ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Optimism of the Will

overdrafts too Madras showed growth rates much ahead of the other two banks

On Democracy, Market and Socialism

On 'Democracy, Market and Socialism' Amartya Sen, in his presidential address to the last annual conference of the Indian Economic Association, seems to posit democracy as the fundamental idea of socialism. Holding that the use of market under socialism is but an instrumental step, he underlines that the two cannot be put at par. While he may be correct in terms of formal logic, this does not really shed any light on the basic problem. In reality, both democracy and market are instrumental to socialism, although certainly of different orders.

WEST BENGAL-Left Front Recovers Lost Ground

a spectacular feat in the recent Lok Sabha elections not only by winning with a plurality of popular votes 36 seats out of the 41 for which polling has been held, but more particularly by doing so while fighting on two fronts, that is, against the ruling Congress as well as the rising Hindu revivalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Left Strategy for the Elections

It is the duty of the Left to formulate and pursue a policy that can simultaneously take care of both the Congress(I) and the communalists-fundamentalists. This can be done only by stepping up the campaign against the Congress(I) as the fountainhead of all anti-democratic and anti-secular developments in the country whose by-products are the growing Hindu revivalism and the Muslim fundamentalism.


Ajit Roy The tragic events in Beijing have given rise in the main to two contradictory tendencies among critics, both having the common characteristic of being totally Utopian: one of these looking forward to change of the country's course towards a sort of bourgeois democracy and the other urging a return to Mao Zedong's prescriptions for a historical short-cut to communism. The only correct path is to work for the present course of socialist modernisation, but shorn of its inadequacies and weaknesses. This rectification is possible only through a closer integration of Marxist ideology with day-to-day practice at every level.

WEST BENGAL-CPI(M)-CPI Relations The Basic Issues

WEST BENGAL CPI(M)-CPI Relations The Basic Issues Ajit Roy The basic issues involved in the current differences between the CPI(M) and the CPI in West Bengal have implications that go far beyond the question of relations between the two parties and affect Left and democratic movements in the country directly IN March last, the 14th Congress of the CPI, in session in Calcutta, had made ardent pleas for the unity between itself and the CPI(M). About two months later, the West Bengal state conference of the party meeting in the same city persisted in making the same plea, but with an unmistakable note of bitterness. While differences in the approaches of the two parties at the national level continue to impede the coming together, as desired by the CPU the cause of its new bitterness lies in some of the recent developments in West Bengal. More pertinently, the basic issues involved in these differences have implications that go far beyond the question of CPI-CPI(M) relations and affect the left and democratic movements directly. Two of these issues that have come up very sharply are: (i) the question of chalking out a course of militant working class actions to resist the growingly severe offensive of the industrial employers against the workers, particularly in the jute textile industry, and (ii) the issue of basic human right

The Undependable Allies

The Undependable Allies Ajit Roy Without belittling the importance of the Left forging immediate limited understanding with the variou' non-communist opposition parties to counter the threat to Indian democracy posed by the Congress(I), it has to be underlined that this limited linkage has to be conditioned by simultaneous mobilisation of the genuinely left and democratic forces based on a critical exposition of the dual role of the undependable allies.

Perestroika and Problems of Socialist Renewal-Compulsions, Constraints and Contradictions

Ajit Roy Perestroika and glasnost are most welcome, not only in the interest of progress of the USSR, but also of the entire human society. But Mikhail Gorbachev's claim that the Soviet state and the CPSU have 'renounced everything that deformed socialism in the 1930s' is an exaggeration which only reveals a certain lack of comprehension of the enormous dimensions of this historical legacy. In fact, certain basic digits of thought, uncritically taken over from the past, like the idea that the USSR is in the state of 'developed socialism' and that the Soviet state is now an all people's state, along with the concept of the CPSU as the vanguard of society, carry in them germs of a possible neo-Stalinist development in the future.

Quickening Pace of Authoritarianism and the Left

have rightly calculated that the prevailing balance of forces in the country's economy and polity is favourable to them, the occasional noises about self-reliance and socialism by the entrenched political authority notwithstanding. They reckon that even the market provided by the top 10 per cent of the population is large enough to exploit profitably. The promise of transfer of capital and technology on a large scale would appear to have gained a constituency for them to operate successfully in India. The government in India has given way, step by step, under their pressure to their entry into India on their terms. Short of formally winding up FERA and MRTP, all their demands have been met in the new policy frame for foreign collaboration and foreign investment.

Darjeeling Hopeful Turn and Remaining Obstacles

Darjeeling: Hopeful Turn and Remaining Obstacles WITH the unanimous rejection of a 'do or die' struggle by all the 148 delegates with votes in the Gorkha National Liberation Front (ONLF) convention of its front organisations at Darjeeling on July 10, hopes for an early settlement of the grow- ingly explosive Gorkhaland agitation in the hill areas of Darjeeling have become really bright. The new found personal regard for each other expressed by the two chief protagonists in the confrontation, that is, the GNLF president Subhas Ghishing and the West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, provide a further assurance of a continued exchange even if the final agreement is delayed, thereby precluding the possibility of a recrudescence of widespread violence that has raged in this region during the last two years. The more recent news of disciplinary measures decided upon by Ghishing against the more militant Kalimpong activists is a further confirmation of the prevailing climate of goodwill.

For a More Dedicated Left Unity

the facts. But apart from the obvious distortion that the 'explanation', by virtue of what it chooses to concentrate on, leaves out the PAC's role, we may yet be interested in knowing what makes the leaders of the Muslim community advocate mass suicide, and what makes the people accept the advocacy. Are these twin phenomena really all that different from what one observes at a global level in the nation's politics: the seemingly suicidal THE acute intra-Left Front tensions generated over the distribution of seats for the recently held panchayat elections in West Bengal have not entirely subsided. On the contrary, the CPI which earlier had seemed to have been more or less satisfied with the CPI(M)'s conduct has recently come out with serious allegations about the latter's breach of faith in about 1,000 panchayat constituencies. The other two discontented allies of the CPI(M) avail themselves of every opportunity to give expressions to their subdued disaffection against the leader of the Front. The basic cause of the persisting maladjustments among the Left Front partners may lie in a certain lack of clarity about both the need for the continuation, indeed strengthening, of the Front as also in the failure to interpret correctly the results of panchayat elections.


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