Skip to main content

Modi shouldn't have gone to negotiate RCEP in Bangkok: Civil society network NAPM

By Our Representative
Civil rights network, the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has welcomed the news from Bangkok that India is holding up the proposed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), saying, it is due mainly to the "awareness created and pressure mounted by farmers' organisations, people's movements, conscientious experts and concerned citizens."
It said, "Rather than waking up at the eleventh hour the Modi Government should not have participated in the negotiations in the first place. The 16-nation free trade agreement poses a grievous threat to the lives and livelihoods of farmers, milk producers, workers, and toilers who sustain and nurture India's economy."
According to NAPM, while industry associations, trade bodies and the corporate interests behind them would support such an agreement, "The moot point is free trade agreements are in no way 'free' for farmers, Adivasis, Dalits, workers and others who live off their sweat and blood."
In a statement signed by senior activists, NAPM said, "It is a myth to believe that the 'rising tide of trade will lift all boats' or that trickle down works. Every serious research study and report has only shown the wealth gap is continuously increasing and wealth is only sucked upwards."
Suspecting that to "the last minute wake up of the Modi government, given its track record of working overtime for corporate interests, may only be a ploy for damage control", NAPM said, "If the government is really serious it should hold consultations with people and organisations whose lives and livelihoods will be affected."
Free trade agreements are in no way 'free' for farmers, Adivasis, Dalits, workers and others who live off their sweat and blood
Apprehending that, at a time when the economy is on the downturn leading joblessness, the RCEP negotiations under the pressure of China and other countries will flood the Indian market, NAPM said, it will also "impact the small and marginal businesses and manufacturers."
Pointing out that farmers' groups and peoples movements held protest demonstrations across the country at nearly 500 places asking the Government of India (GoI) to desist from signing "anti-people RCEP and withdraw from it completely", it urged the government to "listen and undertake steps to revive the economy."
Those who have signed the statement include Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Dr Binayak Sen of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Meera Sanghamitra of the NAPM Telangana-Andhra Pradesh, and Sandeep Pandey of the Socialist Party (India).

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.