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Message of Siriska

Message of Siriska Nishtar The Siriska conclave organised as a picnic for the prime minister and his cabinet colleagues, its claimed results and its quick follow- up by Rajiv Gandhi at Madras have underscored the questions about the prime minister's credibility as a political personality with a worthwhile commitment to the country and the people or even his own party.

Deceptive Calm

to fry old rice again and again. He said that he did not believe in that practice. It is strange but true that while the signs of thaw were generally visible nothing much in concrete terms has been achieved yet. The prime minister has agreed to visit China. In a couple of news items following the talks it looked as if the visit might in fact take place sometime in 1988. Given his penchant for signing accords, he would want to go there only if he could sign a nice-looking, well-written document. But for his verbosity K Natwar Singh might in fact be the man to draft a neat, readable accord. If he did, Rajiv Gandhi might finally sign an accord which would actually work. But then one will have to wait and see. If we let go this opportunity the Chinese may not like to fry old rice once again or, if you prefer an Indian proverb, to boil the stale curry once again.

Opposition Realignments

Efforts to knock together an all-in opposition united front are unlikely to succeed in the context of sharpening ideological and class differences. A more realistic prospect is of coalitions of parties bidding for power on the basis of agreed minimum programmes.

Enter the Jan Morcha

The setting up of the Jan Morcha had become necessary once it was realised by V P Singh and his friends that it was a prolonged political tussle which they would have to engage in. The notion that either the Congress(I) leadership will be quickly displaced or the party will simply disintegrate has turned out to be an excessively facile one. Equally facile has turned out to be the idea that a grand united front of all opposition parties under the leadership of V P Singh will emerge to confront the Congress(I).

Time for a Political Initiative in Punjab

therefore hardly likely to succeed if it is kept within the confines of what passes as a social movement, or if it is made an appendage of the folklore of man-woman confrontation. The battle, if it is to be joined at all, has to be against a retrograde structure of values fostered by an amoral state authority steeped in class bias. The narrow class alignment which has captured the instrumentalities of power in this nebulous country could not care less whether the rest of the population advance into literacy and improved living standards, or in fact recede further into pestilence, squalor and illiteracy. The decision on how the rest of the population is to be treated rests on the judgment how the denouement will affect the class interests of the coterie at the top

Congress Socialist Forum in a New Role

Congress Socialist Forum in a New Role Nishtar The Congress Socialist Forum in its original incarnation was a ginger group agitating for radical policies within the Congress and demarcating itself from the ruling establishment. The revival of the Forum now has altogether different motivations. This has been emphasised by the enthusiastic adoption of the Forum by the leader of the party.

Search for the Alternative

The left continues to view the alignment of political forces as they have obtained since independence rather mechanically, with the Congress as the immutable centre and the leftist and rightist forces on either side of the Congress looking for opportunities to improve their position and in favourable circumstances seeking to even share power as junior partners with the centrist ruling formation. Even if this was true for some years after independence, over the years the Congress has been transformed into an outright rightwing party. With the emergency and after its return to power in 1980 the Congress has become the centre of rightist forces in Indian society THE question of an alternative to the Congress(I) at the centre as the basis of mass political activity of all opposition parties has at last been posed squarely by the left. The CPI(M) has taken the lead in this significant development with CPI and other left parties following. This is in marked contrast not only to the halfhearted and hesitant stand of the communists and their allies on this vital question till recently but also to their role in the political scenario ten years ago when Indira Gandhi had called a general election to endorse her emergency rule. The divided communists were able to play only a limited role at that time and the advantage rested with non-left and even anti-left forces. The two communist parties have evidently learnt something from that experience and its aftermath. They have displayed boldness and initiative now when the question of an alternative to the Congress has again been put on the political agenda. They have firmly occupied a central place in these developments and are unlikely to be pushed aside when the composition of the alternative to the Con- gress(I) is determined. They have also not allowed themselves to be disoriented by the superpower interests of the Soviet Union in our part of the world.

Corporate News Not the Key

Corporate News Not the Key Nishtar THE stock market made no further retreat last week. Instead, it put up a steadier appearance and staged a small recovery. The price pattern over the weekend was a mixed one, but plus signs far outnumbered the minus signs for the first time in many weeks. Institutional support for select counters, scarcity of fresh offerings, and some replacement buying and bargain hunting, contributed in varying measure to last week's steadier tone. Turnover, though somewhat better, was still on the very low side.

Depressed because of Refugees

Depressed because of Refugees Nishtar THE stock market presents a picture of gloom. It has been forced to beat a further sharp retreat tinder pressure of persistent selling. Bulls have been on the run, hotly chased by bears. Despite the ban on forward trading since June 27, 1969, speculative activity has continued to account for the major bulk of business in the stock exchanges, especially in Dalai Street. And speculation is by no means confined to cleared securities. Equity prices have registered further heavy losses over the week and it is the more popular, easy-to-sell, counters

Into a New Phase

Into a New Phase Nishtar THE stock market presented a very different look last week. The mood of hesitancy gave way to a feeling of despondency. The market, which had been drifting idly for quite some time, was forced to beat a sharp retreat under pressure of nervous bull unloading and bear selling. The more popular counters in the cleared as well as non-cleared list were the worst sufferers. Very few counters were able to wind up the week with plus signs. Last week's decline has carried the market to a new low for this year

Persistent Selling at Higher Levels

Persistent Selling at Higher Levels? Nishtar ON June 23, the spot quotation for groundnut oil in Bombay was marked down to Rs 3,880 a tonne. This is the lowest price recorded so far this year and it is only Rs 30 higher than last year's low of Rs 3,850. The highest realised by groundnut oil this year was Rs 4,600 a tonne; this was in January

Dearth of Information Systems

ECONOMlC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY 2. Messrs. Mahadevia Brothers Dalal Street, Bombay 1. 3. Messrs, Chandulal Chunilal, Stock Exchange Old Building Dalal Street, Bombay-1.

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