ISHRAT JAHAN CASE
An article in the CPI weekly New Age on the arrest of another Gujarat IPS officer in connection with the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case refers to the case as yet another skeleton in Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modis cupboard. It argues that the encounter was conducted by a team of Gujarat police officers that seemed to be a dedicated team chosen by the ruling circles in the state to teach the Muslim community a lesson once for all.
The article was also critical of the CBI,to which the case has been handed by the high court after a Special Investigation Team submitted its report in November,2011. The report had concluded that the encounter was fake and the killings were carried [out in cold blood when the victims were in police custody, it recalls. Why has the CBI taken such a long time in filing the cases against the accused? The delay is tantamount to providing a relief and succor to the accused. Who has been instrumental in influencing the CBI for making this delay? it asks.
The journals of the CPI(ML) and the CPI hit out at the UPA for presenting a pro-rich budget. The signals are loud and clear the government has nothing to offer to the people except price hikes and cuts in subsidies, ML Update says in its analysis of the general and railway budgets.
Concerted efforts are on to create a media climate in favour of a fare hike and sell the myth that increased fares would pave the way for improved services. The governments idea of better amenities is meant primarily for upper class passengers who have been promised super-luxurious Anubhuti coaches in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains and executive waiting lounges in select world-class stations. For common passengers,rail travel will be costlier but not any safer or cleaner, the editorial says.
Regarding the growth rate,it says CSO estimates have debunked the governments recovery claims and talk of returning to the trajectory of high growth. An editorial in New Age states that despite the drastic decline in the growth rate,North Block is not ready to go in for any corrective measures and rather it is going ahead with the disastrous course of cutting the existing facilities and concessions available to the common people.
An editorial in CPM weekly Peoples Democracy analyses the economic survey.
A boost in demand saw consumption growing at an average of 8 per cent annually between 2009-12 resulting in strong inflation and a powerful monetary response that slowed down the consumption demand. The survey,the editorial says,discusses the slowdown in corporate and infrastructure investment because of investment bottlenecks and tighter monetary policy and calls for clearing the bottlenecks and easing of monetary policy.
It suggests [this will lead to higher growth and employment generation. We have been repeatedly saying that by merely making available larger investable resources,growth cannot automatically take place. Growth can take place only when what is produced by such investment is purchased in the market for consumption. It is precisely this consumption power among the Indian people that has sharply declined,as the survey notes… The survey,however,concentrates on the investment aspect,ignoring the consumption aspect,which can only spell further misery… Thus,in order to boost investment by removing bottlenecks and easing monetary policy,incentives for foreign and domestic investments are being proposed… This is the wrong prescription for furthering neoliberal reforms based on the correct diagnosis that our economy has slowed down, it says.
Compiled by Manoj C.G.