AS the election campaign reaches its crescendo, the strategy of the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, is becoming more and more apparent. It is attempting to create a rainbow alliance of the middle castes and dalits in order to ensure that it reaches the half-way mark and does not need the help of those outside the NDA to make a government at the centre. In order to do this, it is stitching up alliances with prominent OBC and dalit groups.
THE presidential council of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) has called for a worldwide struggle against unemployment and for the strengthening of solidarity actions in the struggle against capitalist and imperialist exploitation.
The meeting of the council, which is the highest policy making body of the only class oriented international trade union organisation, was held in Rome on February 14 and 15, 2014. The meeting was hosted by the USB of Italy and presided by WFTU president Muhammad, Shaaban Azouz, who is also the president of GFTU, Syria.
THE All India Coordination Committee of Mid-Day Meal Workers, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), has strongly condemned the injustice meted out by the UPA government to the 26 lakh mid-day meal workers of the country.
IN a letter written to the editor of Malayala Manorama on March 8, 2014, Hannan Mollah, former Lok Sabha member and a member of the CPI(M), took strong exception to a news story published by the said paper regarding the candidature of Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. The text of the letter is reproduced here.
“This is to invite your attention to the report appeared in the Malayala Manorama daily dated March 6, 2014 regarding the candidature of Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, which I represented for eight terms.
Below we reproduce the slightly abridged speech given by General Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, during the closing session of the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC), on February 22, 2014.
Subheadings have been added.
AT the outset, I want to make clear what I mean by economic empowerment. It means provision of land, housing, reservations in employment and political reservations etc. My contention is that without ending the social discrimination and untouchability, we cannot bridge the gap between dalits and non- dalits with any number of programmes for empowerment and providing equal opportunities, because, the pervasive presence of caste prejudice at every level of society, especially in villages, will always undo all the well-meaning initiatives of any institution including that of the government.
AMID slogans, songs and drum beats hailing the success of the second national conference of the Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM), its newly re-elected chairman Bajuban Riyan called on the 345 delegates representing 14 states to take the inspiring message of the conference –intensify struggle, build unity and strengthen organisation, to every village and block where adivasis reside.
THE abrupt end of the winter session of parliament, two days ahead of the schedule, came as a big disappointment to the millions of disabled persons in the country. For the umpteenth time, the UPA’s government’s promise of tabling the Disability Rights Bill remained unfulfilled. This, despite the fact that the cabinet had cleared it, on December 12, 2013, after an inordinate and inexplicable delay. Opinion was divided over not just the intent and will of the government but also on whether in the given circumstances the bill could be tabled and passed.
THE states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which are home to a majority of the adivasis outside the northeast, have been categorised as ‘least developed states’ by an official report of the central government.