THIS year has been controversial for India’s ‘multilateral diplomacy’. The SAARC summit, which was originally scheduled for November in Islamabad, got scuttled, thanks to India’s boycott.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have since clarified that they too sought postponement of the summit in Islamabad, but for reasons other than ‘terrorism’. So has Afghanistan. Nepal regrets the postponement of the summit and wants an early re-scheduling. Maldives keeps silent. India draws satisfaction Pakistan’s credential to put on the mantle of regional leadership even by rotation has been disputed.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Khairlanji massacre on September 29, we are reprinting an article about the intervention of our Party in this incident. This article originally appeared in the People’s Democracy, dated November 19, 2006, Vol. XXX, No. 47.
SOON after Modi government came to power at the centre in 2014, the union ministry of petroleum and natural gas under Dharmendra Pradhan submitted a petition before Delhi High Court pleading for rejection of the complaint petition of the government’s own Navratna company ONGC against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) for illegitimately drawing thousands of crores of rupees worth of natural gas from the ONGC’s block in KG basin.
SELDOM has one heard prime minister saying something which turns out to be true. For a change, his observation on ‘gau rakshaks’ or cow vigilantes is spot on. While speaking on the second anniversary of his government, “It makes me angry that people are running shops in the name of cow protection… Some people indulge in anti-social activities at night, and in the day masquerade as cow protectors,” thundered the prime minister.
The country witnessed a massive strike by the working class across the country on September 2, 2016, the largest ever strike against the impact of the neo-liberal policies. The entire country was brought to a grinding halt. Millions of workers came out on to the streets and blocked the highways and railways to vehemently express their resentment and anger against the BJP government’s anti-worker and anti-people policies. The kisans and agricultural workers joined them in many places.
Constructing a house for Perumbavoor murder victim Jisha’s mother and making it available a day before the promised date, the decision to increase the rate of welfare pensions, reopening of cashew factories on Chingam 1 as declared earlier, disbursing the pensions of more than 37 lakh people at their homes within 100 days, and the fact that we were able to start the comprehensive loan waiver scheme as planned all reflect our care for and commitment to the weaker sections of our society.
The BJP had just concluded its week-long 'tiranga yatra' that was started on the Independence Day. The stated purpose of the yatra is to instill a 'fresh bout of nationalism' among the people. This is a blatant attempt to appropriate the 'national flag' to serve its parochial nationalist designs. National flag is a product of our anti-colonial freedom struggle, in which the BJP or its mother organisation – the RSS, played no role.
Caste has been playing a very dominant, debilitating role in our society since long. “Turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform; you cannot have economic reform, unless you kill this monster”. Recalling these words of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, one can say that the condition of social justice in our country is woefully bad. Rising instances of caste discrimination, untouchability, attacks on dalits and adivasis reflect this situation. Caste rigidities have made the lives of dalits and adivasis difficult.
THIS 13th August, we will be celebrating the 90th birthday of one of the living legends of our times – Fidel Castro Ruz. Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926 in a relatively well-to-do family and studied in various religious schools for the wealthy, before graduating in law from the University of Havana. For many, this would have provided the perfect platform to pursue conservative politics. But not for Fidel, as he is fondly called. He chose a different path, to become one of the greatest and finest revolutionaries.
Below are the edited excerpts of CPI(M) general secretary and MP Sitaram Yechury’s speech in Rajya Sabha during a short-duration discussion on ‘recent incidents of atrocities on Dalits in various parts of the country’ on July 21.