People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 05, 2006
REVERBERATES WITH THE SLOGAN
Killer Bush Go Back!
K Pande & G Mamta
FROM Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Tripura to Gujarat, every nook and corner of our country reverberated with people’s protests – big and small – and an emphatic message: “Killer Bush Go Back”. Keeping aside our well-known tradition of Athiti Devo Bhava, the people joyously shouted at the top of their voices: Bush Haivan Vaapas Jao (Devil Bush, Go Back).
At the time of going to press, we have received news of spirited demonstrations being held in Kerala, Tamilnadu, Assam, Tripura, Bengal, Maharashtra and other states. The highest representative forum of people, parliament, also witnessed impressive demonstrations by dozens of MPs belonging to Left and secular parties, both inside the House and in the parliament premises. Both Houses were adjourned due to this protest.
In Delhi, right at the time our rulers were signing away the nation’s sovereignty to US imperialism, under the garb of agreements, thousands of indignant countrymen thundered few hundred metres away from parliament: “No Surrender To Imperialism”. The 50,000 strong anti-Bush marchers settled down to hear their leaders speak after a two hour long march from the historic Ram Lila maidan on March 2. While some said the turnout was beyond expectations, others called the anti-Bush rally organised by the Left and secular parties in New Delhi as one of the largest in recent times against any foreign head and his policies.
A riot of colour, interspersed with posters and buntings with tableau and cartoons, some atop buses and trucks all vent their anger against Bush and the UPA government’s servile support to Bush. It was a rare rally where the blue of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the dingy khaki of the Delhi police force were overwhelmed by the red and green of the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc and Samajwadi Party, JD(S) and Indian Justice Party. Thousands of banners, posters and buntings fluttered gaily. It was indeed spring in bloom.
go back, flags dominated along with slogans accusing the government of being
traitors. Bush look alikes, in a variety of dresses and colours lent their own
meaning. The posters screamed: Go
Back Bush. Standing tall was another “I am
Bush - I ambush.” The students of JNU and Jamia had their faces painted –
black, blue, green, singing Ye Mashal Jalte Rahe Raath Tak (This Torch
Will Burn Till The Evening).
women with babies on waist, students, academics, political workers, the ordinary
man on the street were all rubbing shoulders with thousands of toiling workers
from different states who congregated at Ramlila ground since the morning. There
was significant participation from the land of Bhagat Singh, Punjab. Many people
from remote UP villages had come with headgear, drums, deer horns, pipes etc.
Some wore colourful folk dresses while others sported black balloons with
message “Go Back Bush”, which were later released in the air by top leaders.
the march, Joanna, a wild life photographer, with a ‘Not with you and Not a
terrorist!’ contradicting Bush’s statement of ‘Either with us Or with the
Terrorists’ written on her T-shirt was annoyed with the UPA government for
having invited president Bush. “This man is wreaking our world. His policies
are harming the humanity and environment at large”, she said.
Kriti Sahni and Nipun Kapur from Lady Shriram College were furious at the red
carpet welcome offered to George W Bush. “He is a wrong man bent on signalling
the death of democracy”, they said. Peasant women from Haryana and Uttar
Pradesh participating in the rally said that they have come to join the protest
as the policies dictated by the Bush administration are impinging on their
from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University participated in the rally.
‘Bush regime is the worst offender of human rights and civil rights’, says a
teacher at Delhi University. She said, “We don’t want our government to
support the US moves in Iran” and questioned why the government is welcoming
the biggest killer in the world.
an Anganwadi worker from Delhi said, “Bush is the biggest lutera
of the world. There is no one to save us from him but ourselves, and so I
have come here to join the protest.” She said Bush is a “mass murderer
killing thousands of innocent children in Iraq war”.
Basu, a sixth standard student from Sardar Patel School drew a cartoon of Bush
that said ‘Bush – You’ll soon have to cry’.
of Students’ Federation of India wore stickers on their bodies saying,
‘Killer is in town, Drive him away’. ‘India
am Bushed, Youth of the nation wake up’ said a Democratic Youth Federation of
was also a sprinkling of some westerners in the rally. An Australian couple,
Bonnie and Scott told People’s Democracy that they completely share the
sentiments being expressed in the rally. Bonnie, who is a teacher in her
country, said that people in their country were also fighting against their
government’s pro-US policies. She opined that this protest was much more
passionate and much more representative in terms of participation.
Prakash Karat addressing the protestors
rally culminated into a public meeting after reaching Parliament Street. Seated
on the dais were top leaders of the parties holding the protest rally. The
presence of veteran CPI(M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet on the dais enthused
the gathering no end. Also present were Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat
(CPI-M), D Raja (CPI), Devrajan (Forward Bloc), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) and Danish
the tone for the protest meeting, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat in his
opening address demanded that Bush must be jailed and tried for the innumerable
war crimes he has committed as president of the United States. “He is a war
criminal and our government has no reluctance in inviting him as State guest”,
he said. Reminding about the unanimous resolution passed by our parliament after
US aggression on Iraq demanding the US to quit that country, Karat said it was a
proud occasion. Bush wants to adopt the same tactics vis a vis Iran but
the people of our country will not tolerate any attack either on Iran, North
Korea, Cuba or Venezuela.
warned the prime minister Manmohan Singh that if the nation’s independent
foreign policy is deserted then the UPA government will be totally isolated from
the people. “Manmohan Singh government should note that the Left is as serious
about imperialism as it is about communalism. The Indian people would not
tolerate if it compromises with imperialism. The responsibility for any fall out
would be totally on the UPA government”, he said. Debunking the claims of
unanimity on foreign policy issues, Karat said it is only the BJP which is
siding with the Congress on servility to US imperialism. There have been
protests in every nook and corner of the country against Bush visit.
to the signing of various agreements by the UPA government with the Bush
administration around the same time, Karat felt that these pose a major
challenge before the nation today. The US is prying open our agricultural sector
for the benefit of its MNCs like Monsanto, which will ruin the lives of our
peasants further. “The reason for our farmers committing suicide in our
country is the policies of Bush administration”, he said. Karat ended his
speech with a call to the people of the country to take forward this resistance
to US imperialism and more particularly the struggle against the UPA
government’s compromising attitude.
Party president and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav blasted the
UPA government for bending before the pressure of US government. He contrasted
this with the tough approach adopted by the then UF government, of which he was
the defence minister, regarding the issue of signing the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty (CTBT). “We did not relent to the pressure and refused to sign the
treaty as it was an unequal regime”, he said. Saying that Bush has slaughtered
millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and intended to repeat it in Iran,
Mulayam Yadav extended full support to the Bush Go Back campaign. He said the
Congress, the BJP and Bush are one and the same in terms of thought and
policies. He questioned the rationale of the UPA government in completely
ignoring the views of our scientific community and nuclear specialists on the
issue of Indo-US nuclear accord and going ahead with its signing.
Yadav ended his speech calling upon the Left parties to make serious efforts for
putting in place a third alternative in the country and extended his full
cooperation to that endeavour.
the gathering, CPI general secretary A B Bardhan lambasted the UPA government
for cutting off India’s relations with the non aligned countries and joining
the US imperialism as a junior partner. As the US has made advanced plans to
attack Iran, what will the stand of the
UPA government be when it actually carries out the attack, questioned Bardhan.
“Will you support and join the attack? Or will you justify it”, he asked.
Bardhan reiterated the Left parties stand of advocating nuclear weapon free
world and opposition to unequal treaties.
revealed that the Left leaders told the prime minister on his face that Bush is
not our guest as he is a killer who slaughtered lakhs of people in Iraq. Not
willing to make any detailed comment on the prime minister breaking the protocol
and going personally to the airport to receive Bush, Bardhan said he felt
shameful. And referring to Bush patting the back of our prime minister at the
airport, he said it reflected the satisfaction of a master who was applauding
for the work being carried out as per his directions.
Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas, RSP leader Abani Roy, CPI(ML-Liberation) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Indian Justice Party president Udit Raj were among those who spoke. A B Bardhan presided over the meeting while CPI(M) central committee member Joginder Sharma conducted the proceedings.