According to V. K. Gupta, one of the joint secretaries of the National Confederation of Bank Employees, 50 million took part in this historic strike. Some of the veterans of the movement say this was the biggest strike since independence.
Leading up to the planned demonstration of 12 April, in Bangalore, there was a week-long campaign demanding, “No to war”. In spite of the apparent ‘conquest’ of Baghdad, the action was quite successful in terms of reaching a broad layer of people.
THE ASIA Social Forum (ASF), held in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh, India, from 2-8 January 2003, attracted over 15,000 delegates from all over India and there were around 400 foreign delegates. CWI members from India and Australia present at the Forum have sent the following report. We also publish the text of a CWI leaflet distributed at the Forum.
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.