As Americans continue to deal with the aftermath of the failed coup attempt by the Trump Presidency, warning bells ring loud for the whole world as the threat to parliamentary democracy becomes a universal companion of the growing crisis of global capitalism, especially with the pandemic currently haunting the world for the second successive year.
The seventh round of talks between the protesting farmers and the Modi regime have failed. The farmers, who continue to camp at Delhi’s borders in the bitter winter cold, braving thunderstorms and rain showers, have told the Government that nothing short of an outright repeal of the Three Anti-Farmer Laws is acceptable to them. The Modi regime remains adamant in its refusal to roll back these three laws.
The world has probably not seen a more difficult and challenging year than 2020 since the devastation of the world wars in the first half of the twentieth century. An extraordinary public health emergency claimed more than a million lives across the world and virtually brought normal social life and economic activities to a standstill as country after country sought to check the epidemic by imposing various degrees of lockdown for weeks and months together.
The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 which claims to protect women from “love jehad”, in in fact a violent assault on women’s autonomy and will. This ordinance – as well as similar ordinances that are in place in Uttarakhand and in the pipeline in other BJP-ruled states – treats Hindu women as mere property of the Hindu community, not as individuals who can make their own choices.
IN an unprecedented, historic protest, lakhs of farmers are camped at Delhi’s borders, demanding a rollback of the three anti-farmer, pro-corporate laws forcibly and illegally imposed by the Modi regime. The farmers, marching to Delhi, were met with a violent assault by the police. The protesting farmers, after breaking through the barricades and braving tear gas and water cannons, have since then camped at the borders of the country’s capital city, blockading the national highways.
One of the most striking features of the Bihar 2020 Assembly Elections is the intense interest and involvement generated among voters by party and alliance manifestos. This time, it is the people of Bihar – its youth, workers, employees, women – who have put the questions of jobs, equal pay for equal work, rights and dignity at the centre of Bihar’s politics.
The forthcoming elections to the Assembly of Bihar are taking place in the shadow of the Covid-19 epidemic with major restrictions on election campaigning and gatherings of people. Huge parts of Bihar are still reeling under floods. Bihar will be the first state in India to undertake a major electoral exercise amid such restrictions. We had requested the Election Commission of India to schedule the polls keeping this abnormal situation in mind so the participation of the people did not get adversely affected.
IN the wake of the Delhi bus gangrape in 2012-13, hundreds of young Indians joined the anti-rape movement. Through their rage and exhaustion ran a bright thread of hope: a promise of social awakening and institutional change. For the first time ever, society was tuning into the women’s movement’s concerns about rape culture, victim blaming, and attacks on women’s autonomy in the name of safety.
The just concluded monsoon session of Parliament shows a mirror to the farce to which the Modi regime has reduced parliamentary democracy.
Question Hour was arbitrarily cancelled - thus doing away even with the formal notion that the Government and executive is answerable to the legislature, to Parliament and by extension to the people.
It took India quite some time to decode Narendra Modi’s ‘Achchhe Din’ rhetoric, but his latest ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ jumla (empty phrase) is unravelling much faster. For the Modi government, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ has only one meaning – turning the whole of Indian economy into an Adani-Ambani enterprise!