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New Series Vol. 8 No. 9 (February 2002)




Save the Republic from Saffron Subversion and American Arm-twisting

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The convergence regime imposed by the euro project is bound to hurt weaker economies in the euro area says Mikael Nyberg.

While the introduction of the euro is bound to fuel rivalry between the euro and the dollar and intensify the trade war between the US and the EU, it has an anti-people and anti-worker flipside. A brief commentary by Mikael Nyberg.

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China steps into great uncertainty for the first time following its entry into the WTO

What impelled the Chinese leadership to make undoubtedly a big sacrifice to gain entry into the WTO? - Apprehensions of the US design to isolate China? Tantalizing opportunities for trade and investment? Need for an external lever to push for greater reforms at home? Whatever it is China is entering into a period of major disruption and dislocation in its economy, says B.Sivaraman.

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Excerpts from the resolution of the Central Committee meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) held on 7-10 January, at Calcutta.

,The CPI(ML) Central Committee resolution, passed at its meeting held on 7-10 January at Calcutta, calls for immediate pull back of troops from the Indian border and resumption of talks between India and Pakistan. It accuses Communal-fascist Hindu Right BJP of deliberately whipping up war hysteria with an eye on votes in the oncoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

The resolution denounces the growing bourgeois consensus across the political spectrum in support of Vajpayee government's war mongering.

The resolution condemns Indian Home Minister Advani's visit to the US and growing subservience of India to the US and opposes any US intervention in South Asia. The resolution also expressed concern over the emerging US-UK-Israel-India nexus in the name of fighting terrorism.

Pointing to growing fascist consolidation and state repression in the country, the CC calls for further intensification of a broad-based united movement to defend democratic rights.

The resolution also calls upon the party ranks to organise a week-long campaign from 18-25 January, 2002, against war hysteria and US interventionism, starting with demonstrations against the visiting US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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Special Report

Successful West Bengal Bandh against the anti-people policies of the Left Front Government.

CPI(ML) and SUCI call for a successful bandh (shut-down) against hikes in hospital charges, education fee, electricity charges, the government's decision to introduce the repressive legislation POCA (a la POTO) and eviction of toilers from their makeshift dwellings. Despite repression let loose by the LF Government on CPI(ML) activists the bandh evoked spontaneous response from the people.

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Cover Feature

CPI(ML) calls for immediate pull back of troops from the Indo-Pak border and measures for winding down tension in the Indian subcontinent.

The Vajpayee Government of the Hindu fascist forces has a vested interest in building up tension with Pakistan and whipping up war hysteria and jingoism in the country. It is part of their design to unravel the Indian republic by undermining its secular and democratic character to realise their fond dreams of establishing a theocratic state in India. Defend the republic from the assault of the Hindu Right, says CPI(ML).

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Powell Go Back: Demonstrations in India by CPI(ML) against visiting US Secretary of State Colin Powell on 18 January, 2002.

Opposing US interventionism in South Asia under the guise of 'honest brokering' to defuse Indo-Pak tension, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) organised demonstrations all over India coinciding with the visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell on 18 January, 2002.

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Special Feature

The Indian labor scene in 2001.

The Vajpayee government came up with an attractive New Year gift to the bourgeoisie in India in the form of a package of labour law reforms finalised by a Group of Ministers.

Massive industrial restructuring in the backdrop of decade-long neoliberal reforms and a drastic industrial slowdown has thrown up a host of new labor issues. The year 2001 can best be characterized as the Year of the VRS, in which industrial downsizing has sent an estimated 200,000 workers home under Voluntary Retirement Schemes (VRS). The interests of the workers in sick and closed industries continue to remain grossly neglected even as the Vajpayee government grapples with new insolvency laws and revival packages. The year also witnessed glorious preemptive struggles by coal and banking sector workers against disinvestment and privatisation of public sector units. The bursting of the IT bubble has also ripened conditions for vigorous anti-capitalist activism among IT sectors workers in places like Bangalore.

The proposed pension reforms have also been fashioned keeping in mid the interests of the multinational pension funds who are hungrily coveting the $12 billion pension funds of the Indian working class.

It is also hightime the trade unions in India undertake a restructuring to gear up mor active resistance against the proposed labour reforms, argue S.Kumaraswamy and B.Sivaraman.

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The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has taken upon itself the task of rendering unsolicited advice to the US on security.

Why CPI(M) wants to look respectable and responsible in the eyes of the US. D.Gupta joins issue with Prakash Karat, member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M), regarding latter's unsolicited advise to the US on airline security and privatization.

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CPI(ML) in Assembly Elections.

List of constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur where CPI(ML) has fielded its candidates.

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Aadhi Zameen

Jharkhand AIPWA Conference - A report

The Jharkhand state conference of All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) was held on 29-30 December, 2001, in Ranchi, the capital of the newly constituted state. A colourful rally of 2,000 women, with the participation of a large number tribal women, was taken out on the occasion. A seminar on "Reconstruction of Jharkhand and the Question of Assertion of Women" was also organised on 29th which was addressed by noted women activists, intellectuals and journalists of Jharkhand.

The conference condemned the Babulal Marandi government's repression on women in Koel Karo and other movements in the state. The conference criticised the Jharkhand government's move to dilute reservation for women and demanded reservation for women in panchayats (local bodies), for panchayat president and vice-presidents posts too, at all levels. The conference reviewed the experience of AIPWA's struggles to re-establish the rights of tribal women over forests, forest produce, water and land. It also called for intensifying the struggle against the evil practice of branding women as witches and killing them. The conference also adopted some plans to strengthen the work among informal women labourers, especially in collieries, and household workers. It also demanded constitution of a women's commission in the state. Cultural teams of Jharkhandi women gave performances during the conference.

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Women's empowerment - declarations, ground realities and tasks ahead - Report of a seminar in New Delhi.

"Women's empowerment - declarations, ground realities and tasks ahead" - A seminar was organised in New Delhi on 26 December 2001 by the All India Progressive Women's Association on this theme on the occasion of the completion of ten years of publication of the radical Hindi women's magazine Aadhi Zameen. A 152-page special issue of the magazine was also released on the occasion. The seminar dwelt at length on the official slogan of empowerment and discussed the present state of the women's movement in the country. The seminar was inaugurated by renowned Hindi novelist and literary personality Maitreyi Pushpa. The revival of traditional, patriarchal values under the regime of the Hindu Right, problems of organising working women, and the relationship between Marxism and Feminism were other subjects that came up for discussion in the seminar. A report.

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A review of the film The Lord of the Rings.

A critique of the film The Lord of the Rings and the literary genre of fantasy by Hans Issakson, the noted Swedish film critic.

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