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Saturday, April 7, 2012

CPI(M) deliberates on native socialism model


Focus is on strengthening political alternative, says Yechury

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday began attending to the task of acquiring greater clarity on ideological issues and coming up with a socialism model rooted in Indian conditions and not replicated from any system practised in other countries.

Having studied systems in China, Russia, North Korea, South Africa, Cuba, Venezuela and drawing lessons from them, the CPI(M) prepared a draft resolution that would come up for vote at the ongoing party congress here on Sunday.

“We need socialism for India not based on conditions in Russia or China… we are learning from their experience and applying what is relevant to Indian conditions. We are not saying their [other countries] path is right or wrong…the birth of the CPI(M) is based on the major issue of path of revision of socialist trend …,” Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told the media.

Elaborating on the thrust of the resolution that he moved before the congress, Mr. Yechury said it took stock of developments in the world over the last two decades, interpreted the current global challenges and how various countries were meeting them.

Political alternative

“Focus is on how to strengthen the political alternative in India. The objective is to transform the situation and the subjective situation is to have a political alternative to replace the capitalist [form].”

He said the current economic crisis showed that the capitalist approach was not capable of overcoming it but was leading from one crisis to another. Globalisation was leading to inequality with the International Labour Organisation terming it ‘jobless growth.'

For instance, he said, loss of purchasing power had led to a problem — if goods produced were not sold, capitalists would suffer, and they offered cheap credit that resulted in a sub-prime crisis in the United States. Bailout by the government was for those financial giants who caused the economic meltdown.

“From corporate insolvency [it led to] to sovereign insolvency,” Mr. Yechury said, pointing out that the crisis in Europe, which began in Greece, was seeing more countries being drawn in and to overcome sovereign crisis, austerity measures were being applied in the form of wage cuts for the working class with longer hours of work.

Term limit

The meeting will also deliberate on an important amendment to the party Constitution that seeks to introduce a three-term limit for all secretaries, including general secretary. The amendment when carried would mean that all those holding the post, including Prakash Karat, cannot continue beyond three terms. Each term lasts normally three years, the period between two party congresses.

Mr. Karat was elected in 2005 at the New Delhi congress and re-elected at Coimbatore three years later. In view of the Assembly elections in Kerala and West Bengal, the party postponed the 20 edition of the congress to this year.

Responding to questions on fixing responsibility for electoral reverses, the Polit Bureau member said the organisation practised “collective functioning and individual responsibility.
The Hindu

Thursday, April 5, 2012

No reviewing 2G verdicts, rules court

The Supreme Court has upheld its February 2 order cancelling 122 ‘2G spectrum licences' on the ground that they were illegally allotted to various companies during A. Raja's tenure as Telecom Minister.A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan rejected review petitions. “We have carefully perused the record of the case and are satisfied that the judgment of which review has been sought does not suffer from any error apparent.”

It has also refused to entertain Mr. Raja's plea seeking review of the verdict. “We… are convinced that there is no valid ground much less justification to entertain the prayer made by the applicant.” Mr. Raja contended that he was condemned by the court for his alleged illegalities without giving him an opportunity of being heard and without making him party to the proceedings.

‘Apprehension baseless'

The Bench said: “The apprehension expressed by Mr. Raja that the observations will prejudicially affect his cause is not well-founded because in para 81(vii), it has been made clear that the observations contained in the judgment shall not prejudice any person including the applicant, who is facing prosecution in the cases registered by the CBI or who may face prosecution on the basis of charge-sheet(s) which may be filed by the CBI in future and the Special Judge, CBI shall decide the matter uninfluenced by this judgment.”

The Hindu

Monday, April 2, 2012

U.S. intelligence sees no signs of Syria’s Assad losing grip on power

The Syrian leadership believes “it is winning” against rebels trying to topple the government, a U.S. intelligence official said late Sunday, despite ongoing international peace efforts to recognize the Syrian opposition.

Chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers, said in a television interview that there are no signs that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing his grip on power, citing U.S. intelligence agencies.

“We don’t see Assad’s inner circle crumbling,” Rogers told CNN, in comments carried by the LA Times.

Assad’s regime most recently declared victory over rebels last week, with Syrian security forces continuing to shell rebel positions, displaying no plans to immediately withdraw troops despite Assad’s initial agreement to a U.N.-backed peace plan.

Meanwhile, in Syria this week, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad al Makdissi all but proclaimed victory over the uprising. "The battle to topple the state is over," he told Syrian television, the BBC reported.

On Sunday, “Friends of Syria” member states recognized the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) as a legitimate representative of all Syrians, and “noted” it as the main opposition interlocutor with the international community - wording that fell short of full recognition of a group hampered by chronic disunity.

The countries called on the U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to give the Syrian leader a timeline to deliver on his ceasefire commitment.

"The regime will be judged by its deeds rather than its promises," said a communiqué issued by representatives of 83 nations in Turkey. It called on Annan "to determine a timeline for next steps, including a return to the U.N. Security Council, if the killing continues."

But the group stopped short of mentioning any supporting or arming of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), as advocated by some Gulf Arab states.

The member states did say, however, they would “continue to work on additional appropriate measures with a view to the protection of the Syrian people.”

Assad has accepted, but not yet implemented, Annan’s six-point peace plan, which calls for the military to cease fire, withdraw from towns and cities, and allow humanitarian access.

“We will not let the Syrian regime misuse another opportunity, which is the last chance for the situation in Syria,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference after the meeting he hosted.

Gulf states are likely to interpret the phrase as a license to fund, if not arm, the FSA, while the United States and others will see it as allowing supplies of non-lethal equipment to the loosely organized armed opposition to Assad.

The Syrian regime’s deadly crackdown on opponents has left more than 9,000 people dead since the uprising began in March last year, according to monitors.
Agencies