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.
08 June 2002
NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE hung over the world throughout the years of the Cold War. It now threatens to become a reality of almost unimaginable horror. Those who target the missiles and run the Indian and Pakistani governments are horrifying. But all the major Western powers share the responsibility.
01 June 2002
THOUSANDS OF civilians are fleeing their homes in Kashmir. The death toll is mounting as shelling by Indian and Pakistani troops escalates. India and Pakistan were teetering on the brink of all-out war at the beginning of this week. Both states have nuclear weapons. Even a war using conventional arms will inflict slaughter in Kashmir and along the India-Pakistan border.
01 June 2002
THE CYNICAL territorial ambitions of the rulers of India and Pakistan lie behind the threat of war between them. Their conflicting claims over Kashmir and its 12 million people have sparked hostilities since the end of British rule in 1947.
18 May 2002
THE WARRIOR is a surprise hit movie. It is a low budget independent film directed by Hackney-born Asif Kapadia, and was filmed in India with an international crew and a few professional actors. It is set in the past somewhere in India.
06 April 2002
The Queen Mother was a racist snob who excelled in extravagant living. Amid all the grovelling, hypocritical tributes paid to her this week, here are some facts to remember. The Queen Mother referred to black people as "nig-nogs" or "blackamoors". She backed white minority rule in Rhodesia. She criticised Lord Mountbatten, viceroy of India, "for giving away the empire" and his wife because "her mother was half-Jewish".
09 March 2002
The Indian government, which Tony Blair praised recently, has stood by while a section of its supporters carry out horrific massacres. Hundreds of people have been killed in communal violence centred on the Gujarat region.
02 March 2002
The Hindu fundamentalist BJP party did badly in three key state elections last weekend. The very good news is that the BJP's attempt to whip up chauvinism over Kashmir has failed to deliver votes.
23 February 2002
The British government is promoting a new way to help the 500 million Indian people in poverty-sell them weapons. Defexpo 2002, an arms fair, opened in New Delhi on Monday.
16 February 2002
Home Secretary David Blunkett unveiled New Labour's latest crackdown on immigration, asylum and British citizenship last week. He won rapturous praise from Tory MPs for attacks on the ability of immigrants to speak English and on British people marrying partners from the Indian subcontinent.