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India

Nuke deal a conduit to import US crisis into India

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with US President George Bush

By Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

October 14, 2008 -- India's United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government finally sealed the nuclear deal with the US on October 10. For the Congress Party and the coalition of ``Unashamed Partners of America'' headed by it, the nuclear deal is the supreme achievement of the government. On the eve of signing the deal, India's external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee reiterated India's commercial commitment to the US nuclear energy industry: "We look forward to working with US companies on the commercial steps that will follow to implement this landmark Agreement." In a second statement issued after the agreement's signing he also reiterated India's commitment to implement the agreement in good faith even though no such reciprocal assurance was made by the US to confirm New Delhi's claim regarding the so-called US ``guarantee'' on uninterrupted fuel supply.

India: What happens to a dream deferred? Does it explode?

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?


Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.


Or does it explode?

-- Langston Hughes, 1951

By Kavita Krishnan

India's Katrina: Bihar floods -- criminal negligence, not divine deluge (+ emergency appeal)

By Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

[See below for relief fund details.]

September 2, 2008 -- The regime of Nitish Kumar, which rules the Indian state of Bihar, boasts of ``Bihar Shining''. These claims are now submerged by the cries of ``Bihar Drowning''. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's claims of ``good governance'' have proved a washout in the face of the floods, and now the Chief Minister Kumar is trying to paint the floods as a ``natural'' calamity or divine ``deluge'' (Pralay).

Nothing could be further from the truth. The flood devastation was highly preventable – and is a direct result of callous negligence of basic flood-prevention strategies by the Bihar and central Indian governments. Despite the fact that every year breaches in embankments cause floods in the state, maintenance and repair of embankments have been rampantly neglected.

Behind the communal flare-up in Jammu and Kashmir

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

August 18, 2008 -- The communally and politically motivated May 26 decision of the Congress Party-People's Democratic Party (PDP) government of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to transfer forest land [in Muslim-majority Kashmir] to the Hindu Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) [for use as a pilgrimage site near a sacred Hindu cave] is having costly repercussions, with the added danger that it may emerge as a communal [flashpoint] nationally.

The land transfer, taken in the context of irresponsible official remarks recommending changes in the demography and “culture” of the region as a “solution” to the Kashmir “problem”, was like a spark to the tinderbox of pent-up resentment in the Kashmir Valley. Lives were lost when police opened fire on protesters; the PDP tried to distance itself from its ministers’ decision in favour of the land transfer by pulling out of the government; and the government on July 1 was belatedly forced to roll back the land transfer decision.

India: US imperialism’s new cop on the South Asian beat

By Kavita Krishnan

June 11, 2008 -- The Indian ruling class is striving to forge what it calls a ``strategic partnership’’ with the United States, and in this aim the major ruling-class political parties are united. The previous government -- a coalition termed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by the Hindu majoritarian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- which was in power from 1999-2004, had in the wake of 9/11 strived to prove to the US rulers that India was a more stable and suitable ally on the subcontinent for the US ``war on terror’’ than Pakistan.

Global food crisis: Capitalism, agribusiness and the food sovereignty alternative

By Ian Angus

[Second of two articles. Click here for part one.]

“Nowhere in the world, in no act of genocide, in no war, are so many people killed per minute, per hour and per day as those who are killed by hunger and poverty on our planet.” —Fidel Castro, 1998

May 11, 2008 -- When food riots broke out in Haiti last month, the first country to respond was Venezuela. Within days, planes were on their way from Caracas, carrying 364 tons of badly needed food.

The people of Haiti are “suffering from the attacks of the empire’s global capitalism,” Venezuela's President Hugo Chàvez said. “This calls for genuine and profound solidarity from all of us. It is the least we can do for Haiti.”

Venezuela’s action is in the finest tradition of human solidarity. When people are hungry, we should do our best to feed them. Venezuela’s example should be applauded and emulated.

But aid, however necessary, is only a stopgap. To truly address the problem of world hunger, we must understand and then change the system that causes it.

No shortage of food

The starting point for our analysis must be this: there is no shortage of food in the world today.

Adding insult to injury: Bush says starving India eats too much

By Kavita Krishnan

May 7, 2008 -- Karl Marx, born on 5 May, 1818, nearly two centuries ago, had in 1867 laid bare the ``intimate connection between the pangs of hunger of the most industrious layers of the working class, and the extravagant consumption, coarse or refined, of the rich, for which capitalist accumulation is the basis'' (Capital Vol. 1, Ch. 25). In May 2008, nearly a century and a half later, as we hear Emperor Bush hold forth on global hunger, we are reminded that capitalism and global wealth remains just as intimately wedded to hunger.

For related Links articles, including a video by Hugo Chavez, click here

Nepal: Republican resurgence led by the red flag

By Lal Bahadur Singh, Liberation, magazine of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation)

Kathmandu -- ``Nepal Stuns World, Itself: Poll Peaceful, Turnout 60%'' -- that was the banner headline of the Kathmandu Post, the leading Nepal newspaper, on April 11, 2008, the morrow of the historic constituent assembly elections. It was stunning indeed that the constituent assembly elections in a Nepal torn by civil strife were held in a remarkably peaceful atmosphere, and with a huge participation of the people. However the real stunner was yet to come some hours later when by the midnight of April 11 it became clear that a Red Star was rising in full bloom over Sagarmatha, i.e. Everest, the highest peak in the world, in the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom.

The CPI (M) and stages of revolution

By Dipankar Basu

March 25, 2008 -- This article attempts to throw some light on the following two questions: (1) How does the classical Marxist tradition conceptualise the relationship between the two stages of revolution: democratic and the socialist? (2) Does the democratic revolution lead to deepening and widening capitalism? Is capitalism necessary to develop the productive capacity of a society?

Cricket, excess and market mania

By Srinivasan Ramani

The Indian Premier League is seen as a bonanza for cricket viewers, players and corporate owners, but hidden behind the glitz is the fact that it represents a distorted form of commodity and consumer excess. The Indian Premier League (IPL), a corporate-driven tournament featuring a set of city teams playing Twenty20 cricket, has made news with a multimillion dollar player auction. Players from various cricket-playing nations were ``bought'' and ``sold'' through bids made by the corporate-owned teams (the franchisees).

Cricket in India has become the only sport that has captured widespread mass and media attention. The popularity of the sport has increased in leaps and bounds, and the way the sport has been managed and administered has reflected the dominant mode of economic transactions in the country.

India: CPI (M) -- Reconciling `anti-imperialist' rhetoric with `neoliberal constraints'

Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist (Liberation)

March 5, 2008 -- The draft political resolution released by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for its 19th Congress provides quite a revealing commentary on the opportunist political trajectory of the party. The resolution is characteristically elaborate about the description of the international and national situation. But when it comes to spelling out the concrete positions and role of the party, the resolution is rather vague and evasive. And as for the debate that the party now increasingly faces in its own circles, the resolution dismisses everything as a big anti-CPI(M) conspiracy!

India: CPI (ML)'s Kolkata Congress: People's Resistance, Left Resurgence

January 7, 2008 -- The Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) [CPI (ML)] has been held successfully in Kolkata. Held in the 150th anniversary of the First Indian War of Independence and the birth centenary of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, the 8th Congress boldly underlined the glorious anti-imperialist legacy of the Indian people.

Back to good old Marx in the brave new world of globalisation

By Dipankar Bhattacharya

A decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is now an established fact that capitalism rules the roost in the world. The supremacy of capitalism as the dominant system does not face any immediate challenge. Yet the dominant voice of capitalism is no longer one of euphoria. The triumphalist cries of a few years ago are increasingly giving way to notes of caution and uncertainty. More and more people now realise that what collapsed with the demolition of the Berlin wall or the disintegration of the Soviet Union was not just Soviet-style socialism but also the edifice of what had come to be known as the welfare-state version of capitalism. The end of the Cold War period has come to signify the beginning of a new era of great uncertainties in which even good old capitalism looks increasingly unfamiliar.

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