Vox populi

Vox populi

The journals of the CPM and CPI (ML) reflect the people's anger in Delhi over the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus. An editorial in the CPM's People's Democracy argues that the situation cannot improve unless steps are taken to strengthen law enforcement with adequately trained personnel and improve the justice delivery system. "The latest statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau

show that... during the last five years, between 2007 and 2011, incidents of rape increased by 9.7 per cent,"

it says.

The CPI (ML)'s ML Update says the protests are an encouraging sign of a growing democratic awakening and assertion in the country. "The year 2012 could not possibly end on a more rousing note. Never before did Delhi, or for that matter any other Indian metropolis, see a protest of this magnitude and intensity on an issue of gender violence. The protests have been remarkable for the scale and range of popular participation mostly spontaneous but also unmistakably aided and encouraged by the spirited participation of organised progressive groups of students, women and workers as well as for the bold display of courage and determination in the face of water cannons, tear gas shells, repeated raining of lathis, and above all, the monumental apathy and arrogance of the rulers," it concludes.

Election reform

The CPI journal New Age has voiced the Left demand for an overhaul of the electoral process, particularly replacing the present first-pass-the-post system with proportional representation. It says such reform has become urgent and unavoidable, if any semblance of parliamentary democracy is to be preserved and improved.

The editorial points out that several instances of paid news have been detected during elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. "Hundreds of cases of paid news have been registered by the election watchdog. Many more have gone unreported. This needs to be scrutinised and a proper mechanism needs to be established to wipe out the menace of paid news," it says.

... contd.

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