Though hardly any of the political observers predicted a defeat for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), very few foresaw the huge victory that the protagonists of Hindu chauvinism managed to secure in the Gujarat elections of December, 2002, through their hate campaign against Muslims. The BJP increased its strength in the Gujarat assembly from 117 (in 1998) to 125 in the lower house which has 182 seats, while Congress – the main opposition – got 51 seats, loosing two seats from last time.
Jagadish Chandra, New Socialist Alternative (Nava Samajavaadi Paryaya – the CWI’s section in India) spoke about the struggle against privatisation in India in an interview with Offensiv (newspaper of the Swedish section of the CWI) during the Eighth World Congress of the CWI. In April this year 10 million public sector workers took part in a general strike against the privatisations of the BJP (Hindu fundamentalist) government.
Kashmir has been fought over by India and Pakistan ever since British imperialism’s divide-and-rule partition of the subcontinent in 1947. The Kashmiri people have been brutally oppressed, denied democracy and self-determination, and suffered two wars and many military mobilisations. Today a million troops face each other across the Indo-Pakistan border. KEVIN SIMPSON details the historical background to the conflict.
The world is nearer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
The United States and the Soviet Union came close to a nuclear exchange, when Khrushchev based nuclear-armed missiles on Cuba. Fortunately, US imperialism and the Soviet bureaucracy negotiated their way out of the crisis, despite pressure from the US military to launch a pre-emptive strike against Cuba.
TONY BLAIR’S shuttle diplomacy to resolve the longstanding Kashmir crisis that has brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war has been an abject failure.
Even as he tried to defuse the political tension, shelling continued along the disputed Line of Control forcing 50,000 to flee their homes. And while the prospect for an immediate war has receded in recent days the border remains on a hair-trigger as the military build-up continues.