies pursued by the BJP led government at the centre. It surpassed in its sweep and depth, even the earlier two massive general strikes, on September 2, 2015 and 2016 held during this Modi government’ regime.
THE All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) held a militant protest on January 4 on the road towards Parliament House against the purification rituals carried out by the priests after two women entered the Sabarimala temple. They also denounced the violence let loose by the RSS-BJP in Kerala on January 3. Women and students marched from Vithalbhai Patel House towards Parliament House, brushing aside all attempts by the police to stop them. They were finally stopped by barricades near Vijay Chowk.
SINCE the Narendra Modi government has assumed office, reason and science have come under continuous threat -- beginning with the prime minster himself suggesting that the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha could be a proof for the existence of plastic surgery during the Puranic ages. Similarly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had observed that roadside tarot card readers with a caged parrot were far more superior than trained astronomers in anticipating future events. Recently, we had Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath speculating on the possible caste origin of Lord Hanuman.