Reflex Action

Barun Das Gupta
General elections in Bangladesh will be held by the end of this year. The constitutional requirement is that the elections be held between October 31, 2018 and January 28, 2019. This time the elections will be held in conditions that are different from those that obtained in 2014. Then the biggest opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Begum Khaleda Zia, boycotted the polls because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League refused to have the elections conducted by a caretaker government. The boycott helped the League...

L S Herdenia
Mandsaur will turn into a Kurukshetra from June 1 onwards when various farmers’ organisations will launch a ten-day agitation to mark the first anniversary of the farmers’ agitation, which took a violent turn culminating in the killing of six persons last year. Brisk preparations are being made by farmers’ organisations for the success of the state-wide protests. Congress on its part is preparing for the visit of its national president Rahul Gandhi on June 6. Besides addressing rallies, he will visit many villages that were affected by last...

Amulya Ganguli
It is rather unusual for the BJP president, Amit Shah, to concede that his party is not as favourably placed as he normally suggests because his is an uncompromising “win at all costs and take no prisoners” approach. It was somewhat uncharacteristic of the blustery, ever-confident party chief to say, therefore, that the Samajwadi Party-BSP combine poses a challenge to his party in U.P. For a master tactician who is hailed as a modern-day Chanakya with his belief in the saam (discussion), daam (payment), dand (punishment), bhed (division)...

Amritananda Chakravorty
Last week witnessed the violent face of the State machinery that is often reserved for the disturbed or conflict-ridden areas like Chattisgarh, Assam, North-Eastern States or even Jammu and Kashmir. On 22nd May, 2018, thirteen protestors were gunned down in cold blood by the Tamil Nadu police, when they were protesting against the Sterlite Copper plant, a unit of Vedanta Limited, at Thoothikudi, Tamil Nadu, and demanding its closure, owing to the plant polluting the entire area. It was on the occasion of 100th day of peaceful protests that the...

A unique concept was born, “Mahatma Gandhi International School” with an intention & commitment to provide result oriented quality education.  “Nothing can  substitute the classroom teaching from experienced Guru”. The lessons from them make the most difficult topic the easiest one. It goes a long way in sharpening the skills and the fine tuning of concepts. The classroom environment keeps the students focused and motivated. It is the most comfortable place where the students gain the most by learning through experts and clearing their...

Nantoo Banerjee
Capricious US trade and diplomatic policies seem to have dumped world diplomacy into disorder. Countries in Europe and Asia are getting increasingly confused and uncertain about staying ‘allied’ with the US. With President Donald Trump appearing as a highly unpredictable ‘ally’ even to traditionally close Britain, Germany and France, nations are confused over a changing diplomatic order. Russia and China have certainly gotten closer to protect themselves against US whim-whams in the region.  India seems to be at its wits end as the US is...

Susan Ram
Exactly fifty years ago this month, France was aflame. In one of the world’s most developed capitalist economies, the ‘impossible’ – the prospect of revolution from below – struck suddenly with resounding force, fury and festivity. Students and workers in their millions spilled onto the streets, closing factories, occupying campuses and triggering the biggest general strike France has ever known. The government of the day, headed by President Charles de Gaulle, was plunged into panic. Today, millions of people across France are reliving these...

Harihar Swarup
The outcome of Karnataka elections is loud and clear. It’s emergence of a grand   anti-BJP front before next year’s Lok Sabha’s elections which otherwise looked an impossible task. An error, a mighty miscalculation or call it political opportunism in inviting BJP leader B S Yeddurappa to form the government, giving him an unusually long time—15 days—to prove his majority on the floor of the house drove opposition parties to come on one platform. The Supreme Court cut the time to 24 hours given to Yeddurappa but, seeing no chance of mustering a...

John Bachtell
Marxism is the world’s most influential body of thought and has changed the course of human history. It is more relevant than ever for addressing humanity’s urgent challenges despite the desperate efforts by the capitalist class to bury it. Among their many discoveries, Marx and his lifelong comrade Frederick Engels showed how capitalism comprised one transitory stage of social development and would be surpassed by higher stages. This couldn’t occur without the agency of people, though, and Marx and Engels proclaimed the historic mission of...

K R Sudhaman
It is really sad that India had taken 70 years after Independence to provide electricity to all its villages. It is not that the previous governments had not done anything and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come with a magic wand to accomplish this great task. There are six lakh villages in India and majority of the population still lived in rural areas. What Modi government has done in the last four years is to provide electricity to nearly 19,000 villages which still did not have power. Electricity was provided to other 5.8 lakh...

Aditya Aamir
Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s #HumFitTohIndiaFit challenge to cricketer Virat Kohli has landed Prime Minister Narendra Modi looking remarkably unfit! Rathore tagged Kohli to the challenge and Anushka Sharma’s husband promptly tagged PM Modi to #HumFitTohIndiaFit. Within the hour, Modi was target of a 101 challenges thrown at him by political rivals and commoners alike. His silence on #ThoothukudiKillings was challenged. And he was challenged to #ProduceDegrees. Rathore’s challenge was ill-timed. He should have also known that...

Sankar Ray
The spectre of Pushpa Lal Shrestha seemed to have been stalking where Khagda Prasad Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka ‘Prachanda’, chairpersons of Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) were jointly planting a party unification plant called Ginkgo Biloba at the official residence the Prime Minister in Baluwatar (a plant that survived the massive devastation due to dropping of atom bombs by the US air force in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during the World War II) on 17 May after the...

Anjan Roy
Oil prices have started pinching as these touch the highs of some six years ago. With the Karnataka state elections out of the way, prices for petrol and diesel have today reached the highest level ever. Depending on the metropolis where you are buying, you will pay a price of Rs 75.32 per litre to Rs 83.16 per litre. For the last 15 days or so, the prices were held back from any hike understandably as the two national political majors were fighting out a bitter electoral battle. Now that they have disengaged, the prices have been left free...

Arun Srivastava
Even a brusque caution from senior minister Sarju Roy to have the renewal of mining rights to companies investigated by some professional agency for wrong-doing, as the existing procedures are violation of court orders, the Bihar government has preferred to sit idle an allow the scamsters to have an field day. A couple of months back the Jharkhand government had to face a disconcerting revolt by Roy, who had walked out of the cabinet meeting. Strongly objecting to the renewal of mining contracts he had observed; “I don't want to go to jail"....

Amulya Ganguli
By turning all predictions about Karnataka upside down, the BJP has shown yet again how effectively it runs the party’s election campaign. Disproving the belief that there was no wave in favour or against any party or that the outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah had successfully countered the anti-incumbency factor, the BJP has demonstrated through its victory a remarkable rapport with the people. In contrast, Siddaramaiah was apparently living in an illusory world, secure in the belief that a lacklustre opponent like B.S. Yeddyurappa offered...

Nitya Chakraborty
The results of the Karnataka assembly elections have grim lessons for the opposition parties, especially the Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi in determining strategy for the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2019.The BJP led by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo has recorded a massive victory devaluing the Congress in this important southern state. This victory will give BJP a major boost in its coming campaign in the assembly elections in the three states-Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh by the end of the year. There is also a possibility...

Mrinal K Biswas
Democratic centralism has been put to rest in the Communist Party of India (Marxist). At least for the time being. The party’s theoretically highest policy making congress this time broke the embedded practice of echoing and approving anything coming from the top leaders sitting in politburo or central committee forced an alteration in the draft political resolution of the central committee.  The official resolution at a vital point while stating the need to fight out the mentioned menace of Bharatiya Janata Party said, “However, this has to...

Amritananda Chakravorty
Two recent decisions from the Supreme Court of India have emphasised consent at the centre of adult intimate relationships, irrespective of the marital status of the parties. In both cases, the Court focused on the personal freedom and autonomy of adult persons to live as per their desires with whomsoever they wanted to live with. Neither the State nor non-State actors like family have any right to interfere with such decisions, if made out of free will. In one case, the daughter of a politician from Karnataka was forced into marriage by her...

Rick Nagin
The ideas of Marxism originated in the middle of the 19th century. It was then that two great social scientists, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, first realized that capitalism was a continuation of previous class systems where wealth was accumulated in private hands from the unpaid labor of workers. They showed that this necessarily causes continual struggle between the classes of private property owners and workers. In the opening lines of The Communist Manifesto, they stressed what had been recognized by many previous writers—that these...

Gyan Pathak
Thanks to its strong economic fundamentals, India has finally earned the ‘the fastest growing economy’ of the world tag in spite of its being home to the largest number of illiterates and poor of the world, and the recent economic policy experiments and misadventures. It is now time to prepare for the uncertainties and risks lying ahead, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) points out in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific. About 75 per cent of the total economic growth of Asia comes from India and China alone,...

K Raveendran
The dome of the Supreme Court building evokes a certain symbolism that conjures up a larger meaning to all Indians, lending the hallowed precincts of the last resort of justice an overbearing air of solemnity and authority. But whatever has happened under the dome in the past one week must make all Indians squirm. History will perhaps record the seven days as the darkest in the annals of the highest court of the land. We have had judges behaving in the most unimaginable fashion, setting a new low in thoughts and deeds. In one of these, the...

Aditya Aamir
The hunt for the ‘real core Hindu’ is on. Somebody ‘right’ asked the other day: ‘Will the real core Hindu please stand up?’ So far nobody has stood up. Resident Indian National Congress leader in Pakistan Mani Shankar Aiyar is not ‘real core Hindu’. He told his Pakistani constituency that 69% of India did not vote for ‘Hindu nationalist party’ BJP. Aiyar’s main point was the 69% who did not vote Modi were a “fractionized” lot. The ‘real core Hindu’ is different from 'hardcore Hindu'. He is supposed to have certain standard traits. He should...

Amulya Ganguli
Eighty years after Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s portrait was put up in Aligarh Muslim University, the BJP’s electoral compulsions in Karnataka have made the saffron apparatchiki call for its removal. The delayed reaction is typical of the Hindutva camp. Its devotion for Lord Ram, for instance, came to the fore only in the late 1980s although the RSS was formed in 1925 and the Jan Sangh in 1951. It was only in 1989, however, that the BJP’s national executive endorsed the VHP’s decision taken four years earlier to “liberate” Ramjanmabhoomi where the...

L S Herdenia
Kamal Nath’s visit to Bhopal and the mammoth reception he got opened a new chapter in the politics of Madhya Pradesh. The mature way he behaved has forced the ruling BJP to realise that the challenge was real and it can’t afford to be complacent. By all accounts the reception was unprecedented and biggest since BJP came to power in 2003. Normally people are brought to participate in such events. But this time it is claimed that people came on their own. What does this massive turnout mean? Firstly it means that people are fed up with the...

Dr Arun Mitra
Every year 6.3 crore people of our country are pushed below poverty line because of out of pocket expenditure on health. This fact is admitted by the National Health Policy document 2017. Nearly 67% of this expenditure is incurred on drugs. Therefore, it is important that prices of drugs should be brought under control. To regulate the pharmaceutical companies, a Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) was prepared by the department of pharmaceuticals, Government of India in 2011. But it was said to be voluntary for some...