[Marxism] [Sanhati Newsletter] June 2014 newsletter from Sanhati

Sanhati Newsletter newsletter at sanhati.com
Sat Jun 21 09:38:46 MDT 2014

Dear friends,

Greetings! We write to inform you of our website updates in the last month.

"Journal 2014, Issue 6" is out with six new articles.  Newsreel features
several new articles, uploaded over the last month.

1) In A More Ruthless but Clearer Struggle Ahead, Debarshi Das
analyses the elections from a medium run perspective and gives a
prognosis for the near future. The article adduces the unchanged vote
share of regional parties to assert, contrary to popular wisdom, that
they have held their ground. It illustrates how parties implementing
the anti-people neoliberal agenda have been punished at the polls, and
how (Hindu) communalism has served as a useful tool for the neoliberal
project by dividing labour and the latter has generating a steady
stream of people ready for communal indoctrination. The article
asserts that the coming together of big capital and majoritarian
communalism culminating in the election of Narendra Modi as Prime
Minister will lead to an intensification of the neoliberal project and
shrinking of political space, and wonders whether the neoliberal
project can ever be electorally reversed.

2) In How Did the BJP Sweep the Polls in 2014?, Deepankar Basu
presents a detailed statistical analysis of the BJP victory. The
article illustrates the vagaries of the first-past-the-post system,
not just in the 2014 elections but also in the 2009 elections, and how
the BJP's increase in overall vote-share was built upon an increased
vote share in all but one state (Punjab). Besides corporate support
for the BJP, discrediting of the Congress for presiding over numerous
scams and weakening of the welfare measures that had won it a second
term in 2009, and the BJP's calibrated use of communal polarization
(engendered through riots) to construct a Hindu vote bank, the article
also identifies support from the first time electors (in the age group
18-22 years) as a crucial factor for the BJP victory. The article
expresses the hope that while the youth might have bought into the
narrative of change and development sold them by the BJP, they have not
necessarily voted for authoritarianism, leaving some political space
for contestation by the left.

3) Sanhati statement on the post-election scenario discusses the
factors enabling the BJP victory in the 2014 elections, and its
implications. While anemic employment growth and the precariousness of
jobs in the neoliberal economy rendered the youth working class
population amenable to the BJP's carefully crafted message of
development and change, strong resistance by several people's
movements to land acquisition and resource grab left Indian big
capital yearning for a strongman to set things right. Where these
conflicting aspirations didn't suffice, the BJP didn't hesitate to use
the communal card. The current regime will be a brutal march of
capital, and can only be thwarted by a united front of progressive and
democratic forces. The thrust of this united front politics will
necessarily have to be extra-parliamentary; more so now with the
current elections having further closed the parliamentary space. Based
on militant mass mobilization, this united front should work towards
defending and furthering rights over jal, jangal and jamin, the rights and
interests of the workers, peasants, religious minorities, dalits and
tribals, other minorities and the marginalized, defending the freedom of
expression, cultural and education freedom and LGBT and women's rights,
and working towards re-building a mass movement for radical, progressive
and democratic transformation of Indian society. Only such a consolidated
struggle, spanning every sector and across the country, can confront the
looming neoliberal onslaught.

4) In The Incredulity Towards Metanarratives and the Logic of
Counterinsurgency, Karthick Rm offers a critique of the academic
obsession over micronarratives and particularities, and how the
proliferation of such micronarratives assists the logic of the
counterinsurgent state. The article uses the case of the Eelam Tamils
struggle for national liberation to illustrate the struggle to
establish a dominant narrative, attempts by the counterinsurgent state
to counter the ideology of the insurgent minority with a
(collaborationist) favorable minority, and the role played by the
intelligentsia in furthering the narrative of the state. The article
faults the post-civil-war deluge in narratives of sufferings (of
Tamils) and war crimes (by the Sri Lankan state) that omit the
political context. While such works, which the author castigates as
"suffering pornography", do serve to shine light on what is happening
in Sri Lanka, the author avers that they also help build an omnipotent
image of the oppressor state and induce fatalism among the survivors.

5) In Consolidation of a Movement?, Gautam Navlakha offers several
indicators for the consolidation of a supposed parallel administration
(Janatam Sarkar) in Dandakaranya: (i) an off-the-cuff remark by a police
officer about former Salwa Judum camp inmates returning home "speaking
Naxal language" and possibly coordinating their return with the Janatan
Sarkar; (ii) unexplained reduction in tendu leaf collection by the
government, possibly as a result of the re-emergence of Dandkaranaya
Adivasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, signifying a loosening of government
control over Adivasi peasentry, and (iii) increase in NOTA votes in
Naxal-affected constituencies. The article also illustrates attempts to
reach out to the armed forces, the contrasting motivations (ideological vs
mercenary) underlying their actions, and Maoist attempts to root out caste
prejudice among its members. Notwithstanding the consolidation in the
guerilla bases, the author observes that the Maoists remain weak
outside and will be tested by the new right-wing corporate-friendly

6) In May 2013, Alternative Law Forum and LesBit published a report
titled "Towards Gender Inclusivity: A Study on Contemporary Concerns
around Gender" by Sunil Mohan on trans-queer and feminist politics
within a capitalist system. In "Towards Gender Inclusivity: A Study on
Contemporary Concerns around Gender - A conversation", we present V.
Geetha's comments to the authors of the report presented (in her
absence) at the release of the report.

In the last month, the Newsreel has featured (i) critical commentaries
and statements on right-wing attempts to encroach on the democratic
space, (ii) statements from human rights groups on sexual assault
against Dalits and violence against Muslims, (iii) an analysis of the
framing and acquittal of six Muslims convicted in the Akshardham
attack, (iv) updates on the continued incarceration of Delhi
University professor G.N. Saibaba, (v) CRPP Statement on the struggle
of Palestinian prisoners lodged in Israeli prisons, (vi) NAPM
statement against raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam, (vii)
a report on steel workers' strike in New Delhi, and (viii) obituaries
of Suniti Kumar Ghosh by RUPE and Sumanta Banerjee.

We welcome your comments and urge you to contribute content to the website.


Sanhati Collective


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