22 May 2004
INDIA'S RIGHT wing Hindu chauvinist party, the BJP, suffered a shock defeat in last week's general elections. It had a net loss of nearly a third of its parliamentary seats, while its main opponent, Congress, had a net gain of a third. At the core of the BJP is an organisation with some similarities to European fascism, the RSS. It lay behind a murderous onslaught on the Muslim minority in the state of Gujarat that caused some 2,000 deaths just two years ago.
27 March 2004
ANTI-WAR campaigners around the globe protested on 20 March after a call went out at this year's World Social Forum in India. The example set by Spain's anti-war movement inspired marchers in Italy. Two million filled the streets of Rome chanting "Berlusconi's next!"
20 March 2004
ACROSS THE world this Saturday people are marching against Bush and Blair's invasion of Iraq and "war on terror". An appeal to march on this day came out of the 50,000-strong European Social Forum in Paris last November, and the 100,000-strong World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, in January.
13 March 2004
ANTI-WAR campaigners across the world are preparing to demonstrate on 20 March against the carnage that Bush and Blair have brought to Iraq. The call for protests was raised at the 50,000-strong European Social Forum in Paris last November. The 100,000 who gathered at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, in January backed that call.
06 March 2004
THREE MILLION Indian workers struck for the day on Tuesday of last week against plans to cut pensions and other benefits to government workers and introduce flexible working. "This is the 11th strike in the last ten years against neo-liberalism," says Rakesh, leader of the Lucknow banking workers' union federation.
17 January 2004
OVER 100,000 activists and trade unionists will come together to join the debates and discussions at the World Social Forum (WSF), which is taking place in the city of Mumbai (Bombay), India.
29 November 2003
HUNDREDS OF workers at Lloyds TSB are balloting for industrial action in its central Newcastle call centre in a bid to stop the company shifting its 960 jobs to India. The ballot is scheduled to run from Monday of next week for seven days. It is part of the Unifi union's Stop the Closure campaign. It will also see a petition launched at six other sites.
25 October 2003
BANKING giant HSBC has become the latest multinational to announce plans to move jobs overseas. Some 4,000 jobs will be axed from its call centres in Swansea, Birmingham, Brentwood and Sheffield, and transferred to call centres in India, China and Malaysia.
21 June 2003
"IT WOULD be morally indefensible to oppose it." This claim was made by one of those behind the "protato" – the genetically modified (GM) wonder crop we were told last week will solve malnutrition in India. No one should be fooled.
31 May 2003
UP TO 50 million Indian public sector workers joined a powerful one-day strike in protest against government privatisation plans on Wednesday of last week. Workers in banking, insurance, the post office, transport and mining joined the action ensuring major disruption nationwide. For the second time this month, a strike has hit the financial sector particularly hard.
22 March 2003
WORKERS AT 34 BT call centres were to stage protests on Thursday of this week over the company's plans to axe 2,200 jobs and transfer work to India. The battle goes to the heart of debates over capitalist globalisation. Some commentators have argued that opposing BT's plans will hit Indian workers, and so is based on a narrow nationalist outlook. The workers' CWU union has rightly rejected this argument.
18 January 2003
THE ASIAN Social Forum (ASF) held in Hyderabad in India ended last week with a closing rally of over 10,000 people. It was followed by a demonstration that drew in thousands more. Trucks and coaches from across the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh arrived with people who had made the trip to demonstrate their opposition to imperialism and war.
11 January 2003
HYDERABAD IS a city that is held up as a Third World high-tech success story by champions of globalisation. A myriad of multinational firms have settled here to take advantage of Indian workers' skills. But this week Hyderabad has been home to something very different-the Asian Social Forum (ASF).
16 November 2002
I could not put down the fantastic book by Arundhati Roy The Algebra of Infinite Justice. It is a collection of the main political essays she has written so far. The book includes new essays on Bush and Blair's "war on terror", the Hindu chauvinist BJP government in India, and the effects of privatisation on ordinary people.
24 August 2002
AROUND 6,000 workers in Reality call centres, part of the Great Universal Stores (GUS) empire, will be balloted from next Wednesday for strike action over a threat to their jobs. The workers fear their jobs will go as Reality, a home shopping company, is transferring work to call centres in India.
20 July 2002
AN OLD slogan in anti-racist movements in Britain is "we're over here because you were over there". Rozina Visram shows how true that is. From the beginning, Asian migration to Britain is entwined with the way Britain established and built its empire. Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter for trade to the Governor and Company of Merchants of London in 1600, founding the East India Company. And it was the company's ventures which sparked the first movement of people between South Asia and Britain.
22 June 2002
IN 1897, 46,000 plumed and scrubbed troops marched through London to mark Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. They were drawn from an empire that included over a quarter of the world's people. There was a camel corps from India, the Dyak police from Borneo, Muslim zaptiehs in their red fezzes, soldiers from Fiji, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Zanzibar and many more.
15 June 2002
INDIA AND Pakistan teeter on the brink of all-out nuclear warfare. New Nukes by Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik charts the way Western governments poured arms and nuclear technology into the region. The book also explains how the governments of India and Pakistan squandered resources on warfare to the detriment of the mass of people. Kashmir is the flashpoint for this crisis.
15 June 2002
THE THREAT of war between India and Pakistan has brought the horror of nuclear destruction back to the world. Leaders from both countries have spoken openly about the obscenity of "first strikes" or "second strikes", and their willingness to use nuclear warheads. A nuclear exchange between the two countries, with a combined population of 1.2 billion people, could kill ten million people in minutes. They are not the only states willing to use nuclear weapons.
08 June 2002
OVER 1.2 billion people in India and Pakistan are living under the shadow of all-out war between the two nuclear-armed states. An outbreak of full scale fighting would be catastrophic. Yet the threat remains, despite attempts at getting talks between the two regimes.