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.
Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
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.
South Africa is playing a significant role in supporting and extending the power of the World Trade Organisation, a new system of global government. This not only entails South Africa surrendering its own policy-making rights and space, but also means bargaining away the South African peoples’ democratic rights to determine their country’s internal economic, environmental, social and cultural policies.
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?
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.