People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 42

October 21, 2012



UPA  Has to Pass

Democratic Test: Karat

From Our Special

Correspondent in Kolkata


THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) will demand in the coming session of parliament that the UPA government must allow parliament to decide on the issue of entry of Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail, Prakash Karat said in Kolkata on October 17. It has to pass this “democratic test”, he said.


“It is not a question of whether this government can pass a no-confidence test or not. We want them to pass this test — whether the parliament can have a say in the economic policy measure which affects a vast majority of the people,” Karat said at a function to observe the foundation day of the the Party.


The public meeting was organized by Kolkata diastrict committee of the Party. Biman Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee were present in the meeting. Raghunath Kushari, secretary of the district committee presided over.


Karat said that the CPI(M) would like to “challenge” the government. “If it is democratic and believes in the parliamentary system, then the issue should be put to vote.”


“Here is a policy that, on a conservative estimate, affects four crore people who are employed in retail trade in India. Shouldn’t the parliament of India give its opinion on this? Let it be put to vote,” he said. 


Karat said that the Congress-led government at the centre had unleashed a series of economic reforms keeping its neo-liberal agenda in mind. “As its political authority and mandate gets more and more reduced, the more this government is willing to take such anti-people and anti-national policies,” he said.


A nexus between big business, politicians and bureaucrats has emerged, Karat said citing the recent allegation made against Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as an example. He pointed out that what had emerged was the involvement of DLF, the largest real estate company in the country, a person who had links with politicians and the Haryana government.


“The State itself is facilitating the corruption,” Karat said adding that measures such as the Lokpal would only take care of the symptoms of the problem, not the disease. He said that pointing out individual cases of corruption, exposing the persons involved were important, but the issue cannot be dealt with singly as corruption had now become “institutionalised.” Linking the high-level corruption to neo-liberal reforms, Karat said that only overturning these policies would be able to tackle the issue.


Karat pointed towards sharp rise of attacks against women in particular and said that the neo-liberal policies were responsible for the atmosphere of social degeneration. “It is not only snatching the economic rights of the people but also inflicting damages on social rights. Even conservatives of medieval era have raised their ugly head”, he said.


Karat lamented that even in West Bengal the attacks on women have increased manifold. "There has been an unprecedented rise in attacks on women. The recurrence and the crudeness of the violence have been compounded by the very strange behaviour of chief minister Mamata Banerjee," Karat said.


"Earlier, it was a denial that any such thing is happening. But now, she attacks the media saying they have been exaggerating and glorifying incidents of rape," added Karat. "This shows her short-sightedness and belligerent approach.