April 27, 2011 1:12:55 am
The BRICs counter
The CPM views the formalisation of BRICS Brazil,Russia,India,China and South Africa as a welcome sign,believing it has the potential to emerge as a countervailing global force to US imperialism. It believes BRICS can lead the world towards a genuine multi-polarity. But for that,it must strengthen relations with other formations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA).
The editorial in CPM mouthpiece Peoples Democracy notes that the resistance to democratise the UN mainly from the US has demonstrated that the global body does not reflect 21st century realities. BRICS could be an effective forum that can also catalyse a democratic re-structuring of the United Nations, it says.
Further,BRICS can play an important role in resisting US-driven attempts to hijack global negotiations on important issues like climate change and the Doha round of negotiations under the WTO. Although Brazil,Russia,India and China as current members of the UN Security Council have abstained from the vote imposing a no-fly zone over Libya,it feels the BRICS should however have gone a step forward in opposing it. Such coordinated political positioning can emerge in the future as a check to imperialist hegemonic designs, it hopes.
In the midst of a do-or-die electoral battle in West Bengal,the CPM has accused a section of the media of playing the role of political opposition to the Left. Though the paranoid anti-Left position of these sections of media is well known,this time their main thrust of propaganda is creating an atmosphere as if the TMC-Congress alliance has already won and a so-called change was inevitable, a report in Peoples Democracy says.
It says corporate media,both print and audio-visual,is working overtime to refurbish the image of Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee as a good administrator. And for this purpose,the dominant media in West Bengal is keeping under wraps the wanton violence by Trinamool in districts… Even when an Election Commission officer was severely beaten up by the TMC candidate in Bijpur,Subhrangshu Roy (son of Union minister Mukul Roy),the incident was virtually buried, it says.
It says another method of this anti-Left campaign is the spate of opinion polls,devoid of scientific methodology and full of subjective assertion. In fact,a specific allegation has been reported that the surveyors tried to force villagers in Jamalpur in Burdwan district to speak out in favour of change,resulting in commotion, it says.
A common refrain by the Left leaders is that the Trinamool is pumping big money into Bengal. The report questions Banerjees use of a helicopter and alleges that the TMC has bought enormous space for advertisement in the electronic media. Naturally the question arises about the source of money, it says. The railway minister did a ridiculous attempt to cover up by arranging an exhibition of her artwork in Kolkata. It was reported that all her works were sold and it fetched more than Rs 2 crore. Without any comment on the quality of the paintings,her claim that it was how she gathered money for election campaign has become another example of hoodwinking people, the article says.
Question the bhushans
A front-page article in CPI mouthpiece New Age looks at the recent allegations that have surfaced against Shanti and Prashant Bhushan,who are civil society members in the Lokpal drafting panel,and the war of words between them and Amar Singh.
Although the CPI feels the whole exercise on corruption appears to be a well-planned move,and an attempt to side-track more serious issues like price rise,unemployment and growing economic disparities,it nevertheless raises some questions. It says the interesting point about the media coverage was that while the fabrication of the CD was a big issue,no one has taken any interest in investigating allegations regarding former law minister Shanti Bhushans purchase of a bungalow in Allahabad for merely Rs 5 lakh. It is alleged that the sale deed was completed under duress. The UP stamp and registration department has sent a notice to Shanti Bhushan alleging that he evaded stamp duty to the tune of Rs 1.33 crore payable on a property he owns in Allahabad. No investigative journalist has dared to unearth truth about these two substantial allegations, it notes.
Compiled by Manoj C.G.