Sunday 4 September 2016

E P W at 50 -the 'Small Voice'

Bernard D' Mello has written an appreciation for the magazine which has completed fifty years of existence with its reputation intact. One or two points I find very useful.  (August 20, 2016)

"1968"

A decade of rebellion in various parts of the world directed against capitalism and the "old left".
Various movements: 
1. Naxalbari, Srikakulam , 
2. Chipko movement (beginning in April, 1973)
3. Dalit Panthers
4. Women's movement: when in 1978 the Supreme Court acquitted two policemen who had committed custodial rape. This is considered "a defining moment that gave birth to the women's movement.
5. Second phase of India's civil liberties and democratic rights (CLDR) movement in the early 1970s
6. 20-day strike in the Indian Railways in May 1974
7. Popular upheavels in Gujarat and Bihar preceding the Emergency
8. The Dalli-Rajhara Spring of the contract workers led by Shankar Guha Niyogi.

"1989"

The period of capitalist triumphalism... rise of Hindutva and neo-liberalism. With this, De Mello writes began "guild" began to give way for NGOs. With this came "metamorphosis" of India into a grab-what-you-can-for-yourself capitalist system.
De Mello says that, "In neo-liberal capitalism, all personal relations become reified as relations between things.
He concludes his two page write up by saying - "you need to be able to distinguish between authentic and spurious, ethical and unscrupulous, aesthetic and ugly, civilized and barbaric...the capacity  ... to say "no" remains the basis of our hope and faith...