Ayodhya Verdict Focused as Foreign Capital Captures India and Aboriginal Indigenous Humanscape ELIMINATED!Market bounces back on late trade, Nifty regains 6K level!Game of the Concerned Inclusive Corporate Imperialist Fascist Capitalism Hits the arena!
Ayodhya dispute: Land to be divided into three parts as Wakf Board to move SC against Allahabad HC order!Judgement has paved way for Ram temple construction: RSS
HC verdict has paved way for temple in Ayodhya: Joshi
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - Four Hundred Ninety Five
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Ayodhya Verdict Focused as Foreign Capital Captures India and Aboriginal Indigenous humanscape ELIMINATED!
Game of the Concerned Inclusive Corporate Imperialist Fascist Capitalism Hits the arena!
TODAY - 30 September, 2010
Ayodhya verdict: ReactionsPolitical parties welcomed the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suits. Here are a few reactions to the verdict More
Market bounces back on late trade, Nifty regains 6K level!
A spectacular turnaround during the late trade on the back of across-the-board buying spree boosted the benchmark CNX-Nifty, which vaulted by over 38 points and regained the 6,000-mark on NSE today. The 50-share index moved in a wide range of 6,048.45 and 5,963.60 before ending at 6,029.95, up 38.65 points, or 0.65 per cent, over its last close.
Being a settlement day, the market witnessed high amount of choppiness since the onset. Mixed Asian and weak European cues were not so supportive for the market.
But, surprising everyone, the market bounced back in the final hours, led by hectic buying in financials, FMCG, realty, technology and capital goods counters. "FII buying, along with covering of short positions of September F&O series expiry by cautious investors and traders, seems to be the reason for sudden turnaround," traders said.
Top five Nifty gainers were HDFC, which rose 3.71 per cent, Sterling Industries 3.41 per cent, Hindalco 2.87 per cent, ITC 2.71 per cent and HDFC Bank shot up 1.90 per cent. Ambuja Cement, BPCL, Power Grid, Reliance Capital and ABB were the notable losers.
Total turnover in the cash segment jumped to Rs 20,014.26 crore from Rs 15,532.42 crore yesterday. A total of 9,152.31 lakh shares changed hands in 62,50,533 trades.
The market capitalisation stood at Rs 69,58,533 crore.
|*On strengthening India-US ties|
If promotion of a warm relationship with India is top priority, Obama must drop common practice of insisting on matching concessions.
A patchy industrial growth trend
The rather spotty trend in industrial growth calls for probing structural reasons, away from the immediate growth figures.
Piecemeal reform will not do
Govt's plan to amend the Contract Labour Law is welcome. But a prerequisite is overhaul of other labour laws.
ET Bureau 30 Sep 2010, 07:59
Father knows best
It not only pays for politicians to have a posse of children to choose from, to run in the dynasty derby but also to have a couple of try-outs.
Over to politics
ET Bureau 30 Sep 2010, 07:56
The Allahabad HC's Ayodhya verdict will hardly resolve the dispute. That is a task to be accomplished outside the courts, through political practice.
From BC to modern banking
ET Bureau 30 Sep 2010, 07:53
The move would make it possible to scale up the reach of financial services for the unbanked, particularly in tandem with a provision for charging fees for the BCs' services.
CGOC or CGDC?
ET Bureau 29 Sep 2010, 05:56
Commonwealth Games Organising Committee? Shouldn't it be renamed as Commonwealth Games Disorganised Committee?
Raise the technology bar
ET Bureau 29 Sep 2010, 05:53
The solution is for the government and its official snooping agency to get more tech-savvy.
Piecemeal reform will not do
ET Bureau 29 Sep 2010, 05:50
Govt's plan to amend the Contract Labour Law is welcome. But a prerequisite is overhaul of other labour laws.
Cash and ferry
ET Bureau 28 Sep 2010, 05:54
These days the number of things a modern woman has to do, all in day's work, is truly mind-boggling.
ET Bureau 28 Sep 2010, 05:41
The RBI's reported directive to state govts not to give new businesses to private sector banks demonstrates pitfalls in using banks to fulfil the govt's social mandate.
Ruling party as Opposition
ET Bureau 28 Sep 2010, 05:38
There is more vocal criticism of the government's policies from within the ruling Congress party than there is from the Opposition.
Through the third eye
ET Bureau 28 Sep 2010, 05:32
Those who choreographed Srinagar meetings of MPs delegation were firm on one thing; that Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik should be given as much importance as hardliner Geelani.
ET Bureau 27 Sep 2010, 05:51
Having a cake and eating it too is usually a delicious impossibility but nevertheless remains an enticing ambition for many.
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Curfew reimposed in most towns of Kashmir ValleyPTI - 04:02 PM
Srinagar, Sept 30 (PTI) Barring Pulwama and Shopian district towns in south Kashmir, curfew was reimposed in all major towns of the Valley including Srinagar today.
Current account deficit climbs 3-fold to USD 13.7 bn in Q1PTI - 07:22 PM
Mumbai, Sep 30 (PTI) India' current account deficit, representing net flow of income out of the country barring capital movements, surged three-fold to 13.7 billion dollars in the April-June quarter over the same period last year.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday delivered a verdict that has favoured the Hindu contention that Lord Ram's birthplace existed at the same place where his statue was discovered more than 60 years ago.Ravi Shankar Prasad, one of the counsels in the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, came out of the court room, and said the Hindus have been contending this for a long time.The RSS today said the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suit has paved the way for construction of a Ram temple on the disputed site even as it appealed for restraint and said the order should not be seen as anybody's victory or defeat.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday decided by majority that the site where a makeshift Ram Lalla temple exists is where Hindu god Ram was born, lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The Allahabad HC today in the Ayodhya land title case has ordered that the disputed holy site in Ayodhya be divided into three parts: one-third for Hindu Mahasabha, one-third for Sunni Waqf Board and one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara.
The court ruled that the land on which the idol of Lord Rama stood belonged to the Hindus and part of the land under the central dome of the Babri Masjid was the Ram Janamsthan which will go to the Hindus.
The court has also ruled that the site will be in status quo for the next three months.
The bench decided to divide the disputed 2.7 acres of land into three parts, with each of the three parties to the suit getting a part of it.
Hindus, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara, will each get one part of the disputed land.
Verdict not a win or loss, invite all to help build temple:RSSAppealing for restraint, the RSS today said the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suit should not been seen as anybody''s victory or defeat and sought people''s support for construction of a Ram temple. "The judgement has paved the way for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The judgement is not a win or loss for anybody. We invite everybody, including Muslims, to help build the temple," Sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat told reporters.
"The court verdict should not be seen as anybody''s victory or defeat," he reiterated. Bhagwat also said the joy and happiness over the verdict should find expression in a "controlled and peaceful manner" within the limits of law and constitution.
"Uncalled for provocation must be avoided," he said adding, the movement for a Ram temple was "not a reactionary one nor it is against any particular community." Bhagwat also appealed to the Muslims to "forget the past".
PM Pitches For More Foreign Investment For 9% Growth Date Submitted: Thu Sep 16, 2010
Addressing a meeting here, he observed that India's "toughest challenges" lie in its neighborhood and the country's growth ambitions cannot be realized unless peace and stability is ensured in South Asia.
"If we are to sustain a growth rate of 9 to 10% in the foreseeable future, we require foreign capital inflow, both portfolio and direct investment, the best of modern technology and access to markets of the advanced economies," he said.
For this, India needs to maintain "healthy relations" with all major powers, Singh said but made it clear that the country's strategic autonomy would be preserved as it is an "article of faith for us".
India, he said, is "too large a country to be boxed into any alliance or regional or sub-regional arrangements, whether trade, economic or political."
"We have to ensure adequate availability of commercial energy to support our growth targets. This requires not only diversification of the sources of our energy imports but also widening of our overall energy mix. It is in this context that we need to operationalize our nuclear energy option, which holds great promise and is a necessity," he added. Referring to the global economic crisis of 2008, Singh said India had weathered it better than most large economies, as there was a continental sized economy and large internal market. But the challenge, he said, would be to ensure that growth was balanced across all regions and reached all sections of society. (PTI)
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Ayodhya verdict: Disputed land to be divided into 3 parts44 Minutes ago
The site of the Ram lala idol goes to Lord Ram, Nirmohi Akhara gets Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara and Sunni Wakf Board gets the rest.
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Ayodhya VerdictAfter 18 years of demolition of the mosque at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya, the Allahabad High Court is about to deliver the judgement.
30 September 2010 Last updated at 19:08 GMT
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LatestAyodhya verdict: Disputed land to be divided into 3 parts
The site of the Ram lala idol goes to Lord Ram, Nirmohi Akhara gets Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara and Sunni Wakf Board gets the rest.Indian public figures unite ahead of Ayodhya verdict
The case is seen as a test of the country's religious harmony and political maturity after the dispute sparked some of the worst communal violence.Lord Ram owes his fame to Wahid in Sangam city
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The ownership of the disputed land has been divided as follows: (1) Ram Lala, the birthplace of Lord Ram, given to Lord Ram (2) Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabootra to Nirmohi Akhara and (3) The remaining part to be given to the Sunni Waqf Board.
Meanwhile,Sunni Wakf Board today said it will move the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court order dividing the disputed land in Ayodhya among three parties and said they were not going to surrender it. "We will appeal against the division of disputed land among three parties," Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani told reporters here.
In a statement after the verdict came out, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, "The movement for Ram temple is not a reactionary one, nor is it against any particular community". "Hence this verdict, that facilitates building of a magnificent temple for Maryada Purushottam Ram, should not be seen by the society as a victory to any group or defeat to the other," he said adding "our joy and happiness should find expression in a controlled, peaceful manner".
Appealing for restraint, Bhagwat said, "this is an excellent opportunity to rise above all past bitterness in the spirit of our tolerant and inclusive national culture and strive to organise our diverse, multi-lingual and multi-religious society into a united, disciplined and conflict-free one inspired by a grand and sacred vision".
When asked about the one-third land to be given to Muslims, he said, "It is a matter of detail, the high-powered (sants') committee will take a decision on that. We don't yet have the copy of the orders. Once it is with us, we will carry out a detailed analysis".
Seeking the cooperation of all groups, including Muslims, in building the temple, he said, "...I take this opportunity to heartily and affectionately call upon all our countrymen, including the Muslims, to forget all the ill-will and hard feelings borne out of the conflicts of the past decades and welcome the verdict of the judiciary...thus becoming active collaborators in organising necessary constitutional and practical means for building the magnificent temple".
Asked what would be BJP's reaction to the verdict, Bhagwat said the party will speak on the issue separately. On whether there would be another movement for building a temple, he said that would be decided by the high-powered committee and RSS would support it.
Ayodhya verdict: A brief summaryA brief summary of the verdict on the Ayodhya title suit and the three individual verdicts of judges are as follows:
A brief summary
Verdict of Sudhir Agarwal
GIST OF THE FINDINGS by Justice S U Khan
1. The disputed structure was constructed as mosque by or under orders of Babar.
2. It is not proved by direct evidence that premises in dispute including constructed portion
belonged to Babar or the person who constructed the mosque or under whose orders it was constructed.
3. No temple was demolished for constructing the mosque.
4. Mosque was constructed over the ruins of temples which were lying in utter ruins since a very long time before the construction of mosque and some material thereof was used in construction of the mosque.
5. That for a very long time till the construction of the mosque it was treated/believed by Hindus that some where in a very large area of which premises in dispute is a very small part birth place of Lord Ram was situated, however, the belief did not relate to any specified small area within that bigger area specifically the premises in dispute.
6. That after some time of construction of the mosque Hindus started identifying the premises in dispute as exact birth place of Lord Ram or a place wherein exact birth place was situated.
7. That much before 1855 Ram Chabutra and Seeta Rasoi had come into existence and Hindus were worshipping in the same. It was very very unique and absolutely unprecedented situation that in side the boundary wall and compound of the mosque Hindu religious places were there which were actually being worshipped along with offerings of Namaz by Muslims in the mosque.
8. That in view of the above gist of the finding at serial no.7 both the parties Muslims as well
as Hindus are held to be in joint possession of the entire premises in dispute.
9. That even though for the sake of convenience both the parties i.e. Muslims and Hindus were using and occupying different portions of the premises in dispute still it did not amount to formal partition and both continued to be in joint possession of the entire premises in dispute.
10. That both the parties have failed to prove commencement of their title hence by virtue of Section 110 Evidence Act both are held to be joint title holders on the basis of joint possession.
11. That for some decades before 1949 Hindus started treating/believing the place beneath the
Central dome of mosque (where at present make sift temple stands) to be exact birth place of Lord Ram.
12. That idol was placed for the first time beneath the Central dome of the mosque in the early hours of 23.12.1949.
13. That in view of the above both the parties are declared to be joint title holders in possession of the entire premises in dispute and a preliminary decree to that effect is passed with the condition that at the time of actual partition by meets and bounds at the stage of preparation of final decree the portion beneath the Central dome where at present make sift temple stands will be allotted to the share of the Hindus.
Accordingly, all the three sets of parties, i.e. Muslims, Hindus and Nirmohi Akhara are declared joint title holders of the property/ premises in dispute as described by letters A B C D E F in the map Plan-I prepared by Sri Shiv Shanker Lal, Pleader/ Commissioner appointed by Court in Suit No.1 to the extent of one third share each for using and managing the same for worshipping.
A preliminary decree to this effect is passed.
However, it is further declared that the portion below the central dome where at present the idol is kept in makeshift temple will be allotted to Hindus in final decree.
It is further directed that Nirmohi Akhara will be allotted share including that part which is shown by the words Ram Chabutra and Sita Rasoi in the said map.
It is further clarified that even though all the three parties are declared to have one third share each, however if while allotting exact portions some minor adjustment in the share is to be made then the same will be made and the adversely affected party may be compensated by allotting some portion of the adjoining land which has been acquired by the Central Government.
The parties are at liberty to file their suggestions for actual partition by metes and bounds within three months.
List immediately after filing of any suggestion/ application for preparation of final decree after obtaining necessary instructions from Hon'ble the Chief Justice.
Status quo as prevailing till date pursuant to Supreme Court judgment of Ismail Farooqui (1994(6) Sec 360) in all its minutest details shall be maintained for a period of three months unless this order is modified or vacated earlier.
PDF:Verdict of S U Khan
The verdict of J Dharam Veer Sharma
The 3-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in a majority decision ruled on Thursday that Ram was born at the spot and that his idol should remain there.
Justice S U Khan said let the land be divided in three parts, one each for the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the party representing Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha - the party for Lord Rama. Khan said the area where Ram's idol is should be given to Hindus. Muslims to be given a separate portion of the courtyard, and third litigant Nirmohi Akhara another section of the courtyard.
Justice D V Sharma decreed the title suit in favour of Hindus, said lawyer K N Bhatt, who represented the party on behalf of 'Ram Lalla'.
Justice Sudhir Agarwal ruled that the area where Ram's idol has been installed should be given to Hindus.
The Sunni Wakf Board's plea for upholding title on land was dismissed.
The court also said status quo will be maintained at the disputed site in Ayodhya for three months, claimed lawyers Ravi Shanker Prasad and K N Bhatt.
The 2.7 acres of land on which the Babri Masjid stood built by Babar's noble Mir Baki in 1528.
The only hurdle in the pronouncement of this verdict was cleared by the Supreme Court on Tuesday when it dismissed the petition by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chandra Tripathi for deferment of the keenly-awaited judgement.
An amicable solution could not be reached through negotiations between the two religious groups for decades, and, therefore, the verdict.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh and most of the country remained under a thick security blanket with aerial vigil of sensitive places, including the disputed site at Ayodhya continuing.
The Allahabad High Court was declared a 'no-access zone' restricting entry to all except those connected with the case.
The intelligence network was also on high alert throughout Uttar Pradesh to monitor movement and activities of anti-social elements.
Police sources said the force deployment has been such - almost 1,90,000 security personnel in the state - that it would take minimum time to reach any trouble spot.
Helicopters have been kept on alert and asked to keep a vigil on activities of mischievous elements, sources said, adding though there is no ban on movement of people but strict vigil is being maintained and hospitals and doctors have been put on alert to remain prepared in case of any eventuality.
Three dog squads, four bomb disposal squads, five anti-sabotage teams and fire tenders have also been deployed at strategic points in Ayodhya and Faizabad where a total of 20 companies (over 2,000 personnel) of CRPF have been deployed for the inner security of the Ram Janambhoomi complex, besides 38 other companies of police and PAC for the twin towns and 16 other companies for rural areas, police sources said.
A control room has been set up at the DGP headquarters here with six phone numbers being made public to facilitate any information about trouble-makers.
The security of the three judges of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, who pronounced the verdict, was also increased.
Borders with adjoining Nepal and Uttarakhand have been sealed and a strict vigil is being maintained on all those coming to the state from these sides.
Security forces have staged flag marches in all sensitive places and districts, including Lucknow, Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura, in the state and prohibitory orders are in force at some of the places, sources said.
On the eve of the verdict, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had appealed for peace, saying the verdict was only the first step in a judicial process with further legal recourse available to anyone who wanted to take the matter forward.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that the Ayodhya verdict cannot be allowed to derail the 'India Story'. He said people had moved on from 1992, young people had moved on and that the India Story was much bigger than a dispute over a place.
Through the decades, repeated attempts were made by former Prime Ministers P V Narasimha Rao, V P Singh and Chandra Shekhar to persuade the two sides to reach a compromise, but with little success.
The Ayodhya dispute has been an emotive issue for decades and mired in a slew of legal suits involving Hindu and Muslim religious groups.
The first title suit in the case was filed in 1950 by one Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking an injunction for permitting 'pooja'(worship) of Lord Ram at the disputed site while the second suit was filed by Paramhans Ramchandra Das also in 1950 seeking the same injunction but this was later withdrawn.
The third suit was filed in 1959 by the Nirmohi Akhara, seeking direction to hand over the charge of the disputed site from the receiver and the fourth one came in 1961 by UP Sunni Central Board of Waqfs for declaration and possession of the site.
The fifth suit was moved on July one, 1989 in the name of Bhagwan Shri Ram Lalla Virajman also for declaration and possession.
Through an application moved by then advocate general of UP, all the four suits were transferred to the High Court in 1989.
As many as 94 witnesses have appeared before the court -- 58 from Hindu side and 36 from Muslim side -- during regular hearings of the case which began on January 10, 2010.
The High Court, while adjudicating the case, also asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out excavation in the area surrounding the disputed site to find out whether temple was there before mosque was built.
The excavation, which was done in the presence of representatives from Hindus and Muslims, went on for more than five months between March and August in 2003.
Hearing in the case taken up on a day-to-day basis from January this year was completed on July 26 and the special Bench had reserved its verdict asking the parties concerned to approach the OSD in case there was any scope of resolution to the case through reconciliation.
Since none of the parties made any attempt in this direction, the court had on September 8 fixed September 24 as the date for pronouncement of the verdict. It was fixed for September 30 after the apex court dismissed a plea for deferment of the High Court verdict.
The three main issues before the High Court were whether there was a temple at the disputed site prior to 1528, whether the suit filed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board in 1961 is barred by limitation and whether Muslims perfected their title through adverse possession.
The history of the dispute goes back to the year 1528 when a mosque was built on the site by Mughal emperor Babar which Hindus claim to be the birth place of Lord Ram and that a temple existed there earlier.
In order to settle the dispute, the British officials in 1859 erected a fence to separate the places of worship, allowing the inner court to be used by Muslims and the outer court by Hindus and this system went on till 1949 when an idol of Lord Ram surfaced inside the mosque.
The authorities then declared the premises a disputed area and locked the gates which were unlocked after 37 years by a District Judge in 1986 to allow 'darshan'.
With the passage of time, the dispute took political colour. The Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 in the presence of senior leaders of VHP, Shiv Sena and BJP.
The demolition of the mosque had triggered communal riots in several parts of the country in which more than 2,000 lives were lost.
|Title:||Capitalism and concern|
|Author(s):||John Peters, (John Peters is Editor of The TQM Magazine)|
|Citation:||John Peters, (1996) "Capitalism and concern", The TQM Magazine, Vol. 8 Iss: 6, pp.4 - 5|
|Keywords:||Capitalism, Ethics, Social responsibility, TQM|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09544789610152847 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||MCB UP Ltd|
|Abstract:||Asks whether socially responsible behaviour and capitalism can be sensibly reconciled. Notes the economic advantages of capitalism but also concerns regarding factors such as social order and pollution, suggesting that quality management has a role to play in bringing the goals of capitalism and social responsibility together. Points out that today's customers expect companies to address these concerns and that if companies fail to do so governments will do it for them via emissions taxation etc. Concludes that social responsibility can make economic sense.|
The case over the 16th century Babri mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya town is one of the biggest security challenges in India this year, along with a Maoist insurgency and a Kashmiri separatist rebellion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
Hindus and Muslims have quarrelled for more than a century over the history of the Babri mosque.
Hindus claim that the mosque stands on the birthplace of their god-king Rama, and was built after the destruction of a Hindu temple by a Muslim invader in the 16th century.
The dispute flared up in 1992 after a Hindu mob destroyed the mosque and nearly 2,000 were killed in rioting between Hindus and Muslims across the country.
Even as the Supreme Court Bench wanted the involved parties in the Babri-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit to resolve the matter in an out of court settlement, Hindu and Muslim groups called upon the apex court and the Government that the matter should not be allowed to linger on further.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) had called upon the court not to procrastinate the issue any further.
Speaking on behalf of AIMPLB, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali, Naib Imam of Lucknow said that "stalling the judgment at the behest of a third party when both main parties to the dispute eagerly await justice is inappropriate. The Board, therefore, hopes that its sentiments will be respected and heeded".
AISPLB president, Maulana Mirza Mohammmad Athar said that "hoping for an out of court settlement at the eleventh hour is too impractical a proposition. Both parties have already expressed their willingness to accept the verdict and move on to the next step, any bid to put the matter on hold hardly makes sense."
Hindu seers have also been against deferment of court's verdict.
In Haridwar, an outfit of seers had demanded the verdict on Ayodhya title suits should be pronounced at the earliest and said that it should not be deferred further.
The three-member bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising justices SU Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and DV Sharma today delivered a split verdict in 60-year old Ayodhya title suit.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday decided by majority that the site where a makeshift Ram Lalla temple exists is where Hindu god Ram was born, lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The Allahabad High court has dismissed the Wakf board's plea. There is no dispute on the fact of that it was Ram's birthplace. The Ayodhya land willbe divided into three parts
Earlier, the Supreme Court had deferred its ruling on the pronouncement of the Ayodhya verdict by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
The verdict on ownership of the religious site was to have come on Sept. 24 from the lower court in Uttar Pradesh, but the top court suspended that imminent verdict last week, responding to arguments that a chance should be given to reconciliation in the 60-year-old case.
The court also issued notice to all the parties to the title suit and asked Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati to be present in the court when the case is heard.
The ruling followed a petition by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chandra Tripathi seeking postponement of the high court verdict at least until the end of the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games. It sought the court's direction to the parties to explore possibilities of an out of court amicable settlement.
There was a divergence of views in the apex court bench of Justices R.V. Ravindran and H.L. Gokhale. According to the bench, while one member felt that the special leave petition be dismissed, another was of the view that notice be issued and the order stayed.
Under the convention, when one member of the bench favours the issuance of notice though the other member of the bench disagrees, notices are issued. Stating this, Justice Ravindran passed the order staying the pronouncement of the Ayodhya verdict by a week and issue of notice to all parties to the suit.
Lawyers of both sides in the case - Hindu and Muslim litigants - welcomed the Supreme Court decision, saying a verdict in the case could not be put off indefinitely as the chances of a reconciliation after years of litigation were slim.
"Right now there is no possibility. Any reconciliation will happen only after the ... judgement," Zafaryab Jilani, lawyer of the Sunni Central Board of Waqf, the Muslim litigants, said.
Tripathi's petition was turned down by the three-judge special bench of the Allahabad High Court last week. While two judges S.U. Khan and Sudhir Agrawal rejected the application, the third judge, Dharam Veer Sharma, allowed the plea, following which Tripathi chose to move the apex court.
The Allahabad High court will rule on Thursday whether Hindus or Muslims own land around a demolished mosque in Ayodhya, a judgement haunted by memories of 1992 riots that killed some 2,000 people.
Those riots were some of the country's worst religious violence since Partition in 1947 and a verdict on the case may spark more disturbances between India's majority Hindus and minority Muslims.
The verdict will add to the security worries of the government, which already has its hands full dealing with the preparations for the Commonwealth Games that are bedeviled by concerns over filthy accommodation and health and security.
"HC''s formula of one-third land is not acceptable to the Waqf Board and it will appeal against it in the apex court," he said. He said they were not going to surrender the land.
However, he said, the Sunni Board is open to any negotiated settlement on the issue if such a proposal for negotiations for a settlement came to it. "Talks can happen if a proposal comes," he said.
Jilani said the Board has time to appeal in the SC as status quo would be maintained for the next 90 days. "The Board will move the apex court after a meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
We are not in hurry as we have 90 days time to appeal as a matter of right," Jilani said. He said personally he did not agree with the findings of the three judges.
Jilani said the possibility of an amicable solution still exist provided there was a proposal to this effect. "This proposal would be tabeled before the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for consideration but we won''t accept any proposal to surrender," he said.
"The judgement pronounced in the case relating to Babri Masjid is not only partly disappointing but also against the settled principles of law and evidence adduced by the Muslim side," Jilani said. "However much cannot be said at this stage as we are yet to study the judgement in detail.
Still, we are of the firm view that no public resentment is required as the matter can be taken to the SC and there is no reason for any loss of hope in favour of the Mosque," he added.
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told editors last week that he wanted to lower the average age of his Cabinet members. India Real Time asked students on the ...
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Advani sees verdict key step towards Ram templePTI
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APBJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, L.K. Advani and Arun jaitley at a meeting to discuss the Ayodhya verdict, in New Delhi on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday welcomed the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya issue saying it was a "significant step" towards building a temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram and opened a new chapter for national integration.
"The Allahabad High Court verdict is a significant step towards building of a grand temple," top BJP leader L.K. Advani told reporters after a meeting of party core group.
He said the BJP believed that this verdict opens a new chapter for national integration and a new era on inter-community relations.
Mr. Advani said his party was "gratified" that the nation received the verdict with maturity.
He said the High Court judgement upholds the rights of the Hindus to construct a temple at the disputed site.
Mr. Advani did not take any questions on the matter and read out the party statement.
The meeting was attended by party chief Nitin Gadkari, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in the Upper House Arun Jaitely among others.
Keywords: Ayodhya verdict, BJP reaction, Ram temple, Advani
Ayodhya VerdictThe Hindu's comprehensive coverage on the long drawn legal battle on Babri Masjid-Ram Janma Bhoomi land dispute
SlideshowWaiting for the Ayodhya verdict
Security was stepped up across the country as the Allahabad High Court delivered the Ayodhya verdict. People of all communities came together to appeal for peace. Images from the streets of India.
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PM meets senior ministers after Ayodhya verdictEconomic Times - 38 minutes ago
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister began a meeting with senior ministers here on Thursday to discuss the implications of the verdict, which has gone in favour of a temple. P Chidambaram and finance minister are attending the meet, official sources said. ...
PM, senior ministers to review Ayodhya verdictHindustan Times - 3 hours ago
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will on Thursday discuss the implications of the Ayodhya verdict, which has gone in favour of a temple, at a high-level meeting, official sources said. The top-level meeting will discuss the implications of the verdict in ...
thin attendance in offices ahead of Ayodhya verdictEconomic Times - 9 hours ago
NEW DELHI: Attendance in a host of offices was thin in and around India's national capital with most managements declaring Thursday a half-day, ahead of the Ayodhya land dispute verdict. Some firms even declared a holiday. As a result, roads were less ...
|"We must remember the fact that the judgment, at this stage, is one step in the judicial process. The determination of the issues need not necessarily end with this judgment, unless it is accepted by all parties," the prime minister said. |
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PM appeals to all sections of people to maintain peace, calm and show respect ...All India Radio - 1 hour ago
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New Delhi, Sep 29: Chanting Gandhi mantra, Home Minister, P Chidambaram on Sep 29 urged country men to take the Ayodhya verdict sportively and maintain peace in the country. "Eshwar Alla tere naam, sab ko sanmati de bhagavan," chanted Chidambaram and ...
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Judgment will pave way for Ram temple, says Narendra ModiDaily News & Analysis - 52 minutes ago
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|"The judgment will work as a catalyst to maintain peace and unity in the country," Modi said reacting to the Ayodhya suit verdict delivered by Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court. |
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HC verdict has paved way for temple in Ayodhya: JoshiSenior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today said the Allahabad High Court''s verdict on the Ayodhya title suit has paved way for the construction of a "grand" Ram temple and everyone should come together for this cause. "Unless entire judgement is thoroughly read, no extensive comment can me made.
But whatever has come and been told, there is one thing that a way has been paved for construction of a grand Ram temple. The second thing is that the High Court has not accepted the Sunni Waqf Board''s submission," he told reporters when asked to comment on the verdict.
"So in view of the harmony, peace, goodwill and national unity of the country, it will be proper that everyone come together and support the construction of Ram temple there (in Ayodhya)," Joshi added. He said that acceptance of the verdict by everyone will be "a very strong reply to the enemies of India who want to divide it".
The BJP leader underlined that the judgement had paved a way for the construction of a Ram temple with active cooperation and contribution by "all parties and communities, that is by all Indians" and suggested that "everyone" should come together and find a way for construction of the temple. "This should not be taken as a sectarian approach.
It is a national monument to be constructed with the support and cooperation of all citizens.
For Ram temple, entire country should work together being one," he said. When asked if any appeal should be filed against the judgement, he said, "So many contestants are there in it (the case).
Appeal is their constitutional right if they want to go for it. But, my suggestion will be that a way should mutually be worked out for the construction of the temple.
" He said the judgement has given an opportunity to create a "grand reconciliation" and this "whole controversy" should come to an end. "And the major ratio of the judgement is that there was a Ram temple at this place and so it should be accept like that," he added.
When asked if he was happy with the verdict, Joshi said, "This is not a question of happiness or sorrow. It is the decision of justice.
It should be taken in that way only. And out of this, whatever good is there should be taken.
" Country should remain committed to unity, integrity, peace and harmony, he said. .
Hindu Mahasabha to challenge HC ruling on land divisionAkhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, one of the early litigants in the Ayodhya title suits, today said it would challenge the Allahabad High Court order to divide the "Ramjanambhoomi" land in three parts. "We have decided to challenge the decision to divide the Ramjanambhoomi land in three parts", said state president of ABHM Kamlesh Tiwari.
"Our fight for the Ramjanmbhoomi was acknowledged by the entire bench unanimously", he said. He said the legal battle was initiated by Mahasabha president of Faizabad Gopal Singh Visharad in Janauary 16, 1950.
Ram Janmbhoomi Trust welcomes HC verdict on Ayodhya issue
Chairman of Sri Ram Janmbhoomi Trust, Nritya Gopal Das today welcomed the Allahabad High Court''s verdict on the Ayodhya title suit, but said they would challenge the decision to provide one third of the disputed land to Sunni Central Waqf Board, in the Supreme Court. "We welcome the verdict, but will challenge the decision to give one third land to the Sunni Central Waqf Board in the apex court," Das said reacting to the verdict on the issue.
He said he was not able to understand why one-third land was given to the board. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court today ruled by a majority verdict that the disputed land in Ayodhya be divided equally into three parts among Hindus and Muslims and that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to Hindus.
Das said the Hindus should not get overexcited as the verdict will finally be challenged in the Supreme Court. "We are ready for an amicable solution of the issue," he, however, said.
One of the litigants in the case, Hasim Ansari, also welcomed the verdict. Ansari said he had no objection to construction of the temple.
A mosque would be constructed on the land given to the Sunni Central Waqf Board, he added.
Verdict should end Ayodhya dispute: Balasaheb ThackerayShiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray today said the Allahabad High Court judgement on Ayodhya title suits should put an end to the decades-old dispute. "The Ayodhya issue was hanging fire for decades.
Let us hope that today''s verdict would put an end to it," he said. The Allahabad High Court today ruled by a majority verdict that the disputed land in Ayodhya be divided equally into three parts among Hindus and Muslims and that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to Hindus.
There may be questions on the nature of the verdict: CPI(M)
CPI(M) today said the judgement on Ayodhya title suit required to be fully studied as there may be questions on the nature of the verdict and maintained that recourse to Supreme Court should be the only way to resolve the matter. "This judgement requires to be fully studied.
There may be questions on the nature of the verdict," the CPI(M) said in a statement. "The CPI(M) maintains that in our constitutional secular democratic system the judicial process which includes recourse to the Supreme Court should be the only way to resolve the issue," it said.
The party also appealed to the people of the country to maintain peace and communal harmony and not to fall prey to any provocations.
Reel Ram awaits ''final'' judgement in Ayodhya case
The person who enlivened Lord Ram''s character on small screen, Arun Govil, feels a final decision in the Ram Janmbhoomi and Babri Masjid should be awaited and adhered to by all the parties. "It is difficult to comment on the issue as of now as one party seems to be going to Supreme Court.
But one thing is there; once the case is decided by Supreme Court, all parties should move forward accordingly," Govil told PTI. Govil who played Lord Ram in the traffic-stopper TV serial Ramayan in late 1980s, refused to take any stand on the issue saying making any concluding comments on the complex issue will be far-fetched. The actor who became hugely popular by playing the role of Ram said the decision needs to be studied before making any comment.
22 Uttar Pradesh areas under air surveillance
At least 22 places in Uttar Pradesh have been put under air surveillance with effect from Thursday morning, hours ahead of the much awaited Ayodhya verdict by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
'The sensitive areas have been divided into three air zones - to be controlled from Lucknow, Varanasi and Meerut, where the state government has posted its own helicopters to remain in readiness,' a top government official said.
'Ayodhya would be covered from Lucknow, but another chopper is in place in Faizabad itself to maintain constant vigil on air.'
Similar surveillance is being maintained over Varanasi and Mathura, known for their contentious shrines - the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque and Krishna Janmabhoomi-Eidgah respectively.
Besides the state's own choppers, some private helicopters have been kept on standby to meet any requirement for quick transfer of police force from one area to another.
Police motor boats are patrolling the Saryu river in Ayodhya to keep a watch on any unwanted movement in the waters around the temple town.
Likewise, a set of motorboats with cops have been pressed into service in the Ganga at Varanasi as also the Yamuna river in Mathura.
The Ayodhya title suits are contested by Hindu and Muslim groups.
Amicable agreement on dispute needed: Ayodhya residents
Ayodhya, Sep 30 (IANS) An amicable agreement should be reached over the land dispute in Ayodhya, residents of this Uttar Pradesh city said Thursday, a day when the Allahabad High Court is to deliver its judgment on the long pending Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi dispute.
'The judgment is necessary as it would mark the end of a judicial process. But peace and communal harmony can only prevail when Hindus and Muslims reach an amicable settlement,' Ashwini Singh, a retired teacher, told IANS.
'The best way to resolve the dispute would be reconciliation. The central and the state governments must rope in Hindu and Muslim clerics to undertake an initiative for the amicable settlement of the dispute.
'Most importantly, such an exercise must not take place inside closed rooms in Delhi or Lucknow, but in front of Ayodhya residents who have been worst-hit by the dispute,' he said.
N.A. Imamuddin, who owns a mobile phone shop, echoed similar sentiments.
'The best thing about the judgment will be that the common man will be able to know about the technical and other aspects of the sensitive case that has become a national issue,' he said.
'But we also know that there are all chances that the case will reach the Supreme Court after the high court's verdict. With it will start another round of legal battle, which may also take years to reach a conclusion.
'Hindus and Muslims (should) now try for an amicable settlement. It would not only end the uncertainty of the case, but would even go a long way in fostering Hindu-Muslim relations,' he added.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court is to give its verdict on the dispute at 3.30 p.m. Thursday.
The suit relates to a disputed site in Ayodhya, which Hindu groups claim to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. On Dec 6, 1992, radical Hindu activists destroyed the Babri Masjid, alleging it was built in 1528 after razing a temple there.
The demolition had triggered one of the worst communal riots, resulting in the death of 2,000 people in different states.
Vijay Lakshmi Mishra, a postgraduate student of the Saket Degree College here, said: 'We know that the case is about the ownership of the land. The court may transfer the ownership to either the Hindus or the Muslims.'
'But will it provide a solution to an age-old old issue which has sentiments of members of both the communities attached to it?' he asked.
Shadab Hussain, who runs a computer training institute, said: 'To maintain law and order, even the police will have to solicit support from both the communities. Considering all this, we must start thinking towards reconciliation.'
Mukesh tops Forbes list of India''s richest
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped Forbes magazine's list of the 100 richest Indians for the third year in-a-row, pipping billionaires like L N Mittal and Azim Premji with a net worth of USD 27 billion.
As per the Forbes research study, the combined net worth of India's 100 richest people rose to USD 300 billion this year from $276 billion last year, driven by the country''s booming economy and a rally in the stock market.
According to the Forbes India Rich List, there are 69 billionaires this year, compared to 52 last year.
Ambani was followed by the steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who retained his second position in the list with a net worth of $26.1 billion.
However, the wealth of both of these billionaires is believed to have slipped by 15 per cent from the previous amount.
Mukesh's younger sibling Anil Ambani lost the third spot on the list to IT major Wipro and fell to sixth rank.
Premji's wealth has increased to $17.6 billion from $14.9 billion last year, taking him to the third spot from the fourth place last year.
Fourth on the list was Essar Energy brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia with a net worth of $15 billion, bolstered by the company's IPO in London, which raised $1.85 billion.
"Happiest moment of my life" : Uma Bharti on Ayodhya verdict
Former BJP leader Uma Bharti today termed the Allahabad High Court''s verdict on Ayodhya title suits as the happiest moment of her life, saying it has proved that Lord Ram was born at that particular site in the temple town. "This (Ayodhya verdict) is the happiest moment of my life as the High Court has put its seal of approval on a matter of faith which was a fact for us that Ram Lalla was born at that particular site," Bharti told reporters at her residence soon after the court verdict.
"Now, Advaniji and VHP who headed the Ram Janamabhoomi movement should initiate a dialogue with Muslims to arrive at a consensus on building a grand Ram Temple at the birthplace of Lord Ram," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said. Ram arrived on this earth nearly nine lakh years ago while Babar came here just 500 years ago and this decision has established Lord Ram as the national figure, she added.
On the court verdict that the place be divided into three parts, Bharti said that since she has not seen the judgement, it would not be proper on her part to comment on it. To a question on her re-entry into the BJP, Bharti said she would soon call the press for it.
VHP activists hold procession
Bhiwani (Haryana), Sep 30 (PTI) As the Allahabad High Court today pronounced its verdict in the Ayodhya title suit, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) alongwith some other Hindu organisations took out a procession in the city. The activists gathered here and took out a procession through main markets and circular road, holding saffron flags and chanting slogans.
Local BJP unit vice-president Narender Sharma said "the high court has done justice".
Will deport migrants if elected, says GadkariBJP president Nitin Gadkari has two definite promises for the people of Assam if elected to power — free supply of foodgrains for the poor and deportation of Bangladeshi nationals.
Addressing a public meeting at Nagaon in Assam on Thursday along with Varun Gandhi and other leaders, Gadkari said Bangladeshi infiltrators would be sent back "honourably" once the BJP is elected. The state goes to the polls in 2011. "The BJP does not practise vote-back politics. Ours is politics of development. The BJP-led NDA is coming back to power at the Centre in 2014, and top priorities will be free ration to the poor and keeping prices under control," Gadkari said.
Gadkari held the Congress responsible for all the problems facing the country and said wrong economic policies and bad governance had created chaos.
He said the Centre refused to budge even after the SC asked it to give foodgrains to poor. "But this government won't listen. It will let foodgrains rot but won't give to people even if they starve," Gadkari said.
Govt extends ban on bulk SMSes till tomorrowThe government today extended the ban on bulk SMSes and MMSes till tomorrow in view of the Ayodhya verdict on title suit. "We have decided to extend the ban by a day in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs in the wake of the Ayodhya verdict, which is to be pronounced today," a senior DoT official told PTI. The government is apprehensive that some extreme elements may foment trouble by inciting communal passions during the period and is taking all measures to check any untoward incidents.
"The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has today issued orders in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs to all Mobile Telecom Service Providers in the country that all bulk SMS and all bulk MMS messages shall remain banned in all service areas till September 30," the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology had said earlier in a statement. Home Minister P Chidambaram had recently appealed for peace and caution against rushing to any inappropriate conclusion over the matter.
Corporates give cold shoulder to CWGBidya Sapam & Vijaya Rathore New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) With less than three days remaining for the Commonwealth Games to kick start, it has not been able to generate enough interest from corporates, who are being driven by the negativism around the mega sporting event. While most of the companies, including LG Electronics India and Godrej, have decided to give the event a cold shoulder, others like Hero Honda, Tata Motors and Coca Cola are sponsoring the CWG, being held from October 3-14, in kind. "With all the bad name associated with the event, we will not feel we have missed an opportunity even if the CWG proves to be a success," L G Electronics India National Sales head Amitabh Tiwari told PTI. He said the company did not plan for the CWG and will not make any last minute changes, adding the organisers of the event should have approached all the corporate houses, who are major spenders on sports to make it successful. Stating that the group is not interested in the CWG, Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej said: "We are not looking at any sort of association with the games." He said no one has approached the group for sponsorship, advertising or any other kind of association and "even we are not interested". Commenting on the general lack of enthusiasm among the corporate houses, Madison World Chairman Sam
Balsara said: "The interest among corporates is very low as except for the opening ceremony and a few key events, the games are unlikely to generate any substantial viewership." He, however, said companies should look at associating with the CWG for patriotic reasons. "We are trying to persuade our clients to have a re-look at it," Balsara said. The CWG has failed to lure private players and has been banking on public sectors enterprises like Railways, NTPC, Central Bank of India and Air India, who are the sponsors. Only three notable private players are associated with the event. While Hero Honda is the official motorcycle partner, Tata Motors is providing over 1,809 vehicles to be used during the Games. Coca Cola on the other hand is the official beverages partner. Doordarshan, the official broadcaster of the event has also been struggling to rope in advertisers. It has already revised downwards its ad revenue from the event to Rs 100 crore from initially planned Rs 200 crore. In order to give a filip, the government had asked public sector oil companies to book ad spots worth Rs 10 crore on DD''s national and regional channels.
Industry appeals for peace and harmony after Ayodhaya rulingAppealing to all sections of the society for peace following a court verdict the sensitive Ayodhaya issue, industry today cautioned that any disturbance would jeopardise the country''s economic growth. "We appeal to all sections of society and people of all religious persuasion to maintain calm and continue with their active professional lives," FICCI President Rajan Bharti Mittal said.
He cautioned that any wide scale disturbance would jeopardise efforts to economic growth, poverty eradication and calibrated globalisation. Mittal expressed confidence that "all communities in a democratic and pluralistic polity of India would maintain peace and harmony".
Reacting on the verdict, Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said the court decision is a "win-win" for all the parties concerned. While the legal possibilities are open to all, Rawat expressed confidence that no anti-national elements would disrupt peace and communal harmony.
The Allahabad High Court ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya be divided equally into three parts among the Hindus and Muslims and that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to the Hindus. Peace and stability would be imperative for the Indian economy which is growing close to nine per cent.
CII too hopes that peace and order would be maintained and no disruptions would be caused to normal life and business would continue uninterupted.
Ahmediyya Muslim community expresses satisfaction over verdictQadian (Gurdaspur), Sep 30 (PTI) The Ahmediyya Muslim community today expressed satisfaction over the Allahabad High Court verdict and appealed to the people of all regions to maintain communal amity and harmony. Senior Ahmediyya Muslim leader and spokesman of the community, Mohammad Aseem Khan, said even if Muslims have any objection, they can approach the Supreme court but nobody should get emotional and vitiate peace and harmony in the country.
Khan, however, said it was too early to make a sweeping statement on the verdict and one could only say anything after studying the documents. Senior Ahmediyya leader Tanvir Ahmed said all the parties concerned should have faith in the law and help the government and police in maintaining law and order in the country, besides promoting the Hindu-Muslim harmony.
CRITIQUE OF CAPITALISMTHE TWENTIETH CENTURY was dominated by two opposing ideologies: communism and capitalism. Communism collapsed, as practised in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. What is left in China is not communism: it is an authoritarian state with a capitalist economy. So capitalism seems to rule the world. It claims to be the only system capable of solving the world's problems. Mrs.Thatcher, one of the great apostles of capitalism, claimed, "There is no alternative."
In his radical and controversial article, Sir John Whitmore questions that claim. He shows that not only is capitalism incapable of solving the problems of humanity, but in fact hunger, pollution, the breakdown of social fabric, human unhappiness and many other problems are caused by capitalism. In his view there is no such thing as good capitalism or compassionate capitalism or capitalism with a human face. Without beating about the bush he states that capitalism is bad, bad, bad! Sir John comes from a capitalist background, and is a coach for many business leaders. So we need to pay attention to what he says.
All past efforts towards a free-market economy, world trade, globalisation, industrialisation, the pursuit of high living standards, unlimited economic growth and every other form of capitalist endeavour have benefited only a small minority; the big players. As far as the vast majority of people around the world are concerned, capitalism has brought loss of livelihood and destruction of their environment. The promise of happiness and high living standards for all is a distant mirage, a mere promise for tomorrow.
Even where money and material goods are plentiful, selfishness, greed, competition, crime, violence and frustration prevail. Capitalist societies are left with increasing rates of cancer, obesity, depression and stress.
Capitalism has failed in human terms. But even more drastically capitalism has failed in terms of the natural environment. Capitalism is rapidly destroying soil fertility, biodiversity and the atmosphere. So capitalism founded on the ideology of unlimited economic growth and industrialised mass production is not only unsustainable - it is blatantly harmful.
Many of our readers may not agree with this position. But we at Resurgence think that this is an important area for debate. We would welcome letters from our readers on this subject.
It would be good to take Sir John's arguments further and develop a coherent alternative. In the age of ecology even socialism is not enough. It too is anthropocentric and eco-destructive, and it too advocates industrial mass production. It offers an economic system of the old paradigm. Now, if neither socialism nor communism nor capitalism, then what? We need a new system for the age of ecology, a system which is embedded in the care of all people and also in the care of the Earth and all life upon it. We need a system which replaces our capitalist worldview with a naturalist worldview, and which shifts our society from capitalism to 'naturalism'.
The speech by the Prince of Wales to the Institute of Chartered Accountants also touches on this theme. Accounting must concern itself with more than the bottom line. Counting money is not enough. Money is not wealth: it is only a measure of wealth; the real wealth is people, communities, cultures, land, forests and rivers. Accountants therefore need to take all these elements into account. The bottom line has to include social and natural as well as financial loss and gain. What kind of future would it be if we had plenty of money but a planet denuded of beauty and wild?
Once again we offer our readers a rich collection of essays - Happy Christmas.
Satish Kumar is President of Schumacher UK, Editor of Resurgence and Director of Programmes at Schumacher College.
Capitalism and the Environment
by Paul M. Sweezy
|* Home Subscribe Notes From|
the Editors Farewell, Comrade Paul
by Harry Magdoff The Commitment of an Intellectual: Paul M. Sweezy (1910-2004)
by John Bellamy Foster Paul M. Sweezy
by Michael A. Lebowitz Why Stagnation?
by Paul M. Sweezy Monopoly Capitalism
by Paul M. Sweezy Capitalism and the Environment
by Paul M. Sweezy
| This is a slightly modified version of a paper prepared for the roundtable "Socialism in the World" held at Cavtat, Yugoslavia, in October 1988. It first appeared in the June 1989 issue of Monthly Review.|
It is obvious that humankind has arrived at a crucial turning point in its long history. Nuclear war could terminate the whole human enterprise. But even if this catastrophic ending can be avoided, it is by no means certain that the essential conditions for the survival and development of civilized society as we know it today will continue to exist.
We live in and from a material environment consisting of land, water, and air which, historically, has always been considered to be and treated as infinitely durable and usable. This does not mean indestructible. History records many instances of the destruction (i.e., rendering unusable for human purposes) of parts of the environment by either natural processes or human agency.* As far as the natural processes are concerned, they have been operating since long before there was human life and will presumably continue to operate long after, and there is no reason to assume any unusual change in the foreseeable future.
When it comes to destruction by human agency, however, things are different. Small-scale destruction of parts of the environment have occurred throughout history, and on occasion the scale has grown to quite impressive proportions (e.g., through desertification). But even the largest of these destructive processes have remained small compared to the size of the environment as a whole. Tribes or even more complex societies have been wiped out or forced to move to new locations, but these were always local, not global, disasters. And throughout the ages—in fact, right up to the time of people now alive—it was always taken for granted that this would continue to be the case. The reason was a belief, perhaps rarely thought through or articulated, that the means possessed by human beings were too puny to be a threat to the sheer magnitude and recuperative powers inherent in the environment.
All this began to change with the explosion of the first A-bomb in August 1944. At first the new bomb was perceived as essentially an improvement on already existing weapons, but an interrelated chain of events gradually led to a radical alteration of people's consciousness. The Soviets got the bomb much sooner than had been expected, thus shattering the notion that the new force could somehow be monopolized and controlled. Then came the H-bomb with its vastly greater destructive potential; and this in turn was followed by the escalating arms race between the superpowers which, despite much talk and a few largely symbolic treaties, continues to this day. It is now commonplace that each superpower has the capability to wipe out its rival several times over, and ongoing research into the consequences of all-out nuclear war has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that the catastrophe could not be confined to the belligerents but would inexorably spread, in such ghastly forms as radioactive poisoning and nuclear winter, to the entire globe. Thus in the incredibly short time of less than half a century, humankind has gone from blissful confidence in the security of its habitat to the certainty that its own survival, as well as the capacity of its natural environment to sustain life as we have known it, could be cut short in an instantaneous paroxysm of nuclear violence.
The full implications of this unprecedented change in human consciousness will obviously not become clear for a long time to come. But it is already evident that sensitivity to threats to the human habitat has spread rapidly from its origins in the overwhelming destructive power of nuclear weapons to encompass a variety of ecological processes and trends, most of which have been known and even studied for a century or more, but which have been increasingly seen in a new light since the beginning of the nuclear age.* Once you know for certain that human agency can render the planet unfit for human habitation, you can hardly help asking whether nuclear weapons are the only possible source of such a catastrophe. Viewed from this angle, much that used to be regarded as merely the unavoidable negative side of progress is now seen to be part of a looming threat to the continuation of life on earth. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental change in perception and truly astonishing to reflect on how rapidly it has come about.
Within the framework of this perception, there are of course different positions. At one extreme are those who believe the danger is much exaggerated—perhaps a reflection of the pessimistic spirit of the time, itself largely a product of the nuclear scare. Let the nuclear arms race be brought under control, which now seems increasingly possible, and environmental deterioration will be seen in its true dimensions, not as a prelude to doomsday but as a series of problems that have been created by human agency and can be dealt with in the same way. At the other extreme are those who argue that things have really gotten much worse in the last half century and that we are now close enough to the point of no return to warrant the most gloomy forebodings.
The way the arguments pro and con are presented, these two positions often appear to be polar opposites. But this is an illusion: They actually have a common basis in the belief that if present trends continue to operate, it is only a matter of time until the human species irredeemably fouls its own nest.
Against this background it seems clear that everyone who shares the belief in the fatal implications of current trends has a moral obligation on the one hand to try to understand the processes that underlie these trends, and on the other to draw appropriate conclusions about what has to be done to reverse them before it is too late.
The Processes of Environmental Deterioration
There is a vast literature on this subject, much of it of high quality, and this is obviously not the place to try to describe or summarize it. For present purposes, it is enough to point out that by far the largest part of the problem has its origin in the functioning of the world's economy as it has developed in the last three or four centuries. This of course has been the period of the emergence of capitalism and of the bourgeois and industrial revolutions, of coal and steam and railroads, of steel and electricity and chemicals, of petroleum and the automobile, of mechanized and chemicalized agriculture—and of the rapid expansion and urbanization of the world's population in response to the massive growth of the forces of production at the disposal of humankind. All of these developments and others directly and indirectly related to them have involved putting growing pressure on the earth's resources, introducing new methods and substances into the processes of producing, using, and disposing of the worn-out remains of the things people, groups, and societies require for their reproduction and expansion. Perhaps there have been cases where these activities were planned and carried out with a view to respecting and preserving the natural cycles which over the ages have permitted living creatures, including human beings, to adjust to, and achieve a rough equilibrium with, their environment. But if there have been such cases, they have been so few and far between as to have left little if any trace in the historic record. The new departures that have combined to revolutionize the human economy have always originated with individuals or, relative to the whole, small groups in the expectation of achieving specific benefits for themselves. The indirect effects on the environment did not concern them; or, if they thought about it at all, they took for granted that whatever adverse effects their actions might have would be easily absorbed or compensated for by nature's seemingly limitless resilience.
We now know that such ways of thinking about the processes in question were and are delusory. Activities damaging to the environment may be relatively harmless when introduced on a small scale; but when they come into general use and spread from their points of origin to permeate whole economies on a global scale, the problem is radically transformed. This is precisely what has happened in case after case, especially in the half century following the Second World War, and the cumulative result is what has become generally perceived as the environmental crisis.
The major elements of this crisis are well known and require no elaboration here: the greenhouse effect stemming from the massive combustion of fossil fuels, combined with the accelerating destruction of carbon dioxide-absorbing tropical forests; acid rain which destroys lakes and forests and other forms of vegetation, also caused by fossil-fuel combustion; the weakening of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that protects human beings and other forms of life from the sun's potentially deadly ultraviolet rays; destruction of top soils and expansion of deserts by predatory agricultural methods; fouling of land and surface waters through industrial dumping and excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides; mounting pollution of the oceans once thought to be an infinite repository of all kinds of wastes but now, in what has become one of the most visible aspects of the environmental crisis, seen to be fragile and vulnerable like all the rest.
This list is of course far from complete and hardly more than hints at the far-reaching and often subtle interconnections of the various components of the environmental crisis.* But it is enough to indicate the general nature of the crisis as a radical (and growing) disjunction between on the one hand the demands placed on the environment by the modern global economy, and on the other the capacity of the natural forces embedded in the environment to meet these demands.
What Has to Be Done?
Since there is no way to increase the capacity of the environment to bear the burdens placed on it, it follows that the adjustment must come entirely from the other side of the equation. And since the disequilibrium has already reached dangerous proportions, it also follows that what is essential for success is a reversal, not merely a slowing down, of the underlying trends of the last few centuries.
We have seen that at the heart of these trends is an economic system driven by the energy and inventiveness of entities—individuals, partnerships, in the last hundred years corporations—out to advance their own economic interests with little thought and less concern for the effects on either society as a whole or the natural environment which it draws on for the essentials of its existence. Already a century and a half ago Marx and Engels, in a memorable passage from the Communist Manifesto, paid a remarkable tribute to the energy and achievements of the then young capitalist mode of production:
The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of nature's forces to man's machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a presentiment that such forces slumbered in the lap of social labor?
Actually, when this was written in 1847 the rule of the bourgeoisie extended to only a small part of the earth's surface, and the new sciences and technologies harnessing the forces of nature to human purposes were still in their infancy. Since then capitalism has spread to become a truly global system, and the development and application of science and technology to industry and agriculture have progressed beyond anyone's wildest dreams a hundred and fifty years ago. Despite all the dramatic changes, however, the system remains in essence what it was at its birth, a juggernaut driven by the concentrated energy of individuals and small groups single-mindedly pursuing their own interests, checked only by their mutual competition, and controlled in the short run by the impersonal forces of the market and in the longer run, when the market fails, by devastating crises. Implicit in the very concept of this system are interlocked and enormously powerful drives to both creation and destruction. On the plus side, the creative drive relates to what humankind can get out of nature for its own uses; on the negative side, the destructive drive bears most heavily on nature's capacity to respond to the demands placed on it.*
Sooner or later, of course, these two drives are contradictory and incompatible. And since, as argued above, the adjustment must come from the side of the demands imposed on nature rather than from the side of nature's capacity to respond to these demands, we have to ask whether there is anything about capitalism as it has developed over recent centuries to cause us to believe that the system could curb its destructive drive and at the same time transform its creative drive into a benign environmental force.
The answer, unfortunately, is that there is absolutely nothing in the historic record to encourage such a belief. The purpose of capitalist enterprise has always been to maximize profit, never to serve social ends. Mainstream economic theory since Adam Smith has insisted that by directly maximizing profit the capitalist (or entrepreneur) is indirectly serving the community. All the capitalists together, maximizing their individual profits, produce what the community needs while keeping each other in check by their mutual competition. All this is true, but it is far from being the whole story. Capitalists do not confine their activities to producing the food, clothing, shelter, and amenities society needs for its existence and reproduction. In their single-minded pursuit of profit, in which none can refuse to join on pain of elimination, capitalists are driven to accumulate ever more capital, and this becomes both their subjective goal and the motor force of the entire economic system.
It is this obsession with capital accumulation that distinguishes capitalism from the simple system for satisfying human needs it is portrayed as in mainstream economic theory. And a system driven by capital accumulation is one that never stands still, one that is forever changing, adopting new and discarding old methods of production and distribution, opening up new territories, subjecting to its purposes societies too weak to protect themselves. Caught up in this process of restless innovation and expansion, the system rides roughshod over even its own beneficiaries if they get in its way or fall by the roadside. As far as the natural environment is concerned, capitalism perceives it not as something to be cherished and enjoyed but as a means to the paramount ends of profit-making and still more capital accumulation.
Such is the inner nature, the essential drive of the economic system that has generated the present environmental crisis. Naturally it does not operate without opposition. Efforts have always been made to curb its excesses, not only by its victims but also in extreme cases by its more far-sighted leaders. Marx, in Capital, wrote feelingly about nineteenth-century movements for factory legislation and the ten-hours bill, describing the latter as a great victory for the political economy of the working class. And during the present century conservation movements have emerged in all the leading capitalist countries and have succeeded in imposing certain limits on the more destructive depredations of uncontrolled capital. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that without constraints of this kind arising within the system, capitalism by now would have destroyed both its environment and itself.
Not surprisingly, such constraints, while sometimes interfering with the operations of individual capitalists, never go so far as to threaten the system as a whole. Long before that point is reached, the capitalist class, including the state which it controls, mobilizes its defenses to repulse environmental-protection measures perceived as dangerously extreme. Thus despite the development of a growing environmental consciousness and the movements to which it has given rise in the last century, the environmental crisis continues to deepen. There is nothing in the record or on the horizon that could lead us to believe the situation will significantly change in the foreseeable future.
If this conclusion is accepted—and it is hard to see how anyone who has studied the history of our time can refuse, at the very least, to take it seriously—it follows that what has to be done to resolve the environmental crisis, hence also to insure that humanity has a future, is to replace capitalism with a social order based on an economy devoted not to maximizing private profit and accumulating ever more capital but rather to meeting real human needs and restoring the environment to a sustainably healthy condition.
This, in a nutshell, is the meaning of revolutionary change today. Lesser measures of reform, no matter how desirable in themselves, could at best slow down the fatal process of decline and fall that is already so far advanced.
Is the position taken here in effect a restatement of the traditional Marxist case for a socialist revolution? Yes, but with one crucial proviso: The socialism to be achieved must be conceived, as Marx and Engels always conceived it, as the quintessential negation of capitalism—not as a society that eliminates the most objectionable features of capitalism such as gross inequality of income, mass unemployment, cyclical depressions, financial panics, and so on. It is capitalism itself, with its in-built attitude toward human beings and nature alike as means to an alien end that must be rooted out and replaced. Humanity, having learned to perform miracles of production, must at last learn to use its miraculous powers not to degrade itself and destroy its home but to make the world a better place to live in for itself and its progeny for millennia to come.
One final note. We call the society with these revolutionary aims socialism. But it certainly will not and cannot be anyone's utopia. No doubt it will do many things badly, at least for a long time, probably worse than capitalism. The relevant questions are different: whether it has once and for all stopped emulating capitalism, set itself the right goals, and is genuinely striving to achieve them. If and when these questions can be answered in the affirmative, we shall be on the road to salvation.
*The distinction should not be drawn too sharply: Many environmental changes are the combined result of both natural processes and human agency. But there are some like the great geological transformations in which human agency plays no part, and others like the effects of deforestation caused by overcutting for which human agency can be considered solely responsible.
*The connection between environmental concerns and the opening of the nuclear age was well expressed by Barry Commoner, one of the pioneers of a genuinely scientific approach to ecological problems, when he wrote in his pathbreaking work, The Closing Circle (1971): "I learned about the environment from the United States Atomic Energy Commission in 1953. Until then, like most people, I had taken the air, water, soil, and our natural surroundings more or less for granted....In 1946 the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was created to take charge of a massive U.S. program to develop the military, scientific, and industrial potential of atomic and nuclear energy. By 1951 the United States had exploded sixteen test bombs and the Soviet Union thirteen, and the following year Great Britain joined in with its first test." (pp. 49–50)
* For a sophisticated analysis stressing the element of interconnectedness, see the above-cited work of Barry Commoner, The Closing Circle.
* A more comprehensive analysis would have to deal with the creative/destructive drives of "really existing socialism." For the most part, however, the countries in question have felt obliged to emulate, and in the process try to catch up with, the more developed leading capitalist countries. Under these circumstances, the impact of "really existing socialism" on the environment has been hardly distinguishable from that of capitalism. Whether a society of this type in a different global context—one in which it felt secure and able to pursue its own goals free of outside pressure—would have a qualitatively different impact on the environment, is an interesting question but one that lies outside the scope of this essay.
Contradictions of capitalism October 2010By: Sunil Bastian
Even as Sri Lanka's smallholder agriculture dies a slow death, schemes to save the rural economy are only coming from urban intellectuals.
Since the end of the war in May 2009, there has been a lot of talk about 'reconciliation and development' in Sri Lanka. Though this is a slogan promoted primarily by the government, many, including the business sector and civil society, have welcomed such rhetoric. This has been buttressed by the support of some donor agencies, whose main agenda has been the promotion of a capitalist economy. There is no doubt that the defeat of the LTTE has created an environment more conducive for positive expectations in the country, nor should one underestimate the importance of this development. After all, it is far better to be in an environment in which politics, rather than the clash of arms, dominates. However, the question remains as to whether Sri Lanka will make use of this opportunity to develop a more just society, or merely to move in a direction that consolidates the structures of social exclusion.
As history has shown, capitalism can indeed lead to development in societies that ensure economic growth, equity and personal freedom. But this comes about through interventions of human agency, and there are no 'laws' of the market, or inevitable historical processes, that can ensure such an evolution. Far from the suggestions of some, capitalism is not a model of development promoted through a Western 'conspiracy', but rather is the product of a historical process characterised by social struggle. In some parts of the world, these social struggles have been more successful in developing a capitalism that ensures basic rights and entitlements for the masses. In other places, these struggles have been less successful. These differences are seen even developed capitalist countries. Despite the fact that the US is still the largest economy in the world and is the only superpower, it remains unable to ensure health-care facilities for all of its citizens. In Europe, on the other hand, the right to universal health care has been taken for granted for generations.
Given this contradictory character of capitalism, one of the major tasks that face progressive political forces in Sri Lanka today is to identify and tackle the major social contradictions generated by more than three decades of liberal economic policies. These interventions have to be at the local as well as global level. It now appears certain that the stability created by the end of the war is bound to intensify the capitalist relations in the country's economy, and unless specific targeted policies are put in place, the social contradictions are bound to intensify.
There is enough data available today to show that inequality has increased in Sri Lanka since the liberalisation of the country's economy in the late 1970s. Absence of equity is seen in terms of both social and geographic distinctions, yet an analysis of inequality through macro-level statistics does not tell the whole story. In fact, this inequality has repercussions in all aspects of Sri Lankan society, allowing the elite classes to largely control society. Lack of egalitarianism also goes against a set of ideas that has defined post-colonial Sri Lanka; fighting against various forms of inequality has been the hallmark of national politics from the time of Independence, and has been a critical aspect of the country's national discourse. For example, breaking the power of the Westernised English-educated colonial bourgeoisie who inherited power from the colonial masters has been a main characteristic of Sri Lankan post-colonial politics. Of course, a Sinhala-speaking indigenous elite has replaced them. But there is an ethos of struggling against inequality in Sri Lankan politics. Therefore, if the trends against this social ethos become accentuated, there can be a political backlash.
In many societies, capitalism can break the power of classes that dominate in a feudal set-up. It can undermine the advantages some groups have due to factors such as caste, ethnicity, gender, schooling or access to political patronage. But this will not happen effortlessly, and thus there is a need for conscious social action in the context of developing capitalism. Mainstream discourse believes that inequality can be tackled by ensuring access to markets, but this alone is insufficient. People need assets to benefit in a market economy, while they must also build the ability to influence the political processes and ensure security.
For instance, in Sri Lanka the spread of education has been a main channel of social mobility in the past. It has been a factor in equalising opportunities, and the means through which the power of the English-educated colonial bourgeoisie was broken during the post-colonial period. Since liberalisation of the economy this mechanism is not working in the same way as in the past. The state education system, in which the bulk of the Sri Lankan population is educated, is unable to train young people to benefit from the opportunities of a market economy. This does not affect the better-off, who depend on markets to provide education for their children. These sections are no longer confined to the old English-educated elite. The post-1977 economic liberalisation has widened the social composition of the elite, meaning that a large percentage today come from Sinhala-speaking background, who are also today able to offer a better education to their children by making use of the market. Thus, while the situation was more egalitarian in the past, since liberalisation it has become far less so.
The policy debate on education does not tackle these fundamental issues. It is pre-occupied with problems faced by the elite. One can compare the recent public discussion on entry to the small number of elite schools – problems that concerns the middle-class elite – with that of the failure rate at the 'O'-level examination, which is a question that concerns the entire state education system. The former has been given far more energy than the latter, including the time of the Supreme Court. In this way, much of the mainstream education debate focuses on the interests of the growing middle class.
A principal reason for growing inequality in Sri Lanka has been the impact of markets in rural areas since the liberalisation of the economy. In particular, this has made smallholder agriculture less viable. This reflects a failure of a set of ideas that began even before Independence. Supporting smallholder peasantry, by providing them with state-owned lands, subsidies and state support in prices, has a long history, which also had strong support from mythologies developed by Sinhalese nationalists. Sinhalese nationalism always refers to a glorious past in which the country was self-sufficient in terms of rice, which was produced by small farmers living in idyllic villages. Often, they would hope to replicate this in modern Sri Lanka. In the past, these ideas, together with dominant policy discourses, have kept up state support for the smallholder peasantry. Today, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the state to provide land for the small farmers. There is also demand for land from other interest groups, such as the business sector and other infrastructure projects that are needed for expansion of capitalism. State subsidies in the production process have been reduced, and the state is thus no longer able to purchase rice from farmers and ensure an adequate return.
Those with a fervent belief in the markets propose that the solution to such a situation is to ensure the more efficient operation of land markets. They believe that this will push those who cannot earn a living from land to other occupations, leaving the land to those who can profit from it. Yet such 'rational choice' arguments neglect the relationship between land and society in Sri Lanka, and it is absurd to trot out such dogmatic views in a country where land has been an underlying factor for social and political conflict.
The answer to these contradictions is also not to try to maintain smallholder agriculture through various types of support, which is the position of certain forms of rural populism. Sri Lanka has many schemes developed by urban intellectuals who continue to romanticise smallholder agriculture. For example, there are many projects trying to promote crops that have no markets or projects aimed at rehabilitating the small tanks scattered round the country, hoping to revive paddy agriculture on this basis. There is very little chance of any of these succeeding. In fact, even as policymakers and many populists are trying to do exactly this, the children of the peasantry are running away from land because agriculture cannot give an adequate income. What the population in this sector needs is support for agriculture that is viable in a market economy. There is no agency other than the state that can provide this support. At the same time, there is a need to recognise that a section of the population will move way from agriculture and the society has to focus on their problems in a different manner rather than assuming that they will remain in agriculture.
The other side of rural transformation in Sri Lanka is the growth of a working class living in rural areas. One of the major requirements of capitalism is a supply of labour. Capitalism ensures this by making it difficult for people to earn a living through means of production owned by them. This is exactly what has been described in the previous section. Many in rural areas cannot earn a living from the land that they own. Therefore the number of people depending on wages in Sri Lanka has expanded tremendously. But the peculiarity is Sri Lanka is there is no mass movement into the city. Often people live in villages and engage in a wage labour relations because the plots they own cannot give an adequate income. Therefore wage labour relations are spreading to areas that are for administrative purpose designated as rural.
In a globalised world people in rural areas are drawn into labour markets not only through internally but also internationally, such as labour markets in the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc. In this, it is important to make special note of female labour, which has grown significantly during the last three decades. For colonial capitalism of Sri Lanka female labour was important in plantations. Today in a period of globalised capitalism within the country female labour is important in the plantations and garment factories. Their participation in international labour markets contribute significantly to Sri Lanka's foreign exchange.
This growing working class is found in multiple socio-economic formations (organised, informal, sub-contractors), and certain sectors have institutions to protect their rights while others do not. The institutional framework within which unskilled female workers are exploited in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Gulf states etc., reminds one of conditions under which plantation labour was originally brought to Sri Lanka, in the colonial era. These workers are hired through labour contractors; and typically the greater the number of intermediaries, the greater the level of exploitation. They work in culturally alien environments, and are employed in household conditions often not regulated by labour laws. If they opt out of these contracts they become criminals. In other words, they are trapped in labour contracts from which they cannot easily escape. Most often, they sign on to such contracts without knowing the exact details of the conditions of labour. This is the condition of the labour that brings in a huge amount of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka.
Although there has been an expansion of the working class, the bulk of the working class is unorganised. Sri Lanka had a tradition of trade unionism that produced strong unions, especially in the state sector and plantations. But this movement has been weakened for many reasons – they have not been able to capture new sections of the working class in their organisations. Even alongside the regular clamour by pro-business forces to remove some labour laws, there are many workplaces in which these laws are simply not enforced. Low wage rates for the working class are probably a greater reason for continuing poverty than any other factor. But in discussions on poverty, the problems of the working class do not receive the attention they deserve. The exception is the plantation sector.
As they now go forward, people in the areas affected by the war in the Northern and Eastern Provinces will face the above issues in addition to the basic struggle to get back to some form of normality. It is important to remember that although these areas were affected by violence, they were not insulated from the dynamics of the market, even during the war itself. With the end of the war now intensifying the penetration of capitalist relations, if the resulting social contradictions are not handled carefully in the north and east, the political implications are much deeper than elsewhere. If the social outcome of the spread of capitalist relations is the entrenchment of the centralised state and hegemony of Sinhalese capital, development will undermine reconciliation.
Sri Lanka faces a significant barrier in finding answers to the existing and emerging social contradictions due to the ineffectiveness of the state. Contrary to neo-liberal beliefs, effective states, rather than free markets, have been important for the relative success stories of capitalism in East Asia. These effective states in countries such as South Korea and Taiwan show several common characteristics. They have a degree of relative autonomy from society, meaning that the state has not been captured by sectional interests, such as specific ethnic groups; they have internal capacity; they manage state-society relations without leading to conflicts; and while open to the world, they are able to manage relations with the global economy for the benefit of the country as a whole.
In the past the Sri Lankan state played an important role in tackling social contradictions. This is no longer the case. Parts of the state machinery dealing with social issues have become more dysfunctional than those dealing with economic growth. In particular, these institutions have been the victim of patronage politics. Many social-policy issues are dealt through ad hoc projects that become the hobby-horse of certain politicians. Major poverty alleviation projects such as Janasaviya and Samurdhi are examples. In these projects, there is very little attention paid to the capitalist context within which poverty exists, and often they achieve very little for the poor. Rather, promoting the interests of politicians who control them is their intended outcome. The answer to this is not to turn towards the NGOs or civil society, however, neither of which can be a substitute for the state. In the end, civil society cannot be effective without an effective state. Therefore, state reforms have to be a part of the agenda for tackling these social contradictions.
If not handled sensitively, the social contradictions discussed earlier could lead to conflict. Not all will result in violence, and, sometimes, the tensions generated by these contradictions will be contained using the coercive apparatus of the state. The war has also created authoritarian structures within the state, which can be used for this purpose. In many parts of the world including Asia, capitalist economies are emerging in the context of authoritarian regimes and, in such conditions, capital and coercion are the dominant tendencies. This could happen in Sri Lanka, too, and the state might not be able contain these contradictions through coercive means all the time. Violence could erupt as a result.
A radical agenda to deal with these issues needs to confront several viewpoints, which have come to define policy debates on social issues during the past three decades. The dominant position comes from researchers linked to the establishment, which at its core does not analyse social relations generated by capitalism. This research is dominated by number-crunching exercises using macro-level data. In capitalism, every production process produces social relations. These relations are institutionalised and legitimised through hegemonic ideas; the sum total of these constitutes the politics of the capitalist production process. The mainstream discussion does not analyse capitalism in this manner, however, and hence is of little help to those who are searching for a better society in the context of capitalism.
During the last three decades concepts such as 'people's participation', 'local-level development', 'bottom-up planning', etc, have come to dominate the social agenda. There is a significant body of literature which questions the usefulness of such ideas in dealing with social contradictions in a market economy. These ideas have taken us away from understanding how politics, power and structural factors operate amongst social issues; they signify an apolitical discourse of development. NGOs that employ these ideas have come to occupy the political space that is concerned with the conditions of the marginalised, but they do not provide an alternative. There is thus a need to question this discourse generally, including the politics of these organisations.
Finally, there are the issues that have not been debated enough Sri Lanka, by the state or otherwise. For example, there is the need to discuss self-organisation among the poor. Driven by donors, much of the focus of civil society has been on how to get the poor to participate in their projects, rather than to ask about the organisations and politics that they themselves already have. What has happened to the organisations (grassroots groups, unions, peasant groupings) that used to represent these groups? Does the electoral process represent even some of the needs of the poor and exploited – and if not, what new forms of organisation are possible? Ultimately, the post-war period has given rise to a fervent need for a new research-and-political agenda to tackle the social contradictions that the deepening of capitalist relations will generate. This is essential for the long-term peace and stability of Sri Lanka, even as the military conflict is now a thing of the past.
~ Sunil Bastian is an independent scholar and political economist, long associated with the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo.
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Lucknow, Sep 30 (PTI) The final High Court verdict in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid runs into an staggering 8,189 pages. More »
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Dispute full of landmines, we tried to clear it: Justice Khan"Here is a small piece of land where angels fear to tread." This is how Justice Sibghat Ullah Khan described the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute likening it to a 1,500-sq yard minefield which he and his brother judges had to clear.
"Here is a small piece of land (1,500 square yards) where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable landmines.
We are required to clear it." "Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that.
We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However, we have to take risk.
It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when the occasion for the same arises," he wrote in a prelude to his judgement. The judgement that ran into 285 pages says that judges cannot decide whether they had succeeded or failed in their attempts.
"Once angels were made to bow before man. Sometimes he has to justify the said honour.
This is one of those occasions. We have succeeded or failed? No one can be a judge in his own cause," he said.
The Prelude concludes with: ".
herein follows the judgement for which the entire country is waiting with bated breath.
Muslims and Hindus told to share disputed holy siteTelegraph.co.uk - Dean Nelson - 42 minutes ago
Muslims and Hindus have been ordered by the Indian Supreme Court to share a disputed holy site which has caused riots throughout the country and the deaths of more than 3000 people. The decision, which followed 18 years of legal wrangling, ...
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An Indian court has ruled that a disputed holy site in Ayodhya should be split between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus believe the site is the birthplace of one of their most revered deities, Lord Ram, but Muslims say they have worshipped there for ...
Political parties welcome Ayodhya verdictTimes of India - 1 hour ago
NEW DELHI: Political parties today welcomed the Allahabad high court verdict on the Ayodhya title suits with the BJP, which spearheaded the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, terming it as a "positive" development while Congress said no one should treat it as a ...
Indian court rules to divide disputed holy siteAFP - Sharat Pradhan - 1 hour ago
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What next after Ayodhya verdict? Wait and watchHindustan Times - 1 hour ago
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