hammer1.gif (1140 bytes) People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXV

No. 38

September 23,2001

Prevent Proliferation Of War


The following is the statement released by the Forum of Indian Leftists in US on the terror attacks :

WE, the members of the Forum of Indian Leftists, deeply grieve the human loss sustained in the attacks on New York City and Washington of September 11, 2001. Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and loved ones of those who were killed or injured. We see these actions not as an attack on America alone, but as an assault on humanity in general. As citizens of the world, we unequivocally condemn these acts of horrific and unconscionable violence.

We call on all those who deplore such acts to act now to prevent the proliferation of hatred, retribution, and war. We condemn the precipitous drive to put the world on a war footing against an as yet unconfirmed assailant—a move that can only compound the already immense human tragedy we have witnessed. We reiterate our belief that violence is not the solution to violence, nor can it provide a solution to longstanding political problems anywhere in the globe. It is of critical importance to stand united at this moment and denounce all acts of violence against civilians, whether by terrorists, the state, or our fellow civilians. A cycle of violence can only be broken if we work to create alternatives to violent retaliation. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." Therefore we stand together to demand in the loudest possible voice that the US state not retaliate with violence, and in the same voice to condemn any attempts to undermine civilian life and democratic freedoms in New York City, Washington, and elsewhere in the USA.

As a group with a particular stake in working for peace and justice in India and its fellow South Asian nations, we are especially distressed by certain responses to this tragedy from within India. At a time when the world must stand together in unity and find ways toward peace and justice for all, we condemn polarizing and opportunistic statements from members of the Indian government and sections of the Indian press suggesting that certain nation-states such as India, Israel, and the USA must band together against others such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. We do not believe that advocating retribution against the scapegoat of "Islamic Fundamentalism" reflects the rational, democratic, non-violent, and tolerant values espoused by the majority of the Indian people. We call on the Indian government to respond to this calamity in a way that befits these values, and to stand firm against demands for uncritical support and abetment of acts of vengeance. As ordinary citizens, groups, and governments reflect and deliberate upon their responses to this terrible tragedy, we hope that all nations and peoples will use this opportunity to abandon the pursuit of intolerance, repression, and hatred in favour of reconciliation, solidarity, and reconstruction.

In this moment of grief and mourning, let us proclaim our commitment to working towards peace and justice everywhere in the world.

2001_j1.jpg (1443 bytes)

gohome.gif (364 bytes)