Praful Bidwai, How rising inequality threatens our democracy
11 February 2014
India is becoming an increasingly inequitable, “rich-take-all”, pathological, society marked by exclusion and immobility, where an individual’s circumstances of birth, and class and caste privileges, matter more than his/her effort.
The occupy movement has achieved an incredible and much-needed shake-up of a long-standing political stasis in the US and elsewhere, but it is crucial now to highlight the connection between failed foreign policy, bloated military spending and illegal wars, and the economic crisis at home.
One hundred and forty years after the Paris Commune similar demands for democratic change resonate strongly in Spain. Recent mass mobilisations show the Spanish people have had enough of politics that serve only the interests of a few, while public interests are subordinated to the profit imperatives of big business.
As images of Pakistan coping with the crisis and of its destitute people were being shown on European television, a French air force helicopter was transporting the richest man in Pakistan to his most extravagant European property, a 16th century chateau.
Behind the deaths, military repression and violence that has flared up on the streets of Bangkok lies another story of a country following the dictates of the IMF and the markets, which increased inequalities and unemployment for many Thais and created the resentment that will continue to fuel conflict in Thailand.