Braving heavy rains, a hundred thousand people participated in a rally
in Kolkata on Sunday, October 14, protesting the US attacks on Afghanistan.
The rally was in response to the call given by the Left parties for countrywide
Drawn from a cross section of the people, participants raised slogans
calling for an end to the war, condemning the terrorist attacks in the
US and seeking UN initiative to end terrorism. Joining the protest march
were the intelligentsia, workers, peasants, youth, students and women
in large numbers. The procession was held under the joint auspices of
the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc and other Left parties.
Initiated by CPI(M) veteran and former Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu and
the incumbent Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the
processionists covered a nine kilometer route before reaching the
Deshapriya Park grounds in Kolkata. Notable among the participants was
renowned film director Mrinal Sen. Ethnic Pushtoon Afghans residing in
Kolkata, participated in large numbers. On reaching the grounds Jyoti
Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya set free some pigeons, symbolising the
urge for peace.
The processionists condemned the wanton destruction of buildings and
the killing of innocent lives by the US air-strikes. They termed the
military action as a unilateral move which had no sanction from the
United Nations. The US was utilising the worldwide condemnation of the
September 11 incidents to strengthen its hegemony.
They pointed out that the US has encouraged, nurtured and financed
terrorist outfits of all hues and continues to do so even now. Both the
Taliban and Osama bin Laden are its creations. Osama bin Laden was used
against the Soviets. The US now in its war against "global terrorism"
is being supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, two regimes which
nurture and support terrorist groups. US troops landing in Pakistan
endangers the national interests of the countries of South Asia, they
The rallyists also condemned the servile attitude displayed by the
Indian government. The BJP-led government had offered cooperation and
assistance which was unsolicited by the US. It is under the illusion
that the US will help it in resolving the Kashmir issue. On the
contrary, the speakers emphasised, the BJP was inviting US intervention
in the dispute, which would be inimical to Indian interests.
The reminded the people that opposition to US war should not be equated
with support to the Taliban, Osama or terrorism and they emphasised
that we are "neither with the US nor with the terrorists"
"If the Sky is filled will war, how will the sun rise?"
"If we take eye for an eye, the world will become blind"
were some of the other slogans raised by the processionists.
[Via: Communist Internet eGroup: