India

West Bengal: Standoff continues over Stalinists’ land seizure for Tata Motors

Maoists promote Bannerjee

By Ajay Prakash and Keith Jones, 24 September 2008

The political situation in West Bengal remains highly charged, with the Left Front state government desperately seeking to put an end to peasant agitation against the seizure of prime agricultural land for a Tata Motors car assembly complex.

Nuclear Supplier Group gives India unique “waiver,” but only after row between Delhi and Beijing

China’s opposition

By Kranti Kumara and Deepal Jayasekera, 17 September 2008

In the face of immense political pressure from the United States and a frantic Indian lobbying campaign, the 45-nation Nuclear Supplier Group agreed on September 6 to grant India a unique “waiver” exempting the country from the NSG’s rules governing civilian nuclear trade.

Bomb blasts kill 30 in Indian capital

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 September 2008

A series of blasts in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Saturday evening has killed at least 20 people and injured nearly 100. Five bombs went off in quick succession over less than 45 minutes, starting just after 6 p.m.

Protests in West Bengal threaten to derail CPI (M)-sponsored Nano car project

By Kranti Kumara, 5 September 2008

A 13-day-long peasant agitation for the return of land seized by the West Bengal Left Front government on behalf of the Tata Group is threatening to derail the Indian transnational company’s high-profile Nano Car project near Kolkata.

Millions affected by flooding in India and Nepal

Official neglect

By W.A. Sunil, 4 September 2008

Severe flooding in India and Nepal over the past fortnight has affected millions of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless, with little in the way of assistance from government authorities.

Indian government mounts brutal campaign of repression in Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara, 2 September 2008

India’s Congress Party-led Union government has launched a brutal crackdown in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in an effort to stamp out widespread, open defiance of India’s decades-long de facto military rule over the state.

Indian government resorts to armed repression in Kashmir, killing 21 and wounding hundreds

By Kranti Kumara, 19 August 2008

Indian government security forces have shot dead at least 21 unarmed civilians and wounded hundreds of others over the past week in an attempt to repress widespread protests in the northern Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)—India’s only majority Muslim state—over the economic blockade imposed by Hindu-chauvinist groups.

Indian parliament gives green light to Indo-US nuclear treaty

By Keith Jones, 23 July 2008

After an acrimonious debate punctuated by opposition charges of intimidation and vote buying, India’s parliament reaffirmed its confidence in the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Tuesday.

India: Parliamentary “trust vote“ to determine fate of UPA government and Indo-US nuclear treaty

By Keith Jones, 22 July 2008

The Lok Sabha—the lower, directly-elected house of India’s parliament—began debate Monday on a one-sentence motion affirming confidence in the country’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The debate will end today with a vote that will decide the fate of the four-year-old UPA government.

Why India’s Stalinists oppose the US nuclear deal

By Deepal Jayasekera, 15 July 2008

India’s main Stalinist Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has led the four-party Left Front (LF) coalition in withdrawing its parliamentary support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the latter’s going ahead with the Indo-US civil nuclear treaty.

India’s Left Front withdraws from government over US nuclear deal

By Kranti Kumara, 11 July 2008

After four years of loyal support for the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the four-party Left Front political alliance led by the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI(M), has withdrawn its parliamentary backing from the UPA.

India: Government crisis deepens over US nuclear deal

By Kranti Kumara, 3 July 2008

India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has been thrust deeper into political crisis over its determination to push through the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. The agreement has run into objections from the Stalinist-led Left Front, upon which the UPA has relied for political support since the Congress Party-dominated coalition came to power in 2004.

India’s government plots break with Left Front to implement Indo-US nuclear treaty

By Keith Jones, 21 June 2008

Bowing to pressure from Washington and from India’s corporate elite, India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has launched a new drive to implement the Indo-US civilian nuclear treaty.

India: Hindu supremacist BJP forms government in Karnataka

By Kranti Kumara, 14 June 2008

The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP has come to power in Karnataka, after falling just short of winning a parliamentary majority in last month’s state assembly elections. This marks the first time the rightwing Hindu supremacist party has formed a government on its own in a south Indian state.

India: Fuel price hikes deepen political crisis of Congress Party-led government

By K. Ratnayake and Keith Jones, 11 June 2008

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s June 4 announcement of gasoline, diesel oil, and cooking-gas price increases of between 11 and 16 percent has sparked angry protests across India and been the occasion for much posturing on the part of the political establishment.

India: BJP seizes on Jaipur bombing to promote communalism and social reaction

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 May 2008

India’s official opposition, the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has seized on the recent terrorist atrocity in Jaipur, the capital of the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, to promote anti-Muslim and anti-Bangladeshi prejudice and to press for a further strengthening of the repressive powers of the state.

India’s Stalinists mount innocuous protests as masses confront spiraling food prices

By a WSWS Reporting Team, 16 May 2008

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the country’s principal Stalinist party and the dominant party in the Left Front parliamentary bloc, mounted demonstrations outside central government offices in cities and towns across India on Thursday to protest spiraling food prices.

Nearly 1000 unmarked graves discovered in Indian-occupied Kashmir

Likely victims of Indian Security Forces

By Kranti Kumara, 29 April 2008

The Indian government is refusing to investigate credible reports that up to a thousand unmarked graves have been found in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

India: Rising food prices threaten social calamity

By Kranti Kumara, 12 April 2008

Concerned about India’s soaring food prices, the country’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government imposed a ban on all rice exports earlier this month.

India: While waving red-flags, the Stalinist CPM lurches further right

By Arun Kumar, 5 April 2008

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, India’s principal Stalinist party and the dominant partner in the Left Front, concluded its 19th national congress Thursday, April 3.

India: Stalinist CPM’s triennial meeting to reiterate support for Congress Party-led government

By Nanda Wickremasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 29 March 2008

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), India’s most important Stalinist party and the dominant partner in the Left Front, is holding its 19th congress in Coimbatore, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, from March 29 to April 3.

India: Congress Party delivers “populist” budget with a view to coming elections

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 15 March 2008

India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government won preliminary approval yesterday from India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, for its budget for the 2008 fiscal year. The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front, which has been propping up the minority UPA government since the May 2004 elections, voted for the budget, although it has criticized the budget for failing to “effectively” address the key concerns of the people—agrarian distress, unemployment, and spiralling food, petrol and kerosene prices.

US steps up pressure on India to wrap-up Indo-US nuclear treaty

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 7 March 2008

With less than a year remaining in the Bush administration’s term in office, the US political establishment is showing increasing signs of anxiety about the progress India has made in finalizing the Indo-US civilian nuclear treaty. Both senior Republicans and Democrats have hailed the treaty as the cornerstone of an Indo-US “strategic” and “global” partnership.

Indian high court bolsters press censorship on TV, Internet

By Senthil Tholkaapiyan and Senthooran Ravee, 23 February 2008

The Indian High Court has used the furor around the Uma Khurana “sting operation” programme to pressure the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (IB) to increase censorship. Its intervention to curtail investigative journalism has far-reaching implications for freedom of the press, TV and the Internet.

West Bengal’s Left Front government presides over another police massacre

By Kranti Kumara, 12 February 2008

The Left Front government in the east Indian state of West Bengal is defending police who opened fire, without warning, on demonstrators Tuesday, February 5, killing five people and injuring many more.

India: Hindu-communalist BJP wins assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh

By Ajay Prakash and Kranti Kumara, 5 January 2008

The Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retained power in Gujarat despite a major drive by the Congress Party—led by its president and the current head of the Gandhi-Nehru political dynasty, Sonia Gandhi—to wrest control of the west Indian state.

Gujarat elections: BJP chief minister reverts to Muslim-baiting

By Kranti Kumara, 13 December 2007

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, has reverted to stoking up anti-Muslim sentiment in a transparent attempt to polarize the west Indian state on communal lines and thereby cling to power in the state assembly elections that are being held in two phases this week.

West Bengal: Left Front government rattled by popular outrage over Nandigram massacre

By Arun Kumar and Ganesh Dev, 10 December 2007

The Stalinist-led Left Front and especially its dominant partner—the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM—have been rattled by the popular condemnation of the bloody assault CPM goons mounted last month on poor peasants in Nandigram, a complex of villages southwest of West Bengal’s state capital, Kolkata.

In run-up to Gujarat elections

Magazine exposé shows BJP state government organized 2002 pogrom

By Ajay Prakash, 5 December 2007

An exposé in Tehelka magazine has provided further damning proof that the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in the west Indian state of Gujarat was fomented and organized by the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state government of Narendra Modi. The BJP acted in concert with a network of Hindu nationalist and fundamentalist organizations, including the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has long supplied much of the BJP’s cadre and leadership, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Hindu World Council) and the VHP’s youth wing, the Bajrang Dal

Indian Stalinists reverse course, allow Indo-US nuclear deal go to IAEA

By Kranti Kumara, 21 November 2007

Despite a months-long display of conspicuous opposition to the civilian nuclear co-operation treaty that India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government has struck with the Bush administration, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front has abandoned its opposition to New Delhi taking any further steps toward “operationalizing” the deal.

West Bengal’s Stalinist government mounts terror campaign to quash peasant unrest

By Kranti Kumara, 15 November 2007

Through a murderous campaign of terror, the Stalinist government of West Bengal, India’s third most populous state, has reasserted control over Nandigram, an area 160 kilometers southwest of Kolkata (Calcutta) that has been convulsed by peasant protests for the past 10 months.

Indo-US nuclear deal could be casualty of India’s fractured domestic politics

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 13 November 2007

There is growing apprehension in ruling circles in both Washington and New Delhi that the Indo-US nuclear accord, which was enshrined in a treaty that the two states tentatively approved last July, may yet unravel.

Exposé of Gap’s use of child labor part of a broader social phenomenon

By Naomi Spencer, 10 November 2007

On October 28, the British newspaper, the Observer, published an exposure of multibillion-dollar global clothing company Gap’s use of child labor in India to produce children’s clothing bound for US and European markets. Far from being an exception to the rule, the incident reveals the conditions that hundreds of millions of children around the world must endure in the service of global capital.

India’s Congress Party buckles to Hindu Supremacists’ communal campaign over Ram Sethu

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 17 October 2007

The recent furor over the project to dig a shipping-canal in the narrow straits that separate India from Sri Lanka sheds much light on why and how the crisis-ridden Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is able to remain India’s second largest political party, whilst promoting a reactionary socio-economic agenda and noxious Hindu supremacist ideology rejected by the vast majority of Indians.

Indian Supreme Court outlaws Tamil Nadu political protest

By Kranti Kumara, 4 October 2007

Displaying scornful contempt for the democratic right to protest, the Indian Supreme Court ruled last Sunday that a bandh (general strike) called by the ruling coalition in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu for the next day, October 1, was unconstitutional. It then ordered the DMK-led coalition to immediately call off the strike and to use the state machinery to ensure that all normal activity proceeded unhindered.

A blatant attack on artistic freedom:

Bengali writer, Taslima Nasreen assaulted by mob led by Indian legislators

By Ganesh Dev and Parwini Zora, 25 September 2007

The renowned Bengali writer Taslima Nasreen was physically assaulted August 9 by a group of Islamic fundamentalists led by three members of the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri, Afsar Khan and Moazzam Khan, from the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (United Council of Muslims). The All-India MIM is a member of the Congress Party-led coalition that governs the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Mounting press speculation India will face early elections

By Keith Jones, 22 September 2007

Recent weeks have seen mounting speculation in the Indian press that the rift between the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the Left Front over the proposed Indo-US nuclear trade treaty will result in early or “mid-term” elections.

Strike by India’s unorganised sector workers

By our correspondent, 15 September 2007

A one-day strike by tens of millions of workers in India’s so-called unorganised sector last month gave vent to their anger and frustration over low pay and appalling conditions. At the same time, however, the unions, affiliated to the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), limited their demands in order confine the protest and block the development of a political movement against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi.

Differing motives propel India and US to finalize nuclear agreement

By Deepal Jayasekera and Kranti Kumara, 11 September 2007

On August 3, India and the United States simultaneously released the text of a 22-page treaty that stipulates the terms under which the two countries will trade civilian nuclear fuel and technology.

Indian prime minister calls Left Front’s bluff over Indo-US nuclear accord

By Kranti Kamara and Keith Jones, 16 August 2007

In a rare public outburst, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has dared the Stalinist-led Left Front to substantiate its publicly announced opposition to the recently concluded “123” Nuclear Agreement between India and the United States by withdrawing political support for his United Progressive Alliance (UPA)government.

India: Congress uses lethal violence against Andhra Pradesh land agitation

By Arun Kumar, 11 August 2007

The Congress Party-governed south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has been in political turmoil since the July 28 police attack on demonstrators in Mudigonda, which is located in the district of Khammam some 250 kilometers from the state capital, Hyderabad.

After an election marred by bitter conflict

Pratibha Patil becomes India’s 13th president

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 2 August 2007

India’s recently concluded and bitterly contested presidential election served to highlight several salient features of contemporary Indian politics. Most important of these are the crisis wracking the two largest parties, the Congress Party and the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party, and the crucial role that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its Left Front allies are playing in sustaining the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government.

Sri Lankan war provokes deep unease in Indian political establishment

By Deepal Jayasekera, 7 July 2007

The intensification of the Sri Lankan government’s war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is provoking growing concerns in New Delhi over the impact on India’s strategic interests. The conflict is not only affecting New Delhi’s relations with Colombo and risks triggering unrest in India, but is also threatening to undermine India’s broader ambitions to establish itself as the preeminent regional power.

India-US nuclear agreement at an impasse

By Daniel Woreck and Kranti Kumara, 9 June 2007

The much-heralded nuclear deal between India and the United States that was announced by US President George Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 2, 2006, has now reached an impasse and is even threatening to unravel. Three days of intensive negotiations starting May 31 in New Delhi, between US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and the chief US negotiator of the Indo-US nuclear accord, Nicholas Burns, and his Indian counterpart, Foreign Secretary Shivashankar Menon, failed to resolve key differences.

India’s prime minister warns big business of threat of social unrest

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 6 June 2007

On the third anniversary of the coming to power of the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a major speech to India’s business elite warning of the danger of social unrest.

Indian industrialist to build $1 billion “home” amidst Mumbai’s multimillion slum-dwellers

By Parwini Zora, 6 June 2007

The richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is reportedly building a 27-storey skyscraper mansion in the heart of the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai (Bombay). The total cost of the project is expected to be US$1 billion, roughly the average annual income of 1.5 million Indians.

India: Art student targeted by Hindu right and Gujarat authorities

By Arun Kumar, 28 May 2007

All those who care for and defend artistic freedom and basic democratic rights should condemn the attack that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its Hindu supremacist allies have mounted, with the support of the Gujarat authorities, against Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) fine arts student Chandramohan Srilamantula and the acting dean of the MSU’s fine arts faculty, Shivaji Panikkar.

Voters in India’s most populous state spurn traditional parties

By Kranti Kumara, 16 May 2007

To the surprise and dismay of India’s political establishment and media observers, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has won 206 of the 403 seats in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Assembly, empowering it to form the state’s first majority government since 1992.

India: Gujarat police murders covered up as terrorist “encounters”

By Kranti Kumara, 9 May 2007

The stunning admission of the government of the West Indian state of Gujarat that the state police summarily executed a Muslim man in a phony terrorist encounter, and later murdered his wife so as to cover up their actions, is threatening to expose the routine use of such criminal practices. These methods, which are commonly associated with military and fascist dictatorships, are in widespread use by police and security forces across India.

India’s elite touts Tata’s Corus Steel takeover as proof India a “global player”

By Poopalasingam Thillaivarothayan and SEP candidate in the Welsh Assembly Election (South Wales Central Region), 25 April 2007

Tata Steel’s recent $13.2 billion acquisition of the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Corus Steel has prompted India’s corporate and political elite to indulge in much euphoric chest-thumping about “rising India.”

In wake of Nandigram massacre

West Bengal’s Stalinist chief minister invited to Washington

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 21 April 2007

In what constitutes a resounding vote of confidence in the pro-investor policies of West Bengal’s Left Front government, the Bush administration has invited Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the state’s chief minister and a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), to visit the US.

India’s Hindu-chauvinist BJP attempts to incite communal riots ahead of pivotal state election

By Kranti Kumara, 18 April 2007

India’s official opposition, the Hindu-supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has once again attempted to incite communal strife, this time in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh where state assembly elections are currently underway.

Socialist Labour League of India to hold public meeting on Nandigram peasant massacre

16 April 2007

The Socialist Labour League of India will hold a public meeting Sunday, April 22, in Chennai, the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to discuss the need for workers in India to draw the lessons of the Nandigram peasant massacre and adopt a socialist-internationalist program.

India: Five years after 2002 Gujarat pogrom

While the victims languish, the perpetrators go unpunished

By K. Nesan and Kranti Kumara, 10 April 2007

Despite the passage of more than five years since the February-March 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in the Indian state of Gujarat, not a single one of the principal perpetrators of this horrific crime has been punished. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Muslims who were driven from their towns and villages by roving bands of Hindu supremacist thugs still languish in relief camps without electricity or running water.

In wake of West Bengal massacre: Indian workers must advance an independent socialist programme

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 23 March 2007

Facing popular opposition across India over the police shooting of scores of peasants in Nandigram last week, West Bengal’s Left Front government, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), (CPM), is desperately maneuvering to contain the crisis.

Nandigram massacre

Leading Indian intellectuals condemn West Bengal’s Stalinist-led government

By Kranti Kumara, 19 March 2007

The March 14 massacre at Nandigram perpetrated by West Bengal’s Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government has been forthrightly condemned by some of India’s best-known historians, authors and artists—many of them longtime, prominent public supporters of the Left Front.

Assam, India: Separatists’ killing of migrants provides pretext for continuing state repression

By Vilani Peiris, 17 March 2007

In a coordinated series of attacks in January, the separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) murdered at least 62 migrant workers in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.

West Bengal Stalinist regime perpetrates peasant massacre

By Kranti Kumara, 16 March 2007

West Bengal’s Left Front government has perpetrated a massacre of peasants opposed to its policy of seizing prime agricultural land for the benefit of Indian and foreign capital.

India’s burgeoning ambitions in space

By Daniel Woreck and Parwini Zora, 15 March 2007

India’s launch of its Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) in January provoked a jubilant response in government and military circles. Hailed as an “impeccable success,” it demonstrated the ability of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to send a capsule into space, safely return it to earth and retrieve it. The project is an essential step toward a manned space flight and, just as significantly, for India to play a greater role in the global satellite launch business.

India’s Congress Party suffers major election reversals

By Kranti Kumara, 3 March 2007

The Congress Party, the dominant partner in India’s coalition government, has recently suffered a string of electoral reversals, most importantly in two of the three state assembly elections whose results were announced earlier this week.

West Bengal Stalinists’ pro-business policies leading to “civil war”

Prominent left-wing intellectuals warn

By Ajay Prakash, 28 February 2007

A group of prominent left-wing intellectuals, several of them long-publicly identified as supporters of the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM], has issued a report strongly condemning the West Bengal Left Front’s policy of expropriating poor peasants so as to create investor-friendly Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Train atrocity in India targets “peace process”

By Sarath Kumara, 24 February 2007

At least 68 persons, including women and children, were killed and some 20 people seriously injured earlier this week, when two firebombs exploded on a train traveling from India’s capital, Delhi, to Lahore, Pakistan.

Indian security forces murder Kashmiris in phony “encounters”

By Kranti Kumara, 22 February 2007

A police inquiry that led to the exhumation of the corpses of several innocent civilians killed by Indian security forces in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has shed light on the murderous campaign the Indian elite and its henchmen in the security apparatus have mounted in India’s only Muslim-majority state for the past two decades.

US “coerced” India over Iran

Former Bush appointee boasts

By Kranti Kumara, 20 February 2007

In a public speech Stephen G. Rademaker, a former US Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation and International Security, boasted in New Delhi last week that the United States “coerced” India into voting against Iran at recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meetings and warned that Washington may soon present India with an even starker choice.

Russian President visits India to reinvigorate Indo-Russian alliance

By Deepal Jayasekera, 10 February 2007

Last month’s two-day visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to India highlighted the determination of the Russian and Indian elites to significantly reinforce their long-term military, geo-political, and trade relations, while each state pursues its own agenda on the world stage.

India’s judiciary seeks to burnish its reputation with some belated guilty verdicts

By Parwini Zora and Kranti Kumara, 3 February 2007

India’s State High Courts have recently delivered guilty verdicts in a number of high profile cases arising from brazen violent crimes committed over a decade ago by wealthy and politically well-connected individuals. Those convicted include a cabinet minister in India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, the son of a senior police commissioner, and the son of a wealthy Congress Party leader.

West Bengal Left Front’s pro-investor land grab results in deadly clashes

By Arun Kumar, 26 January 2007

West Bengal’s Left Front government has temporarily suspended its policy of expropriating large tracts of agricultural land on behalf of domestic and foreign investors after violent clashes erupted at Nandigram that resulted in up to a dozen fatalities.

Government report concedes India’s Muslims are a socially deprived, victimised minority

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 December 2006

A report prepared by a seven-member committee headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar has conceded that India’s Muslim minority faces appalling socioeconomic deprivation and is the victim of official neglect and frequent police harassment and violence.

Millions of Indian workers strike against Congress-led government’s economic policies

By our correspondents, 19 December 2006

Millions of workers throughout India participated in a one-day general strike on Thursday, December 14, to oppose the neo-liberal economic policies that have been implemented single-mindedly by the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government since it came to power in May 2004.

Millions to join one-day, all-India general strike

By Keith Jones, 14 December 2006

Millions of workers across India will participate today in a one-day, nationwide general strike called by the Left Front-aligned Trade Union Sponsoring Committee to oppose the neo-liberal policies of India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

West Bengal’s Left Front regime suppresses protests against land seizures

By Kranti Kumara, 12 December 2006

Nothing better illustrates the relentless rightward thrust of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM] than the pro-investor economic policies that West Bengal’s CPM-led Left Front government is implementing with the support of the police and courts.

International report documents repression in Indian-controlled Kashmir

By Parwini Zora and Daniel Woreck, 30 November 2006

A recent report by the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) documents the systematic human rights abuses carried out by the Indian security forces in the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the protection of the Indian government and legal system.

US Senate endorses Bush’s nuclear accord with India

By Kranti Kumara, 29 November 2006

The United States Senate voted 85 to 12, November 16, to exempt India from the nuclear-trade restrictions currently in place under the US Atomic Energy Act (USAEA), thereby overturning longstanding US nuclear non-proliferation policies.

India: Stop the state murder of Mohammed Afzal

By Keith Jones and Arun Kumar, 14 November 2006

The Indian state and India’s political establishment are preparing to execute Mohammed Afzal, a 39-year-old Kashmiri and citizen of India.

India: Court-directed campaign to seal “illegal” buildings in Delhi provokes social turmoil

By Kranti Kumara, 10 November 2006

The Delhi High Court and Indian Supreme Court have provoked a massive social crisis in Delhi, a city of 14 million and the seat of India’s government, by issuing a series of uncompromising court orders directing the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to demolish or seal all “illegal” buildings in the city.

India: Vidarbha farmers face health disaster

A further indictment of the state of public health

By Parwini Zora, 8 November 2006

The 3.2 million-plus cotton growers in Vidarbha, a region of the state of Maharashtra that is popularly known as India’s cotton belt, have been hard-hit in recent years by plunging cotton prices and the rising cost of fertilizer and other inputs. Crushed by mounting debts, thousands of peasants have committed suicide. In recent months these woes have been aggravated by extensive drought followed by floods, which have devastated crops and precipitated an outbreak of “Chikungunya” viral fever.

India’s policy on Special Economic Zones under fire

By Jake Skeers, 27 October 2006

Only eight months ago, when the Indian government’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) legislation commenced, it was touted as a lever to modernise India’s infrastructure and economy for the coming decades. Today, business and political commentators are already branding the SEZ law a failure.

In response to intensifying class antagonisms

India’s Congress Party revives discredited “Garibi Hatao” slogan

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 21 October 2006

India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has decided to revive the populist electoral slogan “Garibi Hatao” (eliminate poverty), first popularized by Indira Gandhi during the 1971 parliamentary elections, in the hope that it can provide political cover for a new wave of neo-liberal reforms.

India’s prime minister pledges to accelerate neo-liberal ”reform”

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 21 October 2006

Within hours of the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government reviving Indira Gandhi’s populist cry of “Garibi Hatao” (Banish or Eliminate Poverty) as its main slogan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leading government figures were pledging before big business audiences that the UPA will accelerate the implementation of neo-liberal reforms.

Amid mounting tensions

India and Pakistan agree to resume “composite dialogue”

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 30 September 2006

India and Pakistan—bitter rivals since the 1947 partition of South Asia—have agreed to resume the “composite dialogue” they initiated in early 2003 in the wake of a year-long war crisis that saw New Delhi amass a million troops in battle-formation along the Pakistan border and Islamabad issue thinly veiled threats of nuclear retaliation .

What the debate in India over the US nuclear pact shows

By Keith Jones, 29 August 2006

In recent weeks, the debate within India’s ruling elite over the Indo-US nuclear accord has intensified. On August 17, Prime Minister Mammohan Singh gave a major parliamentary address in response to warnings from the scientific-military establishment that the US Congress is trying to attach new conditions to the accord, and last week the Lok Sabha debated its merits.

West Bengal Stalinists sign deal with firm tied to ex-Indonesian dictator

By Ajay Prakash, 25 August 2006

Last month, West Bengal’s Stalinist-led Left Front government signed India’s biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) deal with the Salim Goup, an Indonesian conglomerate closely linked to the former Indonesian dictator General Suharto.

Indian flood deaths highlight government indifference to recurring social calamity

By Kranti Kumara, 18 August 2006

In what has become a tragic annual ritual during the summer (June-September) monsoons, rains and overflowing rivers have killed at least 400 people and left more than 4 million homeless in the Indian states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh over the past two and a half weeks. The lives of as many as 15 million people have been disrupted by the flooding.

Behind India’s near-total silence on the Israeli assault on Lebanon

By Arun Kumar and Keith Jones, 12 August 2006

India has pretensions to be a world power, professes to be a spokesman for the underdeveloped countries in world affairs, considers west Asia to be part of its “extended neighbourhood,” and has hundreds of soldiers deployed in Lebanon as United Nations peace-keepers. Yet it has remained all but completely silent on the four-week-old Israeli aggression against Lebanon—an aggression that has cost more than a thousand Lebanese civilians their lives, forced a million Lebanese to flee their homes, destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and threatens, due to the blockading of vital food and medical supplies, to cause an even greater humanitarian crisis.

In wake of Mumbai bombing

India increases its censorship of the Internet

By Ajay Prakash and K. Nesan, 29 July 2006

An Indian government order to Internet service providers (ISPs) to block 17 Internet web sites and web pages resulted in Indians being denied access for well over a week to whole swathes of the Internet, including the blogs hosted on blogspot.com, typepad.com and Geocities.

Indian prime minister visits rural Vidarbha

Move to deflecting mounting anger over agrarian distress

By Parwini Zora, 25 July 2006

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the drought-stricken Vidarbha region of the state of Maharashtra for two days beginning June 30 as part of a larger tour of impoverished rural areas by Singh and other Congress Party leaders.

Following Mumbai terror attack

India indefinitely postpones peace talks with Pakistan

By M. Nessan and Keith Jones, 19 July 2006

India has indefinitely postponed peace talks with Pakistan, after accusing “elements from across the border” of having a hand in last week’s terrorist atrocity in Mumbai and demanding Pakistan do more to suppress armed, anti-Indian Islamicist and Kashmiri nationalist groups.

Hindu supremacists, media seize on Mumbai atrocity to push India’s government further right

By Keith Jones, 14 July 2006

Officials close to the investigation into Tuesday’s terrorist atrocity in Mumbai claim that they soon should “have something substantial” to say about who perpetrated the coordinated bombings of seven commuter trains in India’s most populous city and financial center.

Terrorist atrocity in Mumbai

By the Editorial Board, 12 July 2006

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the coordinated bombing attack carried out yesterday in Mumbai, India’s most populous city and financial center. At least 179 people were killed and 400 injured when eight bombs exploded, in quick succession, on or near seven commuter trains traveling along the Western Railway during the Tuesday evening rush hour.

India: UPA government forced to put disinvestment plans on hold

By T. Kala and Arun Kumar, 11 July 2006

India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government announced the temporary suspension of its disinvestment/privatisation programme last Thursday, after a member of the Congress Party-led coalition threatened to quit the government if it proceeded with the sale of a 10 percent interest in the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

Gyrations of Indian stock market point to future economic instability

By Parwini Zora and Kranti Kumara, 8 July 2006

The wild fluctuations in Indian share prices over the past two months point to the increasing power foreign finance capital is exerting over Indian equity markets and indirectly the Indian economy.

Indo-US nuclear accord approved by key US Congressional committees

By Deepal Jayasekera, 6 July 2006

Two key US congressional committees have given overwhelming support to the Bush administration’s nuclear accord with India. This means it is highly probable that by mid-August the US Congress will have made virtually all the requisite legal changes for the nuclear accord to come into force.

London art gallery closes M.F. Husain exhibition after paintings vandalised

By Ajay Prakash, 3 July 2006

On May 22, London’s Asia House Gallery shut down a major exhibition by 91-year-old Maqbool Fida Husain, India’s most famous contemporary artist, after three men entered the gallery and defaced two of his paintings—Durga and Draupadi.

India: Gujarat Congress party lines up with BJP’s campaign against actor Aamir Khan

By Ajay Prakash, 1 July 2006

The Congress Party in Gujarat has lined up with the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party in the west Indian state, in its campaign against the world famous Bollywood actor Aamir Khan. A Muslim, Khan is probably best known to Western film audiences as producer and lead actor in the 2002 Oscar-nominated film Lagaan.

Indian prime minister ignores opposition to Narmada dam extension

By Jake Skeers, 21 June 2006

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Indian Supreme Court have both refused to halt construction on raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) dam from 110.64 to 121.92 metres, despite clear evidence that the extension flouted resettlement procedures and will leave tens of thousands of families homeless.

Exploitation of child labourers in India

By T. Kala, 8 June 2006

The desperate conditions affecting the rural as well as the urban poor in India are forcing growing numbers of children to toil often in subhuman conditions. They are deprived of their most basic rights as children, including education and a joyful childhood. Most have never been to school or dropped out at very young ages.

India’s Supreme Court intervenes in caste-reservation controversy

By Keith Jones, 3 June 2006

India’s Supreme Court has intervened in the controversy over the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s plans to expand caste-based reservations (mandatory affirmative action programs) at the country’s premier universities and professional institutes, saying the issue “requires judicial review.”

Caste-ism vs. ‘Merit’:

India’s toilers should reject framework of reservation debate

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 25 May 2006

The plans of India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to expand caste-based reservations in central government-funded universities, including a series of elite professional schools, have provoked widespread student protests and an outcry from the corporate media and big business. Doctors in Delhi, Mumbai and many other cities have mounted walkouts in support of the students and the Indian Medical Association has lent its voice to the protests.

Indian state election results: a distorted expression of popular opposition to neo-liberal reform

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 May 2006

The results of the five state and Union territory elections held in April and early May point to continuing mass disaffection with the neo-liberal agenda of the Indian bourgeoisie. However, this disaffection could find only distorted expression in the polling, since all the contenders fully support the bourgeoisie’s drive to make India a center of cheap-labor manufacturing, research, and business-processing for international capital.

India: Maharashtra cotton farmers face destitution

By Parwini Zora, 12 May 2006

Around 1,000 cotton farmers in the Indian state of Maharashtra staged a protest at Yavatmal in the Vidharbha region on May Day to highlight the indifference of state and national governments to their plight. Their central demand was for a state-sponsored fresh crop loan to every farmer, regardless of previous debts. The demonstration followed a similar protest in the neighbouring state of Karnataka in late April demanding quality cotton seed.