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View from the LEFT

An editorial says that India’s strategic partnership with the US was a surrender of sovereignty.

Written by Manoj C G | Published: October 3, 2013 1:07 am

Private Health

The CPM has argued that the government’s recent decision to reimburse IAS and IPS officers for medical treatment abroad,amending an earlier notification,was virtually a vote of no-confidence in India’s health system. An article in People’s Democracy says: “People of India might find it difficult to comprehend how a country that claims to be a major economic and political power facilitates the treatment of its own senior bureaucrats in foreign locales. Unfortunately,most people in India do not have the option to opt out of the country’s system and fly to distant locales,attendant in tow!” it argues. The government’s move has to be viewed in the context of two areas related to medical care where the government has claimed success — restructuring of the health system in the form of the national health mission,and promotion of “Medical Tourism”.

“Largely involving the private medical sector… this policy has involved providing the private sector with various incentives such as tax concessions,subsidised land,concessions on duties on equipment and medical products,etc,in order to promote India as a destination for medical care for foreign patients… Clearly,for all the positive spin that the government would like to give to its programmes,something is very seriously amiss,” it says.

Sovereignty Surrender

Against the backdrop of the Manmohan Singh-Barack Obama meeting,an editorial in the CPI’s New Age argues that India’s strategic partnership with the US was,in effect,a surrender of sovereignty. The editorial begins by talking about Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelling her scheduled meeting with Obama after revelations that the NSA was spying on her. “The day Madam Dilma announced cancellation of her meeting with Obama as a mark of protest; Media carried reports that the NSA was indulging in similar activities in India as well… And what is our reaction. Prime minister… reaffirmed that he will meet US boss Obama despite the spying revelations,” it says.

The editorial argues that even before his departure,the PM finalised the list of “gifts” to be offered to the US — which included the “waiver of compensation clause in the Nuclear Liability Act”,“waiving of the clause making compulsory procurement of 30 per cent of their requirements from indigenous sources by the MNCs putting up their retail outlets in India”,and lastly,“changing our fridge gas usage pattern.”

Scams Galore

An editorial in the CPI(ML)’s ML Update focuses on the conviction of Lalu Prasad. It argues that however much Rahul Gandhi may now dismiss the ordinance as “complete nonsense” and the BJP may oppose it in public,the “fact remains that the ordinance was mulled by none other than Rahul’s own government and endorsed by all parties,including the BJP!” It goes on to argue that while Lalu Prasad and his party are most centrally identified with the fodder scam,a closer look at the anatomy and trajectory of the scam reveals a whole range of accomplices cutting across social and political divisions. It also argues that the CBI will have to explain “why it spared leaders like Nitish Kumar,Shivanand Tiwari and Lallan Singh,who are all mentioned as recipients of fodder scam cash in the testimonies of senior officials of the animal husbandry department.”

Compiled by Manoj C.G.

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