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Samir Amin (1931-2018)

SAMIR Amin, the renowned Marxist thinker and economist, passed away on August 13 in Paris. Born in Cairo on September 3, 1931, to an Egyptian father and a French mother, he had his initial education in Egypt before moving to Paris where he obtained his doctorate in political economy. Drawn to the cause of socialism from his student days he soon became a member of the Egyptian Communist Party. Between 1957 and 1960 he worked at the Institute for Economic Management in Cairo, before Nasser’s growing repression of the Communists drove him out of Egypt.

That Hand behind Water Privatisation

MONSOONS in our country give rise to varied emotions. Village dwellers will be looking forward to them eagerly and once they arrive, they greet them with great enthusiasm. On the other hand, city dwellers, look forward to them romantically and once they arrive, go on wishing them away, considering the water logging and related problems. In short, it is the management of water that is determining our attitude to rains.

Assamese Reject Citizenship Bill, BJP’s Communal Weapon Falls Flat

THE social life of Assam is in for a boil over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, a proposition to grant citizenship based on religion, in Assam. Public anxiety became visible when the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) visited the state.

Assam has always been a sensitive place when it came to questions of ethnicity and nationality. However, the intensity with which people reacted to the bill was never seen in the recent history of Assam.

The Rogue Nation: US Breaks the Iran Nuclear Deal

ON May 12, the US walked out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA) agreement, signed between the five Security Council Permanent members plus Germany (P5+1), and Iran. This agreement was a quid pro quo between the P5+1 countries and Iran. The agreement was for global sanctions against Iran ending, in lieu of dismantling a significant part of its nuclear programme. Iran fulfilled its part of the bargain, and this has been verified by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its numerous visits to Iran. It is the US that is reneging on its commitments.

BJP Govt and Total Village Electrification: Claiming a Record from a Dismal Performance

ON April 28, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that India has achieved 100 per cent village electrification. This was followed by BJP’s social media brigade extolling Modi and his government’s achievements. In this rush to claim credit, what the BJP and its PM seem to have forgotten is that electrifying villages is not the same as electrifying households. Neither does it take into account the long journey India has taken on this count after achieving independence.

Heed the federal framework

MOST federations in the world have arrangements for the mobilisation and devolution of resources. In India, the constitution provides for the appointment of a finance commission every five years to recommend methodology to share resources such that the fiscal space of the constituents, especially the states, is well protected.

Dilution of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act: Murder of Social Justice

ELEVEN of our brothers were killed on April 2. It seems they were ‘misled’ by some ‘vested interests’ to participate in the protests. Protesting for dignity and equality, they gave up their lives. To desire to live a dignified life and an egalitarian life, is natural. To detest any attack on such desires is natural. To participate in a protest against any such attack is human nature. It is these natural feelings that motivated the protesters and not any ‘vested interests’. Unfortunately (or is it wantonly), some noble souls are either blind or cannot understand these natural feelings!

Our Generation

INTOXICATED by the ‘ideology of hate’, BJP goons in Tripura ‘celebrated’ their victory by letting loose a reign of terror. Not only have they started attacking the members and supporters of the CPI(M), they burnt their houses, Party offices and other belongings. Razing down the statue of Lenin was one of their brazen acts. The governor of the state, an RSS pracharak, condoned the incident, his glee getting the better over his sense of constitutional propriety. It seems a diplomat, exceeding his brief, congratulated expressing the desire to see a world with ‘few communists’.

On the Bahujana Left Front (BLF) in Telangana

THE formation of Bahujana Left Front (BLF) in Telangana has brought to the fore a question as to how Communists could work together with Ambedkarites. This question arose because of the ripples created by the coming together of these forces. Though they have been distant from each other for some time, the relationship among Ambedkarites, followers of Phule and communists is a natural phenomenon. Like science and technology, communist ideology also did not emerge just like that out of the blue.

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