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Editorial UPA Government Policies Further Escalating Prices of Essential Commodities FRom THE Reo Forr the prime minister gives the hollow promise that “nobody wall go hungry” in this ‘country on August 15. On the next day his government asks the states to put a ceiling on the number of Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries under the new Targeted Public Distribution Scheme. The UPA, government wants to limit the ‘targeted” from present 6.52 crores to 5.91 crores, That is only a small fraction of the BPL people are going to be benefitted. ‘According to the calculation of the government itself, about 35% of people or nearly 40 crores are PL. Independent studies show that itis as high as 50% or about 60 crores. As a result of the severe drought during this year more sections will be devastated, further increasing the number of BPL families. Itis a fact of Ife that if the government cuts down the “targeted” number to 5.91 crores, due to rampant corruption from supply depots to ration shops, only two third oft, that is about 4 crores are going to be benefited The rest will go hungry. As the much trumpeted NREGA is also going to be cut down in spite of impending drought, more will go hungry. The continuous rise in food prices are going to make more people hungry as their real wages are going down. So all the talks of Manmohan Singh are nothing but attempts fo cheat the people. All the government policies are against aam Adami and in coming days they are going to devastate them unprecedentedly. Its in this context the CPI(ML) has called on all class/mass organisations and the vast masses of suffering people in general to intensify the anti-price rise movement expanding it to a countrywide movement against the reactionary government policies, against increasing corruption at all levels, against hoarding and black marketing, against the speculative advance trading and to throw out the MNCs and corporate houses from the retall trade. In the context of the drought and ever-escalating prices ofall essential commodities this agitation should be taken with all the strength at our command, Oppose the Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement At A TIME when India is stil suffering from the negative effects of entering the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with its Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATS) cutting in to Indian farmers economic welfare, self-reliant development of science and technology, patent rights and economic sovereignty in general, the signing of the Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is going to be another attack on the agricultural sector in general and crops like coconut, rubber, coffee, tea, pepper, etc. and fishery sector in particular. After the WTO came in to existence calling for cutting down subsidy to various sectors including agriculture, all the subsides to Indian farmers were taken away leading to increase in the cost of production and economic ruin which has lead to suicides by lakhs of peasants here. But the Imperialist countries continue to provide subsidy and protect its agricultural sector. In every field WTO has only helped the monopolies, in our country it has caused immense harm to the masses. Similarly, the Indo-ASEAN FTA is going to benefit the MNCs and the corporate houses in India only. ‘As liberalization of the trade in plantation products was started step by step, already the market prices of items like coconut have gone down. With this agreement the MNCs engaged in mega-scale production of these items in many of the ASEAN countries will get opportunity to dump their products in India, it will severely affect the plantations, cash crop producers and fisher people. Similar to the ‘ate of safeguards talked about at the time of entering WTO in 1995 by Narsimha Rao government, all the assurances given by Manmohan government are to be just wntings on water. The effect of this FTA will be two fold, On the one hand, uliizing the unrestricted import of these products the MNCs, corporate houses and wholesale traders shall cut down the prices of native products immensely harming the producers, especially the small and medium scale ones. On the other hand, as the MNCs and corporate houses are controling even the retail trade sector increasingly, the benefit of the imports and cutting down of procurement prices here will not be reflected in’ the market prices. Thus the monopolies shall be benefitted while the small scale producers and consumers shall suffer, We have a history of the Latin American people led by the progressive forces in Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia like countries fighting against and throwing out the American Free Trade Agreement as a result of which the US imperialists had to transform it to Free Trade Agreement of US, Canada and Mexico. The peasant masses and fisher people in the country along with all progressive forces should launch a determined struggle to compel the UPA government to retrace its steps from signing the Indo-ASEAN FTA. Crisis in BJP Bound to Intensify EVALUATING the 16th LS election results we had analysed that the BUP's agenda of Hindutva fanaticism and polities of hatred intensified through the demoltion of Babs Masjd in 1992, wile speeding up the neo-liberal agenda and subservience to US imperialism during its six years tenure at the centre, has reached a dead end and its on the path of decline, We had also pointed out that only based on a religious fundamentalist, casteist or racist agenda no party can survive for long, unless it {goes for an economic-political agenda to meet people's demands. The latest crisis its facing with the Publication of the book: Jinaah ~ india, Partiion, independence by one of its top leaders, Jaswant Singh, followed by his expulsion prove the correctness of our analysis, Because of only parading the Hindutva menu, in a number of states Ike Tamilnadu, AP, Bengal, UP and latest in Orissa, it had lost its poll allies by the time of 18th LS election or long back. Its most fanatical state unit in Gujarat led by Modi is in the defensive and is stil surviving due to a mix of Hindutva and neo-liberal development. in Karnataka even when fanatic campaigns are launched, BIP government is focussing on ‘development’ agenda utilising people's negative reaction to erstwhile Congress and JO(S) governments. In Bihar the JO(U) is keeping in check the BUP's fanatic programmes. Even in MP and Chhattisgarh where it was re-elected in 2008 assembly elections, more than Hindutva itis the so-called ‘development agenda which has helped it At the all India level the old Hindutva horse, LK Advani, could not expose the five years of UPA rule as t was a mega-scale carton copy of the NDA rule. Devoid of any ideological thrust in the ruling class polities, it has lost its support base further. The 2004 defeat itself had compelled the BJP leaders to seek an ideological platform, down sizing Hindutva and projecting aggressive neo-liberal views, with a dose of aam adami tricks. Advani went ‘or the ‘Jinnah is secular” gambit. But under RSS dictates he was cut to size, None of the others had any better offensive to make. Or rather it is impossible to project an agenda which will be pleasing to the pre-historie, fanatic RSS and win another election, After the 2009 debacle, itis now Jaswant Singh’s turn to go back to Jinnah in the context of India's parttion in search of an ideological break. His attempt s to show that i is wrong to put the whole blame on Jinnah alone, but Gandhi, Nehru and Vallabh Bhai Patel or the Congress leadership is more responsible for it It has angered the Congress which went for burning the book at some places. But the whole debate it would have helped to encourage was distorted and deviated fast as the RSS ‘ound that any weakening of its permanent agenda of attacking the Islamic minorities, dubbing them {as entirely responsible for the partion, Kashmir and everything that went wrong in this country shall shatter its own fanatic ideological base. Thus Modi has banned the book and the BJP leadership has summarily expelled Jaswant Singh deepening the crisis in the RSS Panvar. As a resut, the status of the only alternative to Congress in the parliamentary scene acquited by BJP in the absence of any left oF left of centre parliamentary opposition as a result of total degeneration of socialists into rightist camp followed by the degeneration of CPI(M)-led left front to ruling class positions 1S going to be lost yi As far as the debate on the role of the Congress and the RSS along with the Muslim League in the prion of the cauntry, which the CPI and CPI(M) are afraid of taking up because of they are stil nat ready to make a serious self criticism of the role played by the CP! leadership at that time, should be ‘taken up by the Marxist-Leninist forces seriously. Itwill help to expose the ant-people, comprador and communal policies pursued by Congress leadership in the partition of the country. i will also help to expose the distortion of the history by the RSS Parivar as a part ofits communal fascist agenda Swine Flu: Who Create the Panic? THis is the age of speculation, hoarding and black-marketing. This is also the age of science and technology when the new diseases can be investigated about, the reasons behind them can be found ut if the government act in a responsible way, ifthe medical establishment respond in a responsible way. But @ whole country of 120 crores of people, the leaders of which repeatedly claim about it becoming one of the mast advanced countries in the world, exposed how weak it is when another variation of the flu affected a thousand people across it A panic is created with the corporate media, especially the TV channels, coming out screaming with fantastic stories about it, That like chickenguenia, bird flu and many other versions of flu becoming common in the country, HiNt virus is also going to stay here due to the absolutely poor spending for public health by the government is concealed under this artfcially created panic. As a result, within a few days the H1N1 also became a ‘multi-billion business, with millns hurrying for any type of masks, any type of medicines, any type of treatment and even thousands vacating the most affected areas ina hurry. But what is the real story? It is not more deadly than many other diseases which take away thousands of lives per day. After the Swine flu entered India its present death rate is two per day and the total number of cases reported in three weeks is about 1600 only. But the death toll of TB ar is two every 3 ‘minutes. Heart diseases take 6201 live pet day. Diabetics take 5479 ves a day. Smokingitobacco related cases take 2740 lives a day, Even road accidents take 290 lives a day. All the above have affected tens of millions. According to which WHO data H1N1 has caused just 177,457 infections and 1482 deaths in 175 countries which comes to about 8 deaths in every 1000 infections. When so much of panic is created for just another flu, the media and leadership of ruling parties, bureaucrats and health administrators are keeping mum about the expenditure for healthcare in the country touching rock bottom. It is a shame that the Indian leaders call t an emerging superpower when the administration cannot provide basic healthcare and education to its citizens. According to WHO report in terms of public health spending India ranks 171st cut of 175 countries in the worl. According to this 2007-08 study it is less than even some of the sub-Saharan African countries, considered poorest in the world Compared to India which spends just 5.2% of the GDP for healtheare, US spends 16% and Sweden spends 13%. Out of this the central and state govts spends only 0.9% of the GDP while the private sector accounts for remaining 4.2%. As public health spending by govt. is a miniscule, it Is over- dependent on private sector which prefers super specialty hospitals to public health clinics. At the same time the China spends 6% of its GDP. As a result, while India ranks among the top 10 countries ‘or communicable diseases, it is a world leader in chronic diseases like diabetics, hypertension and coronary artery diseases, Honour Killings Expose the Extreme Backwardness of Indian Society Youns girls and boys who have crassed the legally accepted age limit for deciding their life partner are most barbarously subjected stil to despicable, inhuman honour kilings in this country as the latest incidents in Haryana reveal. When such brutal murders take place in front of hundreds, even with policemen as mute witnesses, the mainstream political parties refuse to condemn it. AS the state governments are run by these parties the police and administration refuse to act, often the murderers go scot free. The horrendous events continues ‘Svangely as these most heinous incidents take place the Hindutva leaders who eulogise Manuvad and caste system, a host of ‘scholars’ including many from west who nostalgically talks about the Inaia that was and is, the RSS lke outfis, the caste parties including the BSP like ‘dali’ parties, the Pseudo intellectuals who preach identity politics are silent. The Khap Panchayat leaders arrogantly Continue to justify their criminal acts, and even after instigating and often participating in these kilings and declaration of social boycott to families and individuals violating existing laws, they are not punished The central and state governments aften conceals their indirect complicity by repeating the need for more strict laws. But a cursory glance through existing laws show that these are sufficient to handle the khap panchayats and such reactionary institutions. What is lacking is the desire to act against these criminal gangs. It is because they control the vote banks and the domination of mainstream partes leading the governments is depending on these vate banks. From the renaissance period each and every radical thinkers, all progressive forces, all genuine democrats have called for the annihilation of the caste system without which Indian society cannot be liberated. But even after six decades of formal independence the heinous caste system continues perpetuating such blood-curaling cruelties ike honour killings, However hard the rulers shout from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the people of this country are made aware by these atracious, inhuman ‘acts that this country continues to remain one of the most backward socially and culturally In China it was proved that in spite of a thorough democratic revolution destroying feudal system, and in spite of a mighty Cultural Revoluton, the old ideas and capitalist thought combined to stage a return of the exploitative system. So India needs a democratic revolution and continuous Cultural Revolution if it has to liberate itself from this barbarous condition. To help this advance, let what happened at Dharana village, Mataur vilage (both in Haryana) and what is happening at numerous places in a number of states in addition to the day to day incidence of casteist oppression awaken all ‘those think against the caste system and religious fanaticism get together to raise their voice unitedly ‘and act to overthrow them,