Bose And INA: Rewriting History

by Shamsul Islam

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.39, April 2 – 8, 2017

Subhas Chandra Bose. Source: Internet.

Once a prime national centre of historical research, ICHR has been totally handed over to the RSS pracharaks. It is nobody’s argument that RSS cadres have no right to influence research in Indian history. But as George Orwell in his masterpiece NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (1949) wrote, it should not be left to the whims of a section of the sectarian ruling elite which specializes in daily changing historic records to fit its polarizing propaganda goals of the day. The deliberations at recently concluded 3-day (8-10 February, 2017) national seminar on Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army (INA) organized by ICHR show that even George Orwell and practitioners of post-truth dictum would be embarrassed by reliance on sheer false-hood by the RSS historians and leaders invited for the seminar.Read More »

India: The Saffron Surge?

A Frontier Editorial | Vol. 49, No.37, Mar 19 – 25, 2017

By demolishing the predictions of all pre-poll surveys, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls by a thumping majority. It tried hard to win the polls and had a robust organisation. Their efforts have paid ample dividends.

The BJP supporters and ideologues have taken this opportunity to go on claiming that the poll results are a reflection of the endorsement of Modi’s ‘demonetaisation’ and ‘pro-poor’ measures. They called it a referendum on demonetisation which it was not. Those who witnessed the harassments of common money-using people in the wake of demonetisation can easily understand the falsity of this claim. And there is no evidence that Narendra Modi, after becoming the Prime Minister, has formulated a single policy that is directly in favour of the poor. His promise of creating 20 million jobs a year has also turned out to be a damp squib. His professed sympathy for Muslim women is dictated more by hatred of the Muslim community by the concern for his ‘Muslim sisters’. Remember the Israt Jahan case. Also remember that no Muslim woman was fielded as a BJP candidate. By not including any Muslim, man or woman, in its list of candidates, the BJP made it clear that it was not eager to reach out to the Muslim community. The tears about Muslim women were meant only to intensify communal polarisation.Read More »

India: Behind The Saffron Surge – Some Black & White facts

by Sandeep Banerjee

Frontier | 26 March, 2017

Sir,
Apropos to your Editorial “The Saffron Surge?” in Frontier, Vol. 49, No. 37, Mar 19 – 25, 2017, I would like to place some supplementary points for perusal of the Editors and readers of this esteemed magazine.

14.05 crores of voters, 22.3 crores population… well, one may assume number of available workforce of able bodied population (excluding those above 60 or 65 years) above the age of 18 years or more, to be 12-13 crores. Those are all 2017 figures for Uttar Pradesh. And now the number of unemployed is more than 1 crore! Every 1 out of every 8 would like to work and earn but there is no job opening.  It was reported in more than one national daily in perhaps January 2017. While doing caste, religious and other arithmetic, many poll wizards did not give the unemployment issue due importance. A connected issue, somehow connected ‘from above’ by the media, is – development is the mantra of the age and it will eradicate unemployment, poverty etc problems. So, unemployment created a ‘demand’ of development. Added up, these two, i.e. unemployment and development took up the ‘main attention’ of more than a third of the population; 36% voted one of these two (in CSDS survey [1]) as no: 1 problem. And who doesn’t know that Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra stand for good employment prospect to migrant population of India, including those from Uttar Pradesh; and hence, for the migrant and would-be migrant populace, BJP with its development slogan and actualities of some states, albeit some ‘scars and bloodstains’, may mean ‘business’… this idea might as well worked for BJP in UP.Read More »

Calcutta Notebook

by B J

The NDA Government promised in the budget last year to double the incomes of the farmers by 2020. There was no improvement in the incomes of the farmers, however. Now, it has again promised to do the same by 2022 in the budget for 2017-18. This promise will meet the same fate as the previous one because the Government refuses to even recognize, let alone solve the basic problem of the farmers. The intention of the Government may be good but the policies are straightforward bad. Read More »

The Battle for Campus

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.36, Mar 12 – 18, 2017

After the JNU, it is now the Delhi University. Spiritual descendants of the lackeys of the British rulers of India and the Nazis of Germany are now on the rampage. To them, anything that does not suit their own brand of ‘nationalism’ has to be suppressed by force and this nationalism is identical with Hindutva, the essence of which is hatred of a particular religious community. A concommitant of this nationalism is genuflection before the US ruling classes and corporate capital, domestic and foreign. Read More »

Calcutta Notebook

by B J

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.33, Feb 19 – 25, 2017

The challenge for the Finance Minister in 2017 is to improve the quality of government expenditures. The present drive of demonetisation and towards cashless economy will lead to more transactions coming into the tax net. This will lead to a higher tax burden on the people. Lesser money will remain in the hands of the people and more money will come in the hands of the government. A person with an income of Rs 10,000 per month was, say, paying tax of Rs 2,000 earlier. He will now pay taxes of Rs 2,500 because more of his purchases will be of tax-paid goods. He will be poorer by Rs 500. The reduction of money in hands of the people will lead to a reduction in demand for goods in the market. This will have a negative impact on the economy. However, the final impact will depend upon how the government uses the additional revenue that is collected. This money can be used by the government in two ways : for increasing government investments in infrastructure such as railways and highways, or for increasing government consumption such as by providing higher salaries to government servants.Read More »

Some Aspects of and Lessons from Jaloor Struggle

by Sardara Singh Mahil

Frontier | Feb 12, 2017

Terrorism is the main theme of public discourse these days, especially in the corridors of powers and in the cozy studios of television channels. The whole country is being drowned in the propaganda blitzkrieg about so-called terrorism.  Well dressed anchors, men and women with the hope of rising high by faithfully serving the powers that be, are shouting themselves hoarse about some imagined terrorism as though they are fighting on some front in the scorching desert. Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, enjoying the luxury of power through its electoral wing Bharatiya Janata Party, is boasting of tit for tat reply to terrorism and advocating pro-active policy on “cross-border terrorism”. They are using the so-called surgical strike by the Indian army in Pakistan-side Kashmir as a pump to inflate the Modi chest of 56 inches as claimed by Modi himself, which was deflated to 28 inches after the crushing defeat in Delhi and the convincing defeat in the Bihar elections. Stagnant economy with worsening living conditions of toiling people have given lie to Modi’s claim of “ache din” and development of all. In such a dwindling situation the pump of a surgical strike was badly needed for the Sangh Parivar government. This is more necessary when assembly elections in some important states including Uttar Pradesh are round the corner. When US ruling classes planned to assert to strengthen their world hegemony, capture oil sources and oil routes, they through their secret services organized the attack on twin towers at World Trade Centre, thus getting an alibi to attack any country as a rogue state helping terrorism or a threat to world security. Read More »

The Indian History Congress and its Cultural Intervention

by Suresh Jnaneswaran

Mainstream Weekly | VOL LV No 8 New Delhi February 11, 2017

The 77th session of the Indian History Congress took place at the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram from December 28 to 30, 2016. The following article has been written against that backdrop by the Local Secretary of the session.

The coming of the Indian History Congress to the Kerala University has greater significance than meets the ordinary eye. In the present political ambience with the ruling front at the Centre going all out to reinforce and perpetuate the mandate it has received through myriad regotiations, the Indian History Congress is a cultural assertion of scientific history. Its interventions and resolutions attempt to stall the machinations of an ahistorical conspiracy to thrust mythology as history on the common citizens. This cultural weapon of ‘Myth as History’ not only robs the discipline of its scientific nature but negates and blasphemes it in the academia and public eye.Read More »

Demonetisation means Corporatisation

by Aurobindo Ghose

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.27, Jan 8 – 14, 2017

On 8th November, 2016 at 8:15 PM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an apparently live televised address to a shocked and surprised nation, announced the withdrawal from circulation of currency notes of denomination Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, which would cease to be legal tender from that midnight. However, such notes could be exchanged on the basis of Aadhaar cards, or deposited by their holders in their bank or post office accounts from 10th November to 30th December. Referring to ‘black money’ as the wad of big currency notes hidden or slashed away under the bed or in godowns or in secret vaults, Modi said that the object of this exercise was to root out corruption, terrorism and black money. For the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy to be making such an announcement himself rather than the Finance Minister or the RBI Governor, was indeed unexpected and unheralded. Read More »

Calcutta Notebook

by B J

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.25, Dec 25 – 31, 2016

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that demonetisation will lead to an increase in tax collection because of higher tax compliance. That is correct. But higher tax compliance means that people will have to pay more taxes. The shopkeeper was selling cloth till now at Rs 30 per meter because he was buying the cloth in cash from the powerloom owner who was not paying taxes. Now, he will buy the same cloth at Rs 35 per meter because the powerloom owner will have to pay tax. This will lead to a reduction in the purchasing power of the consumer and a corresponding decline in his standard of living. Read More »