Upon a time when India was ruled under the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, with a government duly appointed by Empress Sonia Gandhi called the United Progressive Alliance (dominated by the Congress faction) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a coterie of like minded Ministers, the Empire was facing turbulence and upheavals on all the fronts – social, economic and political. But with an ageing Prime Minister who was hardly in control of his government and a political class more keen on looting its subjects in alliance with the rich elite and the rural landlords, there was a complete vacuum of leadership in the Empire. Thus, faced with famine like situation with over 250,000 peasants killing themselves, 42% of its children hungry and malnourished, 77% of the subjects living in poverty and the rich only getting more richer; revolts and rebellions started to manifest itself in all parts of the kingdom.
Last year Social Justice department of central government issued a circular making changes to the scheme of post-matriculation scholarship for students belonging to OBCs (Other Backward Classes). It has changed the scheme from ‘committed liability’ to ‘funds limited’ implying all OBC students would not get scholarship. Also as many as 1175 courses like BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications), BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) have been excluded from the scheme altogether. Issues came to fore earlier this month when many students didn’t get scholarship amount and colleges threatened them not to allow to write exams unless fees were paid.
Just a few years ago, the corporate media houses were euphoric about the so called ‘growth’ of the Indian economy and were eulogising Ambani’s, Tata’s and the other modern lords of Indian capitalism. Even average Indians were also influenced by this gold rush, which obviously was accessible only to privileged sections of the society at the expenses of the Indian working people.
Taking inspiration from nurse strikes in Kerala, Maharashtra and other parts of the country, nurses from leading private hospitals like Apollo, Fortis and Madras Medical Mission in Chennai went on strike on 2nd March to demand for their basic rights. After a week of uncompromising struggle, the nurses succeeded in winning all their main demands.
Too little to live on
With the rise of the Occupy movement, opposition to the existing political and economic order has gone mainstream. It’s hard to imagine that the bandana-clad woman on the cover of Time magazine – representing “The Protestor,” Time’s “Person of the Year” – has many nice things to say about capitalism, and the ubiquity of the Guy Fawkes mask – popularized by “V for Vendetta” – further underscores how widespread the idea of revolution has become.