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All-India general strike: Eyewitness report from Chennai

THE ALL-India general strike on 7 September showed the enormous potential for workers’ struggle in India, but also exposed a number of complicating factors.

The strike gave a glimpse of the potential power of the working class in India. In Mumbai it was reported that 90,000 auto-rickshaw drivers struck. Nationally hundreds of planes were grounded and rallies and protests took place across the country. read more

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London Literature Festival review: Arundhati Roy – politics and literature

The London Literature Festival 2009 opened on 2 July at the Southbank Centre, with Arundhati Roy, introducing her new book Listening to grasshoppers: field notes on democracy. Introduced by Shami Chakrabarti from civil rights group Liberty, Arundhati spoke to a packed auditorium.

She attacked the idea that India is the ‘biggest democracy’ in the world and explained how the poor are left out of development. The poor have been robbed of the language of fight back, with terms such as ‘progress’, ‘unity’ and ‘democracy’ used by the establishment when attacking rights. She has called this a “language heist”. read more

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Stop the war in Sri Lanka: Protest at India House

SHOUTING “NOT a rupee, not a bullet for the Rajapakse government”, 100 protesters marched around India House on the Aldwych in London.

This was part of the international day of action on 8 April called by Stop the Slaughter of Tamils (SST) campaign, to end the war and fight for democracy in Sri Lanka. read more

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Maharashtra

Editorial: India and Pakistan conflict

Politicians use terrorism for their own ends

Once again, terrorist carnage – this time in Mumbai in India – has shocked working people around the world. In a thoroughly planned and financed operation, a group of right-wing Islamic terrorists turned buildings and streets in Mumbai into a killing field, slaughtering and injuring innocent people, with dozens of Muslims among them. read more

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Ruling BJP is Swept Aside in India

A POLITICAL earthquake has rocked south Asia following India’s general election. Millions of workers, the dispossessed and rural poor decisively rejected the ‘neo-liberal’ policies of the ruling Hindu nationalist coalition government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee. read more