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In the light of India’s continued downward slide in the ranking of the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme...

Written by Manoj C G |
October 14, 2009 3:31:29 am

HDR shame

In the light of India’s continued downward slide in the ranking of the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme,the latest editorial in the CPI(M) mouthpiece People’s Democracy argues that this slip has only confirmed that the benefits of economic growth have been confined to a few. “India’s performance negates the expectations generated by the euphoria of a high growth trajectory in the recent decade. All grandeur of an ‘emerging economy’ rubbing shoulders with the ‘mighty’ at the G-20 high table simply evaporates when the hard data of HDR 2009 is confronted,” it says. “In a way this only confirms that the benefits of economic growth in India have been confined to a few of the ‘shining’ India while the rest are consigned to the ‘suffering’ India,” it claims.

Pointing out that the data base for the HDR report is that of 2007,it says it is “important to note that the ruination of millions of people globally,many more in developing countries,due to the worst capitalist crisis leading to the current global recession is not captured in this report.” “HDR 2009 clearly confirms what many of us have been stating about the abysmally low levels of quality of life of the vast majority of the Indian people. No amount of aam admi rhetoric and platitudes of ‘inclusive growth’ can improve the situation unless the UPA government is forced through popular struggles to vastly expand public investments that will generate jobs on the one hand and build the much needed social and economic infrastructure in the country,” it adds.

Lalgarh truths

The edition carries an article giving the details of the confessions made by the arrested Peoples’ Committee against Police Atrocities leader Chatradhar Mahato during his interrogation by the West Bengal police,with a claim that several truths have been exposed now. So what are the truths? Firstly,it says “the ‘Peoples’ Committee against Police Atrocities’ was formed by the Maoists,primarily to cordon off an area out of the bounds for police and administration.”

Secondly,“the mine-blast was designed to kill the chief minister when he was returning from the stone-laying ceremony of the proposed steel plant in Shalboni. Chatradhar Mahato revealed that top Maoist leaders of the area were present in the meeting where the committee was formed,” it says.

“Gradually,the committee followed the dictums of the Maoists and expanded its work from digging roads to attacking CPI(M) cadres and sympathisers. The Lalgarh agitation was not at all any spontaneous outburst of the tribals,as it was depicted in a section of the media; it was,rather,a well-planned disturbance to create a conducive atmosphere for the Maoists to consolidate their own base,” it says.

The committee acted as a comfortable platform for the Maoists and Trinamool Congress to work together. In almost every village where a “branch” of the committee was formed,both the active members of the Maoists and TMC worked in unison,it claims.

Fourthly,the article states that the committee and Chatradhar himself had regular contacts with a section of the anti-CPI(M) intelligensia and even participated in a number of secret meetings in Kolkata too. “Though it was not so ‘secret’ to any observer,this revelation has apparently unnerved some of the intellectuals who,for some months now,have already been rewarded abundantly by the railway minister. These intellectuals have tried their best to claim that they had no inkling of Chatradhar’s Maoist links,” it says.

Air India’s failures

Another article by CITU President M.K. Pandhe says the strike by executive pilots of Air India could have been avoided had the Air India management not “arbitrarily and unilaterally” reduced their productivity linked incentive. “The 20 to 50 per cent cut imposed on their PLI payments had to be ultimately kept in abeyance by the Air India management,which was the cause of the strike action by the pilots.”

He says the losses suffered by Air India — which increased from six to seven thousand crores — was not because of any fault of the employees but due to several wrong decisions taken by the management and the ministry of civil aviation. “The financial bungling by the management could be seen from the fact that the balance sheet of the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) for the year 2008-09 could not be finalised till the end of September 2009,” he says.

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