The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country from 25 March onwards. Prime Minister Modi proclaimed he was locking down the country in four hours’ time. Just like the demonetisation announcement, this was also made at eight in the evening. All domestic flights, trains, buses, and other forms of transport were suspended. The entire nation came to a grinding halt. This sudden announcement of lockdown without sufficient warning brought immeasurable hardship and suffering to the working population of India.
Image Courtesy: Economic Times
Corona is certainly a dangerous Virus but the reason it has turned into a pandemic is certainly the making of capitalism. Decades of reckless policies of neo-liberalism led to constant neglect of public health care services to facilitate entry and expansion of private capital. It has turned even the basic health facilities into a profiteering business.
The fundamental antagonism between the interests of the capital and that of people has been most glaringly brought to the fore by the Supreme Court judgement last week (8th April) mandating testing of Corona cases to be carried out free of charge. Now even this decision has been reversed at the behest of central government paving the way for private labs to charge hefty money for Corona testing. This could have grave consequences considering acute lack of testing facilities on the one side and intense economic misery faced by the majority of India’s population. It is on this backdrop that many organizations and trade unions in Maharashtra came together to protest such a scandalous move by the central government demanding the immediate take over of private Hospitals and Laboratories.
This protest campaign initiated by New Socialist Alternative has produced a joint statement endorsed by participating Trade Unions and Peoples’ Organisations. We appeal to all Trade Unions, Left forces and progressive organisations across the country to endorse this joint appeal and help build a struggle against the bosses system that is out to profit out of peoples misery.
The U.S. visit of Narendra Modi and his high profile meet up with some of the most vicious corporates and their influential lobbies brought up the issues of patents and the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) into the media glimpse. Even the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi recently at a rally in Haryana, said that cancer medicines have got costlier after Prime Minister Modi met with big pharma officials during his visit to the United States; although this was vehemently denied by the ruling BJP.
About 50 people gathered at Town Hall, Bangalore (Karnataka) to observe International Day of action for Legal Abortion in Ireland following the death of Savitha Halappanavar. The activists opined that the sectarian anti-abortion laws and political cowardice in Ireland are responsible for medieval treatment of Savita and her tragic death.
The following leaflet (below) was brought out by the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) for the solidarity protest held in Bangalore on 21st November to observe the International Day of Action for Legal Abortion in Ireland following the death of Savitha Halappanavar.