Spend more

Citing a recent World Bank forecast that developing countries,including India,should be prepared for a 2008-like or worse financial crisis

Written by Manoj C G | Published: January 25, 2012 2:56:54 am

Spend more

Citing a recent World Bank forecast that developing countries,including India,should be prepared for a 2008-like or worse financial crisis,the CPM has again called for greater public spending. People’s Democracy warns that India cannot ward off the global economic recession by furthering the neoliberal agenda.

An editorial in People’s Democracy says the government’s hopes,that further liberalisation will attract foreign funds and provide an impetus for growth,were misplaced because the World Bank has warned that rich countries had little monetary or fiscal ammunition available to stem continuing recession. Despite this,the editorial claims,the government appears all set to bring in financial reform legislations in the budget session of Parliament and plans to open up the retail sector to FDI soon after the five assembly elections. The need of the hour,says the editorial,is massive public investment to build social and economic infrastructure while generating large-scale employment. “The consequent growth of domestic demand in India is what that can sustain a healthy economic growth rate,” it argues.

Student politics

An article in People’s Democracy takes on the Trinamool Congress for the attack on a college principal in West Bengal. The article,by SFI General Secretary Ritabrata Banerjee,alleges that ever since the the TMC came to power,its student wing has been attacking SFI activists. “The peaceful environment of learning and teaching has been completely disrupted. The recent addition to this phenomenon is teacher bashing… a war against democracy has begun.”

Banerjee argues that banning politics in campuses is a neoliberal design,one that views students unions as an impediment in the implementation of the privatisation and commercialisation agenda,and hides behind arguments about preserving the academic ethos,says the article. The TMC government is pursuing that path too,argues the article.

NGO business

The CPI’s weekly journal New Age has published the draft political resolution to be adopted at its forthcoming party congress in March. The draft,among other issues,talks about “international finance capital” increasingly using NGOs as a weapon to “de-politicise and de-ideologise” the masses to blunt their “class-consciousness.”

The party,in effect,has dusted up an old CPM theory that action groups and voluntary organisations were a factor in the imperialist strategy. It says capitalist forces were financing and encouraging NGOs to “hijack” issues that their “ideological opponents could have used to sharpen the class consciousness of the masses.”

The draft resolution also talks about the role of regional outfits in Indian politics,the reasons for the Left debacle in West Bengal and Kerala. In Bengal,where the Left had been in power for 34 years,it says “arrogance of power,corruption and non-democratic functioning of the Left Front as well as wrong steps taken in regard of land acquisition in the name of industrialisation” led to the downfall,while in Kerala,factionalism in the CPM resulted in the defeat.

As far as regional parties are concerned — with whom the Left has,in the past,tried to stitch together a third alternative — the draft says they have more or less swallowed the prescription of economic neo-liberalism,and never hesitate to align with the BJP or the Congress. At the same time,it admits these parties cannot be ignored,given their “large followings”.

Compiled by Manoj C.G.

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