The WikiLeaks saga demonstrates that secrecy plus power results in corruption and crime, and that an informed citizenry is essential to prevent our's from becoming a society where civil liberties are a pipe dream and torture is the norm.
The fundamental assumptions underlying Aadhaar are flawed. Its likely social benefits will be minuscule in relation to its cost and the public will pay a huge price through exclusion from social services, surveillance, loss of privacy, and strengthening a Big Brother state.
There's widespread disappointment over India's choice of negotiators for the recent dialogue over Kashmir, which looks more like an effort to pretend - in advance of Obama's visit to the country - that the government is "doing something" about the situation.
The flawed neoliberal notion behind India's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, that 'development' starts with attracting foreign capital investment - has brought only corruption and the destruction of communities to Dehli.
Aadhaar - the Indian government policy dishonestly marketed as a social security-related scheme, actually originates from “national security” concerns, with nefarious implications for surveillance, profiling and tracking of citizens.
Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home.
We have to talk to, learn from and support the indigenous movements which have inserted ecosocialist and degrowth like concepts into the formal constitutions, as in the states of Bolivia and Ecuadorian.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
The role of major supermarkets like Tesco in wiping out small retailers across Europe is well known. Now the giants have India in their sights. For a country in which small-scale retail employs 33 million people, what kind of impact will this have?
The Irish government announcement of a €34 billion Euro bailout, two years after the financial crisis first broke, is a reminder that little has been done to prevent it happening again just as the social costs are becoming ever more evident.
Mining in India has been significant in contributing to the 45 million people displaced thanks to "development" projects, yet the industry is still not being made to compensate communities for the loss of livelihoods, homes and environmental health.
Ben Hayes, Praful Bidwai, Susan George, Walden Bello
29 September 2010
Ahead of the Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF) which coincides with the official ASEM8 summit this year in Brussels, four TNI scholar-activists - Susan George, Praful Bidwai, Ben Hayes and Walden Bello - discuss some of the key struggles facing citizens from both regions.
The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.