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An editorial in the CPM weekly People's Democracy weighs in on the reforms. It says when India embarked on neoliberal reforms in 1991, critics argued opening the economy to the free flow of goods, services and capital would make the living standards of millions vulnerable to the whims and caprices of a group of international speculators.
"The then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh and other proponents of neoliberalism had pooh-poohed this argument, calling the critics habitual prophets of doom, arguing that opening up the economy would make it so strong, 'efficient' and internationally competitive that it would emerge as a successful exporter and a favourite destination for international capital".
Manmohan Singh's television address to the nation on September 21, the editorial contends, amounted to a clear admission that the critics had been right. "He drew an explicit parallel between the 1991 crisis and now," it says, wondering how a 1991-type crisis could visit the economy in 2012 when the earlier "inward-looking" strategy had been buried.
It claims that notwithstanding talk of India's "export success" and the hullabaloo about India emerging as an "economic superpower", it remains vulnerable to a sudden loss in speculator confidence, which can bring it to its knees overnight.
In the light of the Supreme Court's recent observation that no innocent person should be branded a terrorist simply because he belongs to a minority community, the CPI journal New Age alleges such judicial pronouncements have further confirmed intelligence agencies and police are working with a definite anti-minority mindset.
"This judicial comment from the apex court points to the reality that since long our intelligence agencies and [the] police are working under the influence of the theory propounded by NDA Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee that 'all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims'. To prove this basically erroneous dictum, our police and intelligence agencies have been cooking up stories to target the Muslim youth," the editorial claims.