The Time is ripe for Unity Prabhat Patnaik

On September 5 an event of great significance occurred in the capital: more than 1.5 lakh workers, peasants and agricultural labourers staged a rally on Parliament Street. The capital has certainly seen much bigger rallies in the past, but not in the recent past. In fact, one had almost forgotten the Boat Club rallies of yore, and come to believe that a new era had come when, notwithstanding great hardships, people were reluctant to hold mass demonstrations, at least along class lines. The September 5 rally was significant not just for removing this impression; it brought together for the first…

Ayushman Bharat Prabhat Patnaik

The fraudulence of the claim made by the Modi government with regard to the “Ayushman Bharat” scheme launched recently surpasses all its previous efforts. This is hardly surprising for a government for which what matters is not what it actually does but how it creates perceptions about what it is doing. The Ayushman Bharat scheme consists of two separate parts. One is the creation of 150000 “Health and Wellness Centres” which are simply the old primary health centres given a new fancy name, and for each of which the 2018-19 Union budget allocates a mere Rs.80000. This obviously cannot even…

The Indian Economy in A Tailspin Prabhat Patnaik

The Indian economy is in a tailspin. This cannot be attributed only to innocence in economic matters of the command-centre of the NDA government. While that is indubitably a contributing factor, the current travails of the economy point to something deeper, namely the dead-end to which neo-liberalism has brought the economy. Without moving away from the neo-liberal trajectory, the economy cannot come out of its current difficulties. India’s success in raising the GDP growth rate, the main selling point for the neo-liberal regime, was, unlike China’s, built upon the quicksand of a persistent trade and current account deficit on the…

In Memoriam: Samir Amin

IDEAs network mourns the loss of the celebrated Marxist thinker Samir Amin, who was also a Member of our Advisory Board. Samir Amin’s razor-sharp intellect, penetrating analysis, strong anti-imperialism and conviction in the importance of third world solidarity as well as his deep and continuous commitment to progressive causes around the world, will continue to remain an inspiration for us. We publish below an obituary by Prabhat Patnaik, Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar. Samir Amin (1931-2018) A Marxist from the Third World C. P. Chandrasekhar 1 September 2018 Samir Amin, a leading social thinker, campaigner and activist of and for…

Finance versus The People Prabhat Patnaik

Sometimes even a tiny news-item can reveal volumes about capitalism. The Indian stock market, as is well-known, is booming at present: the 30-share Sensex closed at a new high of 38,278.75 on Monday the 20th of August, and the broader-based Nifty crossed the 11500 mark for the first time on the same day. One of the financial sector executives explained the reason behind this boom as follows (The Hindu, Aug.21): “The only difference between now (versus a few months back) is that politics looks more stable---prospects of an Opposition coalition are looking a little shaky”. These financial sector executives know…

Development and What it actually means A seminar remembering Vineet Kohli, the economist from TISS.

How has the idea of development has changed over the years? Utsa Patnaik, T Jayaraman, Prabhat Patnaik, Abhijit Sen and C. P. Chandrasekhar participate in a discussion moderated by Jayati Ghosh, at a seminar held on 19 August 2018 in Jawaharlal Nehru University to remember the young economist Vineet Kohli who passed away recently. (This video was originally published in the News Click on August 20, 2018)

Begging and Criminality Prabhat Patnaik

On Wednesday August 8, the Delhi High Court decriminalized begging in the capital. In the course of its hearing it had raised the question how begging could be an offence in a country where the government was unable to provide food and jobs; its final verdict is in line with this thinking. Of course there was no central legislation, or legislation relating specifically to Delhi, that had criminalized begging earlier; but the capital region like several other states had simply used the provisions of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act to treat begging as a criminal activity. India’s record in…

Ranking Universities Prabhat Patnaik

The proposal to eliminate the University Grants Commission and to tighten political control over the higher education system in India, has been mooted at the behest of Narendra Modi who is apparently concerned about the dearth of Indian names among the top-ranked universities in the world. This concern is not confined to Modi alone; it is shared by large numbers of persons in the country’s political establishment, and by many in the general public. This concern is, to an extent, understandable: it is akin to the concern over the lack of medals for India at the Olympic games; but at…

Capitalism’s Discourse on “Development” Prabhat Patnaik

Capitalism’s discourse on “development” which has become quite influential all over the third world in the neo-liberal period proceeds as follows: (i) “development” must consist in shifting the work-force from the traditional (petty production) sector which is overcrowded with low labour productivity, and hence constitutes a repository of poverty,  to the modern (capitalist) sector which has much higher labour productivity. (ii) For this shift to occur, the modern (capitalist sector) must be allowed to grow as rapidly as possible, for which all impediments to capital accumulation must be removed. (iii) Even if, in the process of the modern (capitalist) sector’s…