(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 05, 2014
2014: Forge an Alternative Trajectory
People’s Democracy wishes its readers a very happy new year as we move into 2014.
Such greetings are usually accompanied by the hopes that the new year will turn out to be better than what we all had to go through in 2013. We have often in these columns invoked Lord Tennyson’s famous line “Ringing out the old, ringing in the new.” Such hopes continue to remain and “the new,” we expect, will be for the better. Experience, however, teaches us that life is, more often than not, a continuum. This notwithstanding, indeed, some seminal achievements have been consigned to history in 2013 like the iconic Telegram and the canned film reel, with Bollywood announcing that its latest offering Dhoom 3 was released entirely in the digital format. No longer will we see the sheer poetry of Sachin Tendulkar’s batting in Test Cricket. There are many such developments that would merit a listing in such a category. We shall, however, leave this task to the chroniclers of history.
is ending with the AAP forming the government in
another level, the economic hardships imposed on the vast
majority of our
people during 2013 threatened to intensify in 2014 unless,
of course, there is
a radical shift in the policy trajectory in the country. The year begins
when the negative impact of
another round of administrative fuel price hikes will be
felt by the people. By
now it has become common place to attribute the growing
economic burdens on the
people to the global crisis. The global economic crisis,
however, appears all
set to continue. Notwithstanding the fits and burst of hopes
and recovery in
2013, world economy continued to falter and stagger.
people perceive little difference between the Congress and
the BJP as far as
the economic policies or corruption is particularly
concerned. That there is
little difference between the two is confirmed by
Often, on issues of corruption like the 2G spectrum or the
allocation scams, in-depth discussion was disrupted lest
skeletons stumble out
of the previous Vajpayee-led NDA government’s cupboards as
well. This led
to credible allegations of ‘match-fixing.’
On the score of neo-liberal economic policies, whether on
permitting FDI in pension funds jeopardising the economic
security of crores of
employees or undoing bank nationalisation through
privatisation and permitting
foreign financial institution’s unfettered entry thus making
2014 provides an opportunity for such a shift in the policy trajectory in the country. The forthcoming general elections must serve as the opportunity to bring about such a change not merely in the ruling party but in terms of alternative policies. The Indian people, if they want to change the situation for the better, will have to use this opportunity provided by the general elections to bring about a political alternative that is capable of implementing alternative policies.
An alternative policy trajectory that ensures universal rights and not entitlements (smacking of charity) to food security; free health care; universal free education; right to employment or adequate unemployment allowance; and universal schemes for the care of the elderly and differently abled, at least, must form the core of such an alternative. This trajectory is preferable not only in humanitarian terms but makes eminent economic sense as well. By thus empowering the people, their purchasing power will substantially increase generating the much-needed additional aggregate domestic demand which, in turn, will provide the impetus for manufacturing growth and, hence, employment. This would set in chain a motion of sustainable and more equitable growth trajectory.
That there are resources to sustain such a strategy is obvious if the humongous corruption scams are prevented and the massive tax concessions to the rich are instead used for public investments to build our much needed infrastructure generating substantial new employment. What the country needs is a political alternative that can put in place such an alternative policy trajectory.
what we need is not merely an electoral alternative but a
Greeting this New Year means that we strengthen the people’s struggles powerfully enough to ensure that such an alternative is put in place in 2014 following the general elections.
wishes once again for a year ahead that shall resonate in
history as one where
powerful people’s movements and struggles succeed in
changing the policy
trajectory in our country while, at the same time,
resoundingly defeating the
communal forces and, thus, safeguarding our
This is the essential pre-requisite to create a better
(January 02, 2014)