kvijaya40

Contemporary issues related to human development , regional and global.

THE CENTURY OF SOCIALIST GLOBALIZATION

THE CENTURY OF SOCIALIST GLOBALIZATION

This is the concluding section, the epilogue, of the final draft of my book-let titled Socialist Globalization & United Nation, as released on 31st October 2018 at the Ernakulam Public Library, Kochi, India. The booklet is being published in the website of Research Gate (RG).

Bourgeoisie ideologues look at Science and Technology (S&T) and all other knowledge systems as products of market competition, and treat them as private property of business classes who had drawn and re-drawn the political maps of not only Europe but also the entire globe, through numerous local and regional wars, as well as two global wars inflicted on humanity by imperialism and global finance capital.

League of Nations and the Soviet Union were thus, the byproducts of First World War: Second World War led to the establishment of a United Nations Origination (UNO) and the liberation of China, India and other Afro-Asian countries from imperialism. At the time of Soviet revolution, many among the Russian intelligentsia and even revolutionaries had argued that socialism in one country in isolation was mere utopia. However, Bolsheviks led by Lenin challenged these views and continued with the socialist project and the building up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), an altogether new historical experience.

The numerous nationalities, big and small, liberated by Bolsheviks from Tsarist oppression, were encouraged to establish a socialist union under the banner of a revolutionary union: They continue to exist even today, as sovereign republics under the banner of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), despite the dissolution of USSR. The vast experience of this mutual cooperation and working together of diverse nationalities and nation states had helped USSR to establish even much larger networks of economic and cultural cooperation like the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and several other bilateral and multilateral institutions.

Counter revolution by the intellectual classes of USSR led by Gorbachev, Yeltsin & Co in the name of Glasnost and Perestroika could not wipe out the cultural, political and material gains registered by humanity at large, under the revolutionary initiatives of proletarian classes and progressive movements spanning the seven continents. Globalization drive initiated by socialist China in more recent years is an integral part of the big changes that was sweeping the globe for several decades under the banner of socialism: These globalization efforts, unlike the imperialist globalization under capitalism during the past couple of centuries were inspired by socialism, socialist traditions with Chinese characteristics.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics as professed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) today, is not a new invention by the present leadership of that party. The concept had come into vogue and evolved during the days of Mao himself, during the hay days of Cultural Revolution as evidenced by the interviews with Han Suyin by N Ram, as published by the Frontline Vol 29 issue 23: Nov 17-30 2012, as well as the numerous writings of this Chinese scholar and novelist. In fact, the stress on cultural diversity among nationalities and independent nation-states dates back to the Bolsheviks, to the era of Lenin and Stalin who had built genuine and functioning unity among diverse nation states, nationalities and races that constituted USSR, nearly a century ago.

True, there are numerous stories about East Europeans being harassed and dictated on by Lenin and Stalin: They were mostly fabricated or exaggerated stories by the intellectuals of bourgeoisie classes and hardly stand rigorous scrutiny. As an Indian engineer trained in socialist Czechoslovakia and living in that country for two years and working with Czechs, Slovaks, Germans and other East Europeans for more than four years, I may say that such stories had their origins in the stupid cold war environ that was forced on by bourgeoisie ideologues and political propagandists.

The special relationship that continues to exist among the peoples of CIS and former CMEA countries as well as the former Non Alignment Movement (NAM) of developing countries within the UN System, are proof enough for the warm non-antagonistic relations that had been developing among them for several decades after the cultural revolution of China: This has now matured into a global phenomenon and philosophy with a coverage of around 90 percent of humanity. These diverse cultures and nationalities are not strangers to each other, any more.

The game of divide and rule should end with the melting away of an absurd cold war, forced on humanity by the imperialists: Even South Korea and North Korea have turned friends and are shaking hands under the initiatives of China and other socialist countries but it is sad that the numerous institutions created under UN initiative like the, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, WHO, IAEA, WMO and several others remain under-utilized or non-utilized: There is no dearth of hunger and poverty but there are no takers even for the best of anti-poverty technologies.

Rapid developments in Science and Technology, especially Information Technology, provide plenty of comfort and encouragement to individuals to belong to larger and larger collectives that are, possibly, far more intelligent than the best of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could be conceived by isolated individuals. A multicultural multinational platform would help mankind to transcend even the natural constraints of Time and Space to a large extent: It is time for mankind to liberate itself from technological pessimism forced on it by three centuries of global capitalism, two global wars and the long years of cold war that was even more destructive.

China the leading socialist country of our times and the most populous among the comity of nations, is destined to play a key role in speeding up the century old socialist globalization drive initiated by Soviet Union. And the nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October last, was another bold step in that direction. Website on the latest Congress of CPC as quoted below gives a detailed account of the present system of governance in China as well as the guidelines for its future road-map:
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/19cpcnc/latestnews.htm

Programs and plans based on these principles have led to a leap forward in the S&T capabilities of China and rapid growth of nearly all sectors of its national economy, leading to a vast expansion of its foreign trade in volume as well as value. Chinese leaders, during their visit to the UN Head Quarters in Geneva last year, had proposed that the UN institutions should start playing a much larger role in global trade and development. The IMF-IBRD-WTO combine or the so-called Bretton Woods solutions of the sixties have lost most of their relevance today, under the rapidly changing global economy. (1).

The vast experience of CMEA and the systems and institutions developed by the erstwhile socialist block in the expansion of bilateral trade and development as well as international monetary settlements, and later inherited by the UNCTAD (2) and, now followed up by the BRICS and other China-led institutions have turned out to be far more relevant and significant under the rapidly changing global scenario, today (3).

There are hardly any takers for the theory of End of History mounted by the bourgeoisie intellectuals during the hay days of perestroika: The era of Socialist Globalization ushered in by Soviet Revolution of 1917 is likely to provide material and spiritual comfort for mankind under the UN umbrella, for quite a few centuries to come.

Notes and references:
1. A Plan to save the WTO-Lead article in the Economist of July21st 2018.
2. See my paper under Section 5 of this book: World Trade Organization: the failure to deliver

3. See the Soviet Book -Two Worlds-Two Monetary Systems- by A. Atchkassov and O. Preksin –Mir Publishers – 1986

EOD/24-10-2018

Memories of Tsunami Relief 2004 and Kerala Floods 2018

MEMORIES OF TSUNAMI RELIEF 2004
AND KERALA FLOODS 2018
By Engr. K Vijayachandran F.I.E

The recent flood disaster of Kerala has driven more than a million people to refugee camps; that is around ten percent of the population in the State. It was the third natural disaster within a brief span of 14 years: All the three were water related and close to the coastal belt, and local fishermen and their class and mass organizations were actively involved in the relief work, organized by State Government.

The Tsunami of 2004 had struck my native village as well, and I had tried to study the dynamics of these relief efforts, at close quarters. The attached reports of 30-12-2004 and 27-01-2005 were based on my direct observations during these visits. I had copied them to the Chief Minister of the then UDF Ministry, as well as some of the senior officers including the Late Shri V Ramachandran, who was at that time serving as the Vice Chairman of State Planning Board in an honorary capacity.

Very typical of this great bureaucrat of Kerala, who had served not only the UDF and LDF governments of Kerala but also the GOI in different capacities, had responded to my Tsunami reports with a cryptic comment: “Your observations are to the point and perfectly rational, and hence unlikely to be accepted by the Government”.

Situation has not changed much even after fifteen years, and that is why I am publishing the two documents, today, as a wordpress blog.

22nd August 2018

TSUNAMI DISATER ON KERALA COAST
VISIT TO RELIEF CAMPS AND ALAPPADU VILLAGE
(Report by K Vijayachandran dated 30.12.2004)

My ancestral village, Clappana, is right on the eastern side of Ayiramthengu Kayal; on the west is Alappadu, the worst affected village in Kerala with more than a hundred Tsunami deaths. Yesterday, on 29th December, three days after the disaster, myself along with my brothers, visited four refugee camps between Ochira on NH-47 and Ayiramthengu on National Waterway-3 and then crossed over to the disaster struck areas in a country boat.

Alappadu village panchayat is a ten kilometer stretch of land, hardly a kilometre wide, starting from the Kayamkulam pozhi on the North. A population of 25000 is distributed over thirteen wards and the worst hit were the three northern most wards, starting from the north side of Amrthanandamayi Ashram. The seven storied RCC structure of the Ashram, housing hundreds of foreign devotees is the major landmark of the locality. There was no damage to this Ashram structure, but the few hundred dwellings nearby, built as Amma’s fiftieth birthday gift to the poor, were washed off in Tsunami fury. Amma and other inmates of the Ashram sought asylum in the Engineering and Ayurveda College premises, just across the backwaters. Possibly this is the biggest and least reported relief camp among the more than 150 that sprang up along Kerala coast on that black Sunday.

There was a camp within the premises of Ochira Temple, organised by RSS. On the other side of the road, within the Government High School premises, we saw a secular camp, from where volunteers with DYFI badges were being driven away. In the four camps we visited, there were heaps of garments and clothing, bananas, topioca, vegetbles, coconuts and other food supplies, which were pouring in under the initiative of numerous social and political organisations in the neighbourhood. Revenue officials who are asked to co-ordinate these spontaneous responses as well as the activities of other departments, can hardly cope up with that crucial function. This was a common complaint repeatedly heard from the victims themselves.

The northern wards of Alappadu Panchayat, were full of people during our visit in the afternoon. There were in plenty of idle visitors like ourselves. There were the volunteers of RSS and Seva Bharati who have come from long distances and the workers and contractors of Electricity Board, Water Authority etc who were busily repairing the damages. And, a large number of local residents had come on a short visit from their relief camps to have a look at their damaged homesteads coconut palms or feed the surviving cattle and poultry. Refugees were naturally keen to return from the camps at the earliest opportunity but the fear of Tsunami recurring and the backwater barriers were holding them back.

We had a lengthy dialogue with a senior citizen who had come on a short visit from the relief camp, along with her daughter, to feed the half a dozen cattle that had survived. He described how the awful Tsunami waves roused up to 3 to 5 meter height above the random rouble sea-wall and sweeping away people, cattle and week building structures but hardly any coconut trees, which were in plenty all over the place. And the whole show was over in less than five minutes; after spraying instant death, water receded leaving a layer of black illminite sand of some three to six inches thick.

Running away into the safety of the mainland was the only option and there was no question of loosing a moment. In the mass hysteria that followed, all possible crafts were commandeered by the sane, in order to cross the lake, carrying with them the children, the disabled and the dead. Panic crossed even the backwaters and people of the mainland joined the fleeing humanity, taking with them whatever little belongings they could lay their hands on. Even people living three kilometre east of coastline were in the relief camps on Sunday and Monday nights, even though they had no earthly reason to panic. This had exaggerated the number of refugees, possibly by a factor of four or five.

This raises certain fundamental questions related to rehabilitation: how many houses were actually damaged by tsunami and how many people were rendered homeless? A quick survey of the locality revealed that, nearly half of the dwellings in the area has survived the ocean fury and they were of good brick and cement construction or were located away from the sea front. Nearly a third of the buildings were marginally damaged and could be easily repaired back to good condition. Another third was totally destroyed and have to be built anew; these were mostly structures right on the sea front. There were around six thousand census households in 2001 in the whole of Alappadu Panchayat and the affected wards may account for about a third of this. Totally destroyed dwellings in Alappadu may not exceed 1000 and possibly the same number will need repairs. Compared to the totality of destruction brought in by the tsunami and compared to the damage inflicted on our neighbouring state, these damages look marginal. With the type of response forthcoming from all quarters, it is not a difficult task to give back the affected people their homesteads, to repair the roads and phone lines, to restore the supply of water and electricity, and to restore normal life in Alappadu Panchayat.

However, relief operations need to be revamped immediately, so as to refocus it directly on the people affected and not hijacked by the whims and fancies of official machinery and temptations of parliamentary politics. Instant promises of bridges on two locations and total reconstruction of panchayats etc. may appeal to vote banks and may have some long term relevance. Immediate need is to rehabilitate the people in relief camps and get them back to their homesteads and work places as quickly as possible. Following suggestions may be considered for this purpose.

(1) All major camps are across the backwaters and three to five kilometres away from Alappadu; this is a major impediment in rehabilitation work. As soon as the official controversy on recurrence of tsunami is settled, steps should be initiated to shift all the camps to the Alappadu Paaanchayat.

(2) All Government offices and public establishments like schools, hospitals etc in the panchayat should get opened and start functioning at the earliest.

(3) In each ward two or three relief camps may be set up in temporary pandals or shamiana, under the direct charge of the local panchayat member; he is to be assisted and guided by an all party committee or grama-sabha, as envisaged under Panhayat Act. All relief work in the ward should be routed through this legal arm of Alappad Panchayat. Coverage of a relief camp may be limited to about 100 homesteads.

(4) People in the present camps are to be persuaded to report to the appropriate ward level relief camps and this transfer process can be completed within ten days. People can stay in these camps, resume their vocations, tend the farms, organise repair or reconstruction of their homesteads.

(5) Changadam or Jhankar Service should be put into operation by the PWD in four localities, Ayramthengu, Clappana, Thurayil Kadavu and Vallikkavu for the safe and efficient transport of men and materials across the canal. Alternatively eight motor boats of adequate capacity may be hired for this task. Jetties and loading and unloading gears should be installed on either side with the help of Inland Water Transport Corporation (IWTC) who has an office at Ayiramthengu. All internal roads damaged should be repaired immediately and connected to the jetties thus constructed.

(6) Alappad is typical rural slum on Kerala beaches with a population load of over 2000 persons per sqkm. Alternative layouts and technologies may be tried wherever possible through the co-operative initiatives of the people. Well laid out roads, community spaces, farms and work places will add great value to these otherwise improvised human settlements.

(7) Alappad Panchayat may constitute expert committees, with locally available talents for advising on (a) healthcare, (b) house reconstruction, (c) transport and other infrastructure, and (d) fishing and farming. Services and involvement of public sector organisations such as, KSEB, KWA, KSRTC, IWTC, NTPC, KMML, IRE and their employees may be utilised for this purpose.

(8) The experts committees and resource persons identified during the Peoples Planning Programme may be put to maximum use wherever it is possible and desirable.

Similar approach as above can be adopted in the other affected panchayats as well, as per laws and Kerala Government may form a State Level Advisory committee to co-ordinate the work, and give policy guidelines taking into account the common origin of their problems.

This is the real political issue to be ceased on by all right thinking people and by the left and democratic forces. Trading on human misery is mean politics and enlightened opinion in the State should assert itself to save its fair name India’s political map. There is the example of West Bengal Government when it organised massive relief work with the direct involvement of elected panchayat institutions during the devastating floods of 1977.

K VIJAYACHANDRAN
(Former Chairman, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation)
[end of first report]

ALAPADU REVISITED: THE AGONY OF REHABILITATION
(Second report filed by K Vijayachandran dated 27.01.2005)

1. Tsunami disaster killed 160 people in Kerala. Most deaths were on the seashores of the northern most six wards of Alappadu, our neighbouring panchayat. Our ancestral house is just across the Ayiramthengu kayal, some three KM the disaster area. Entire population of these six wards, estimated at15,000 had crossed the kayal seeking the safety of mainland and this fleeing humanity picked up many more people on its way by the evening when it reached the numerous emergency close to NH-47. About two dozen make-shift camps were active in this region, when I visited the area on 2nd January, seven days after the disaster. Many of these camps were closed down within the next few days, as the fear of repeat by tsunami receded. By mid January, the camps were being reorganised and moved closer to areas of disaster, as the first step toward rehabilitation.

2. I filed my first report after my visit on 5th January, and the present report is based on my second and third visits. On 14th , I visited the relief camps at Ochira and Ayiramthengu and on 27th January, I spent a whole day in the tsunami affected wards of Alappadu panchayat. The eight kilometre stretch of seashore, from the fishing harbour project in the North to the Ashram of Vallikkavu Amma in the South, was covered mostly on foot and partly by public transport (buses) which have resumed their operations in full swing. Walking on the heavy ilmenite surface of the beach roads was a joy, with dust free fresh air all around the tropical sun shaded by coconut crowns. There were men and women all along, walking, debating on the relief operations, playing cards, collecting water from public taps, sorting out damaged records, repairing, household articles or feeding the cattle. Overall mood was of leisure. No children were seen and possibly were in schools that had reopened were still bound to the far off relief camps.

3. More than half the people have returned to their homesteads with some five to six thousand continuing to stay in the five refugee camps. Only one camp was functioning on the sea shore and the other four were operating from across the kayal. Their inmates have to ferry themselves in boats every day and foot a couple of kilometres to reach their homesteads. Most of the refugees staying in these camps, other than children and the aged, cross the waters daily, and walk up this distance for attending to the cattle, watering of plants or repairing and cleaning up of houses and implements. This is delaying return to normal life in several ways and is a major irritant. Whomsoever, I could meet on the roads or in the camps were of one opinion: two or three small sized camps may be opened immediately in each of the six wards and the uprooted people moved as close as possible to their original habitats or homesteads. Smaller homogenous groups, by themselves, will serve as sources of comfort and strength and large heterogeneous crowds of refugees are not amenable to easy rehabilitation.

4. Such views were endorsed even by the inmates of the only camp operating on the seashore. It was operating from the premises of the fisheries harbour project in Ward No.1, close to the Kayamkulam Pozhi. I picked up a conversation with a couple of youngsters in this camp identifying myself as a local man. This soon turned out to be a large meeting of some fifty inmates, men and women young and old. Majority of the 2000 (number not based on any register) inmates of this camp were reportedly from ward No.1 and a few from Ward No 2. They were all critical of the emergency construction of the half a dozen camp sheds of 1500 SQF each in the harbour project area. In their view, this was a clear misuse of relief funds. Returning to their homesteads and work places at the earliest was top priority for the inmates of the camp. They look at this new construction with hostility, and as a conspiracy for holding them as hostages in the name relief and charity. I had a brief discussion with Camp Officer, the Village Officer of nearby Panmana Village: His main worry was feeding the inmates vegetarian food which is naturally resisted by the fishermen and providing with other comforts and daily necessities. Obviously, it was a tough posting for a man who has crossed fifty.

5. The second camp directly managed by Government is in a High School building at Valiakulangara, on the other side of the kayal and located some three kilometre mainly serving the refugees from Ward No.4. There were reports on the inmates of this camp revolting against the poor quality of relief and the prolonged stay away from their habitats: They have to spend much more time, effort and money for the daily routine visits to their homesteads. Even after a month in the camps there is no plan in sight for their rehabilitation. Inmates of the camp at Ayiramthengu were mostly from Ward No 3, just across the kayal. It is reportedly run by the Disaster Management Institute of Poona with Government assistance. The Jhankar service operated there, through an Ex-Servicemen outfit is of great help to relief operations in general and the inmates of this camp in particular. The two other relief camps on the other side of the kayal are run by Amma, in the hostel buildings of the new Engineering and Ayurveda College started by Amma last year. Inmates of these camps reportedly numbering over 2000 were mostly from the fifth and sixth wards. They are satisfied by the holistic approach of the camp authorities as claimed by the spokesmen of the Mutt which has opened more than a dozen food posts, two each for on every KM or ward along the coastline. Breakfast is served at 8.00 AM and Lunch at 1.00 PM. People of the locality gather in small numbers, collect their food and eat in leisure. For now, Amma is wholesome food, bliss and contentment, but the prolonged vegetarian diet is slowly biting into the nerves of fisher-folks.

6. People living in the relief camps hate to continue there. Torn away from their neighbourhoods and living environment, they feel fish out of water in the camps where they are forced to share things with strangers. Looking after the cattle, children’s education, security of personal belongings, attending to standing crops or coconuts, and repairing of whatever little personal belongings that were spared by tsunami are their daily concerns. Nearly half the population of the six tsunami affected wards have returned to their homesteads. The other half continues with their refugee status mainly because they see no hope of returning to productive engagements in the foreseeable future. Boats and fishing gears need to be repaired or replaced by their owners. There are no plans or funds to help them with capital expenses for restarting production. Owners want assistance for replacing the destroyed productive assets and replenishing the working funds which have just melted away. Maybe there are a greedy few, who are trying to misuse the situation and this has started creating bad blood among the refugees. Formal finance was virtually out of reach for the fishing industry here and I could not spot any formal financial institution on the entire eight kilometre stretch of the beach road. Informal financiers who dominate our fishery sector are possibly waiting for a kill. All these are issues to be sorted out first, if people are to get back to productive employment. How to re-establish, re-create or replace the pre-tsunami production relations and get back to the market is the priority question. Reconstructing the informal fishery economy in the area is a truly complex task, in fact a revolutionary task. But there are no signs of such initiatives by the State Government nor by the political parties social movements that are active in the locality. Rehabilitation work has not yet caught the imagination of the relief administration which is presently led by the revenue department. This is a major lacuna that need to be addressed immediately.

7. In fact a lot can be done by the Panchayat, provided the State Government and the mainstream political parties take the initiative for fully using their status granted under the Indian constitution. True, disaster management is possibly the responsibility of State Government but this can be selectively delegated to the panchayats by the State or Central Government. All over the area, there were sign boards of religious, caste, social and political organisations engaged in relief work but not a single one from the local panchayat elected by the people. Alappadu has a woman panchayat president. She was elected as a member from Ward No.1 and normally resides on the other side of the Kayal. My efforts to meet the President and the Members of the Panchayat did not succeed, mainly because of lack of time from my side: it was difficult to locate them.

8. My first report from Alappad had suggested setting up of two or three camps in each of the affected wards, under the direct charge of the concerned panchayat member who could be helped by local experts and an all party committees. Relief work in the central camps across the kayal and away from the homesteads of the affected people, under the supervision of revenue department, has now entered the second month. There is no sign of any meaningful rehabilitation programme emerging from the numerous committees announced by the Chief Minister and the sufferings of the people are mounting everyday. Life of even those who have returned to their homesteads is becoming more and more unbearable. There is no work and no income for meeting non-food expenses which are outside the scope of relief camps and indebtedness is rapidly mounting among the poorer sections. And there is no talk about how and when they could get back to employment or about unemployment doles and other benefits taken for granted by civil societies of twenty-first century.

9. Tsunami tragedy that has struck the people of Alappadu was nothing compared to the counterparts elsewhere, in Tamilnadu or in Andaman & Nicobar. Help of all sorts were poring in from all directions, but relief delivery at the local level was totally defective and rehabilitation measures have not taken shape even after a month. Total number of families to be rehabilitated in the State, including the worst affected Alappadu, may not exceed five thousand. Compared to the relief that has reportedly poured in, in cash and in kind, this must be a small job. But the entire state administration, with its numerous departments and institutions, seems to be incompetent to take on this responsibility. Tsunami disaster has thus exposed a basic flaw in our civil administration: near total absence of local level governments, responsible for the life and welfare of the people. Kerala, especially its Left, had always boasted for its grass root level democracy and the goodies brought in by the five years of the so called people’s planning, supported by all and sundry. None of the political parties, social activists and organisations, from the Left, Right or Centre, has demanded the effective use of Panchayat Raj institutions in relief and rehabilitation work. They had their own pet solutions and theories to offer, vane, self centred and typical of all elite groups quite out of touch with ground realities.

10 Amma of Vallikkavu was in her establishment in Ward No. 6 when tsunami struck Alappadu. It was my first visit to this part of the beach, after she had outgrown her surroundings and built up a huge establishment of her own. KSRTC operates Fast Passenger and Express buses to various destinations in the State, from Paraya Kadavu, not yet re-christened after its world famous Amma, a drop out from the local primary school who was recently invited to address a spiritual conclave under the auspices of UNO. She was born into the traditional fishermen community of Dheevaras, whose local Karayogam proudly owns some twenty cents of land and a small dilapidated commercial building, close to the bus stop. Just on the other side of the beach road are layers and layers of hutments of Dheevaras and Ezhavas, who struggle hard to retain their separate caste identities. The narrow, dingy and ill-kept lanes, right through the unhygienic cluster of dwellings of the poor, lead to the multi-storied estates of Amma, built in steel and concrete, possibly violating in letter and spirit not only the provisions of CRZ but also the usual norms for building living spaces. A large hospital complex, hostel complex and Ashram establishment, with a total inmate strength of three to four thousand, crowd an acre of land.

11. Amma has outgrown her community, her panchayat, the state and even the republic. However, she maintains an uneasy co-existence with her immediate neighbourhood slums, that continue to challenge her with some alien ideology. With her Rs.100 Crore offer in charity, for tsunami relief work, she could possibly adopt a hundred panchayats like Alappadu. But the idea of Alappadu Panchayat adopting Amma remain largely utopian. When I suggested the idea to a neighbour of Amma, a Dheevara youth, the initial response was not at all encouraging. My proposal was to transform a couple of kilometres South and North of Ashram, into a special economic zone of Amma Inc, for spiritual or religious services, with international prayer halls, conference halls and the like. The youth was living close by, with his ageing father, elder brother and family. Tsunami had taken away their catamaran and there was a new one being chiselled into shape, for replacing the pr-historic fishing craft. He slowly warmed up to my suggestions for rehabilitating his community around Amma Inc by moving into modern healthy dwelling places and by engaging themselves in diverse trades and disciplines. He was sceptical of the local Karayogam of Dheevaras agreeing to surrender its land and bury its identity. Nevertheless, he was quite enthusiastic about the idea and was even ready to campaign for it. For Amma the tsunami was a godsend for closing ranks with her own people: She has nearly achieved it by opening up the dozen or so gruel stations and the relief camps reported as wholesome by her followers. If they last long, I may visit them toward the end of the month.

K Vijayachandran
26.01.2005

Humanitarian crisis in Jammu-Kashmir തെറ്റുചെയ്‌തെന്ന കുറ്റബോധം സര്‍ക്കാറിന് : സന ഇല്‍ത്തിജ

Humanitarian crisis in Jammu-Kashmir തെറ്റുചെയ്‌തെന്ന കുറ്റബോധം സര്‍ക്കാറിന് : സന ഇല്‍ത്തിജ

India is rapidly developing into a Fascist state under BJP-RSS has already BJP-RSS combine.

Vallikunnu Online

ജമ്മു-കശ്മീര്‍ മുന്‍ മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി മെഹ്ബൂബ മുഫ്തിയുടെ മകള്‍ സന ഇല്‍ത്തിജ സംസ്ഥാനത്തെ ഏകാന്തതടവില്‍നിന്ന് രക്ഷപെട്ട് ചെന്നൈയില്‍ എത്തി ‘ഇന്ത്യാ ടുഡെ’യുടെ രാജ്ദീപ് സര്‍ദേശായിയുമായി നടത്തിയ വികാരപരമായ അഭിമുഖമാണ് താഴെ കൊടുക്കുന്നത്. ജമ്മു-കശ്മീരില്‍ നടക്കുന്നത് മാനുഷിക പ്രതിസന്ധിയാണ്. ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ചികിത്സാ സൗകര്യങ്ങള്‍പോലും സാധ്യമാകുന്നില്ല. അതിക്രൂരമായി ജനങ്ങള്‍ കഷ്ടപ്പെടുകയാണ്.

സനയുടെ ഈ വെളിപ്പെടുത്തലിന് പിറ്റേന്നാണ് സി.പി.എം ജനറല്‍ സെക്രട്ടറി സീതാറാം യെച്ചൂരി സുപ്രിംകോടതി ഉത്തരവിന്റെ പിന്‍ബലത്തില്‍ ശ്രീനഗറിലെ ത്തിയത്. ജമ്മു-കശ്മീരിന്റെ പ്രത്യേക സംസ്ഥാനപദവി നീക്കി ഇരുപത്തിനാല് ദിവസത്തിനുശേഷം സി.പി.എം എം.എല്‍.എ തരിഗാമിയെ സന്ദര്‍ശിക്കാന്‍. വിമാനത്താവളത്തില്‍നിന്ന് തരിഗാമിയുടെ വീടുവരെ പൊലീസ് കാവലില്‍ യാത്രചെയ്ത യെച്ചൂരി അതിനിടയില്‍പോലും താന്‍ മനസിലാക്കിയത് സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ പറയുന്നതല്ല ജമ്മു-കശ്മീരില്‍ നടക്കുന്നതെന്നാണ്.

യെച്ചൂരിയുടെ കശ്മീര്‍ യാത്രയുടെ തലേന്നു സന ഇല്‍ത്തിയ വെളിപ്പെടുത്തിയ കാര്യങ്ങള്‍ രാജ്യത്തെ ജനങ്ങളാകെ അറിയേണ്ട വിവരങ്ങളാണ്:

സന ഇല്‍ത്തിജ

‘എന്റെ അമ്മ ഭീകരപ്രവര്‍ത്തകയല്ല. പക്ഷെ, അങ്ങനെയാണ് ഇപ്പോള്‍ അവരെ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യുന്നത്. കഴിഞ്ഞ മൂന്നാഴ്ചയായി സ്വന്തം അമ്മയെപ്പോലും കാണാന്‍ അവരെ സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ അനുവദിക്കുന്നില്ല. മെഹ്ബൂബ മുഫ്തിയുടെ ആത്മവീര്യം തകര്‍ക്കാന്‍ അവരെ ഏകാന്ത തടവില്‍ വെച്ചിരിക്കയാണ്.

അവരെ തടങ്കലിലാക്കിയ ഓഗസ്റ്റ് 5ന് ശേഷം അവരുടെ അമ്മയ്‌ക്കോ മറ്റു കുടുംബാംഗങ്ങള്‍ക്കോ മെഹ്ബൂബ മുഫ്തിയെ കാണാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞിട്ടില്ല. വീട്ടു തടങ്കലിലായിരുന്ന അവരെ തടവിലാക്കേണ്ട കാര്യമെന്തായിരുന്നു എന്നു മനസിലാകുന്നില്ല. എന്റെ അമ്മ ഒരു ഭീകരപ്രവര്‍ത്തകയല്ല. മുന്‍ മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയും രണ്ടുതവണ എം.പിയുമായ ആളാണ്. അങ്ങേയറ്റം അപമാനകരമായ രീതിയില്‍ അവരെ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യുന്നത് എനിക്കു വിചിത്രമായി തോന്നുന്നു. ഒരു ക്രിമിനലി…

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Sabarimala agitation-2018 by BJP

kvijaya40

1. Gender bias and discrimination against women:

Using the Supreme Court Judgement of 28-09-2018 as an alibi, Sangh
Parivar could transform Sabarimala into a virtual battlefield in less than two
months. It was a well-planned offensive against LDF Government. :

M/s Indian Young Lawyers Association, the petitioners in the SC, had
challenged GOK and TDB, the owners and managers of Sabarimala for their alleged
opposition to temple entry by women of 10-50 years of age. The full 440 page
judgement of the SC as well as the report of Amicus Curie appointed by it, may be
down-loaded as pdf files from the SC website: 18956_2006_Judgement_28-Sep-2018.pdf.

It is noted that the minority judgement by Ms Indu Malhotra Judge, had summarised
her 75 page dissenting judgement in the following words: The Writ Petition does not
deserve to be entertained for want of standing. The grievances raised are
non-justiciable at the behest of…

View original post 1,485 more words

Sabarimala agitation-2018 by BJP

1.  Gender bias and discrimination against women:

Using the Supreme Court Judgement of 28-09-2018 as an alibi, Sangh Parivar could transform Sabarimala into a virtual battlefield in less than two months. It was a well-planned offensive against LDF Government. :

M/s Indian Young Lawyers Association, the petitioners in the SC, had challenged GOK and TDB, the owners and managers of Sabarimala for their alleged opposition to temple entry by women of 10-50 years of age. The full 440 page judgement of the SC as well as the report of Amicus Curie appointed by it, may be down-loaded as pdf files from the SC website: 18956_2006_Judgement_28-Sep-2018.pdf.

It is noted that the minority judgement by Ms Indu Malhotra Judge, had summarised her 75 page dissenting judgement in the following words: The Writ Petition does not deserve to be entertained for want of standing. The grievances raised are non-justiciable at the behest of the Petitioners and Intervenors involved herein. PDFCopy of this document, truly educative on the subject is attached.

Even the majority judgement by Dipak Misra CJI and A.M. Khanwilkar Judge who had virtually endorsed the plea by the petitioners for ending the alleged restrictions on women, had repeated on page-9 para-11 of their report, the earlier recordings and conclusions by the Kerala High Court, on the age-old restrictions on the entry of women into this forest temple, as quoted below:

(1) The restriction imposed on women aged above 10 and below 50 from trekking the holy hills of Sabarimala and offering worship at Sabarimala Shrine is in accordance with the usage prevalent from time immemorial.

(2) Such restriction imposed by the Devaswom Board is not violative of Articles 15, 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India.

(3) Such restriction is also not violative of the provisions of Hindu Place of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965 since there is no restriction between one section and another section or between one class and another class among the Hindus in the matter of entry to a temple whereas the prohibition is only in respect of women of a particular age group and not women as a class.”

2. Indian Young Lawyers Association and other petioners:

Nothing much is known about the Indian Young Layers Association and the other petitioners: Neither the SC nor the GOK has cared to enquire about the bono-fides of this organisation fighting or campaigning for the cause of women. From what and how they have commented on the Sabarimala issue, in their capacity as petitioners is neither known nor seen recorded. It appears, the honourable judges did not find any merit in exploring these or in holding any serious debate on the subject. It cannot be ruled out that the SC was ill-used or misused by some vested interests.

3. Political and Ideological issues:

As understood by the program of CPI(M), India is multinational and multi-cultural but the governing systems as exists today in the country hardly recognize this reality.  This is,possibly, the root cause for the present confusion around Sabarimala, as is usual in several sectors of governance in our country.  Ms Indu Malhotra Judge, of the three member team of judges that included the Chief Justice of India, had accepted the plea of Travancore Devaswom and Kerala Government as the custodians of the legendary Ayyappa Temple and also the legend of Ayyappa which is not a part of the great Indian epics like Ramayana or Maha Bharatha. However, Hindu temples, big and small,had a major role in shaping up the history of the Indian sub-continent and thatcould be no different even in future: Sabarimala was, possibly, seen as thegateway to Kerala their next stop after Tripura, in the project for containingCommunism!

4. Management and administration of Sabarimala:

Administrative reforms and capacity building in the Devswams of Kerala should get immediate attention by the LDF Government. The extremely poor civic amenities that exists today are the results of years of neglect and inefficiencies of the past: Urgent steps are needed for rectifying the past mistakes. It appears the Devaswoms do not bring out and publish even annual administrative reports: I could not locate any in the internet: This is true not only in the case of TDB but also in the case of other boards as well.  

5. Overcrowding and over-exploitation:

Sabarimala temple and its environment are over-exploited, today: urgent measures are needed for regulating  growth. Unplanned growth is polluting and degrading not only the immediate temple premises but also the towns and villages en-route. Hurrying up with half-cooked ideas on airports, railways, highways and tourism should stop, immediately.Sustainable environmental and ecological loads need to be estimated carefully in the best possible manner and monitored with the help of local governments.

6.  Looking back:

Travancore Devaswom Board that took over Sabarimala after a devastating fire in 1950, was an innovation by the British: Similar institutions in UK that were taken over by the Government have developed  far better management methods and culture during the past two centuries and we have plenty to learn from these institutions. Our LSGIs may be encouraged to learn from them and work with the temples and other religious institutions with the help of KILa and others. They have plenty of non-financial resources, human as well as natural, which could be used for socioeconomic development. Development of temples and temple-infrastructure should be seen as an integral part of human development at large: That is the lesson I had learnt, in my capacity as the honorary Chairman of the renovationcommittee of my family temple for the past five years.

7.  Rapid degradation of the facilities at Sabarimala:

I have only pleasant memories about my only visit to Sabarimala temple and that was in 1960 December, when the place used to be far less crowded and far much disciplined: There were tolerably neat bathing Ghats and pit toilets and you could have a leisurely darsahan and overnight stay, if you are prepared to stay some 20 hours or so at Pampa. But within two decades everything changed: Crowds were swelling every year and by the eighties Sabarimala had started polluting even the towns and villages en-route.  

8. The art and craft of nama-japam

This year, BJP and RSS came well prepared, following the Ayodhya model:They had perfected the art and craft of naama-japam: Teams of some three dozen volunteers, men, women and children come and occupy strategic locations along the roads and junctions leading to the temple, and do sit-in en-route and engage themselves in naama-japa and rhythmic clapping of hands. Visual media keep-on broadcasting these never-ending naama-japas by the crowd from half a dozen locations with the ordinary Ayyappas moving around in the background: It was a stage-managed show well-designed by the Sangh-Parivar, who were planning to occupy the whole of Sabarimala forests: They have to be flushed out of the forests only by the evening, adding unnecessary burden on the land and forests: This was an unprecedented move and the provocation for enforcing preventive laws: Occupation of Sabari was possibly seen as the first step towards the liberation of Kerala from Communists!        

9.  Police and KSRTC employees

Kerala police has proved their mettle on this occasion and they need tobe complemented: There was not a single complaint of manhandling by police despite all the tension and provocations that was being built up by the shoutingnaama-japan crowds and helped by the visual media and loud speakers without any break, and inconveniencing the genuine devotees. The enlightened Kerala police have made a mark by their exemplary handling of an emotionally complex situation in an extremely tiring environment. And, so far, the KSRTC employees were rendering comfortable local travel to the devotees and others..

10.  Kerala politics and Sabarimala:

Petty politics, typical of underdeveloped societies, continue to hurt development: LDF Government led by CPI(M) could be doing much better on every front despite the numerous administrative difficulties created by UDF opposition as well as the cultural and political backwardness of the Central government led by BJP.

It is clear from the recent developments around Sabari, including the Supreme Court judgement, Kannur BJP’s call for arming the naama-japam teams etc, BJP has been making its long-term plans and short-term agendas not only around Sabari but also around other organisations and institutions of Kerala. But the ruling LDF led by CPI(M) have done precious little in foreseeing such possibilities and dangers and building-up defenses from a proletarian perspective and sensitizing the people on such ominous developments.

Despite its progressive character, Kerala CPI(M) had preferred to neglect the need and possibilities for building up a broad anti-BJP federal front of Indian nationalities, to fight against the sectarian policies pursued by Modi government, led by the worst type of lumpen bourgeoisie. There were advisers all-around for the LDF pretending to be the best of negotiators in global markets, typical of most third world countries.

In shaping up alternative policies under its mission programs, LDF ministers were a total failure, barring a few exemptions. Even the Joint campaigns by the TUs for reorganizing the infrastructure sectors were not given due consideration. Democratic decentralization of the administration remains a distant goal and the related reforms are not being pursued with any seriousness. Revolutionary possibilities of the working class movement in Kerala, in the formal as well as informal sectors of the regional economy are tremendous. These were more than obvious during recent floods: bureaucratic administration and lack of democracy all around continue to be the major stumbling blocks and these cannot be fought even with the best of imported IT, hardware and software.

11. Concluding:

PDF copy of the 75 page Supreme Court judgement of 28-10-2018 on the Sabarimala case is available at the Supreme Court website: Sabari%20debate/18956_2006_Judgement_28-Sep-2018-337-411-indu%20malhotra.pdf. This minority judgement by the solitary Woman Judge has, I believe, has immense ideological as well as political relevance.

Socialist globalisation and united nations

kvijaya40

BOOKLET ON SOCIALIST GLOBALISATION
EPILOGUE: CONCLUDING SECTION

Bourgeoisie ideologues look at Science and Technology (S&T) and all other knowledge systems as products of market competition, and treat them as private property of business classes who had drawn and re-drawn the political maps of not only Europe but also the entire globe, through numerous local and regional wars, as well as two global wars inflicted on humanity by imperialism and global finance capital.

League of Nations and the Soviet Union were thus, the byproducts of First World War: Second World War led to the establishment of a United Nations Origination (UNO) and the liberation of China, India and other Afro-Asian countries from imperialism. At the time of Soviet revolution, many among the Russian intelligentsia and even revolutionaries had argued that socialism in one country in isolation was mere utopia. However, Bolsheviks led by Lenin challenged these views and continued with the…

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Socialist globalisation and united nations

BOOKLET ON SOCIALIST GLOBALISATION
EPILOGUE: CONCLUDING SECTION

Bourgeoisie ideologues look at Science and Technology (S&T) and all other knowledge systems as products of market competition, and treat them as private property of business classes who had drawn and re-drawn the political maps of not only Europe but also the entire globe, through numerous local and regional wars, as well as two global wars inflicted on humanity by imperialism and global finance capital.

League of Nations and the Soviet Union were thus, the byproducts of First World War: Second World War led to the establishment of a United Nations Origination (UNO) and the liberation of China, India and other Afro-Asian countries from imperialism. At the time of Soviet revolution, many among the Russian intelligentsia and even revolutionaries had argued that socialism in one country in isolation was mere utopia. However, Bolsheviks led by Lenin challenged these views and continued with the socialist project and the building up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), an altogether new historical experience.

The numerous nationalities, big and small, liberated by Bolsheviks from Tsarist oppression, were encouraged to establish a socialist union under the banner of a revolutionary union: They continue to exist even today as sovereign republics under the banner of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), despite the dissolution of USSR. The vast experience of this mutual cooperation and working together of diverse nationalities and nation states had helped USSR to establish even much larger networks of economic and cultural cooperation like the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and several other bilateral and multilateral institutions.

Counter revolution by the intellectual classes of USSR led by Gorbachev, Yeltsin & Co in the name of Glasnost and Perestroika could not wipe out the cultural, political and material gains registered by humanity at large, under the revolutionary initiatives of proletarian classes and progressive movements spanning the seven continents. Globalization drive initiated by socialist China in more recent years is an integral part of the big changes that was sweeping the globe for several decades under the banner of socialism: These globalization efforts, unlike the imperialist globalization under capitalism during the past couple of centuries were inspired by socialism, socialist traditions with Chinese characteristics.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics as professed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) today, is not a new invention by the present leadership of that party. The concept had come into vogue and evolved during the days of Mao himself, during the hay days of Cultural Revolution as evidenced by the interviews with Han Suyin by N Ram, as published by the Frontline Vol 29 issue 23: Nov 17-30 2012 as well as the numerous writings of this Chinese scholar and novelist. In fact, the stress on cultural diversity among nationalities and independent nation-states dates back to the Bolsheviks, to the era of Lenin and Stalin who had built genuine and functioning unity among diverse nation states, nationalities and races that constituted USSR, nearly a century ago.

True, there are numerous stories about East Europeans being harassed and dictated on by Lenin and Stalin: They were mostly fabricated or exaggerated by the intellectuals of bourgeoisie classes and hardly stand rigorous scrutiny. As an Indian engineer trained in socialist Czechoslovakia and living in that country for two years and working with Czechs, Slovaks, Germans and other East Europeans for more than four years, I may say that such stories had their origins in the stupid cold war environ that was forced on by bourgeoisie ideologues and political propagandists.

The special relationship that continues to exist among the peoples of CIS and former CMEA countries as well as the former Non Alignment Movement (NAM) of developing countries within the UN System, are proof enough for the warm non-antagonistic relations that had been developing among them for several decades, after the cultural revolution of China: This has now matured into a global phenomenon and philosophy with a coverage of around 90 percent of humanity, today. These diverse cultures and nationalities are not strangers to each other, any more.

The game of divide and rule should end with the melting away of an absurd cold war, forced on humanity by the imperialists: Even South Korea and North Korea have turned friends and are shaking hands under the initiatives of China and other socialist countries but it is sad that the numerous institutions created under UN initiative like the, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, WHO, IAEA, WMO and several others remain under-utilized or non-utilized: There is no dearth of hunger and poverty but there are no takers even for the best of anti-poverty technologies.

Rapid developments in Science and Technology, especially Information Technology, provide plenty of comfort and encouragement to individuals to belong to larger and larger collectives that are, possibly, far more intelligent than the best of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could be conceived by isolated individuals. A multicultural multinational platform would help mankind to transcend even the natural constraints of Time and Space: It is time for mankind to liberate itself from technological pessimism forced on it by three centuries of global capitalism, two global wars and the long years of cold war that was even more destructive.

China the leading socialist country of our times and the most populous among the comity of nations is destined to play a key role in speeding up of the century old socialist globalization initiated by the Soviet Union. And the nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October last, seems to be a bold step in that direction. Website on the latest Congress of CPC as quoted below gives a detailed account of the present system of governance in China as well as the guidelines for its future development:
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/19cpcnc/latestnews.htm

Programs and plans based on these principles have led to a leap forward in the S&T capabilities of China and rapid growth of nearly all sectors of its national economy, leading to a vast expansion of its foreign trade in volume as well as value. Chinese leaders, during their visit to the UN Head Quarters in Geneva, last year, had proposed that the UN institutions should start playing a much larger role in global trade and development. The IMF-IBRD-WTO combine or the so-called Bretton Woods solutions of the sixties have lost most of their relevance, under the rapidly changing economic situation (1).

The vast experience of CMEA and the systems and institutions developed by the erstwhile socialist block in the expansion of bilateral trade and development as well as international monetary settlements, and later inherited by the UNCTAD (2) and, now followed by the BRICS and other China-led institutions have turned out to be far more relevant and significant under the rapidly changing global scenario, today (3).

There are hardly any takers for the theory of End of History mounted by the bourgeoisie intellectuals during the hay days of perestroika: The era of Socialist Globalization ushered in by Soviet Revolution continue to provide material and spiritual comfort for mankind under the UN umbrella, for quite a few centuries to come.
Notes and references:
1. A Plan to save the WTO-Lead article in the Economist of July21st 2018.
2. See my paper under Section 5 of this book: World Trade Organization: the failure to deliver

3. See the Soviet Book -Two Worlds-Two Monetary Systems- by A. Atchkassov and O. Preksin –Mir Publishers – 1986

EOD/24-10-2018

LEGACY OF OCTOBER REVOLUTION

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FOR WHOM THE BHEL TOLLS?

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