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Anti-war demonstration in Delhi
Basharat Peer in New Delhi | February 11, 2003 01:25 IST
After the Indian government's refusal to participate in any US-led attack on Iraq, the mood on the streets is turning aggressively anti-war.
More than 2000 students, teachers and activists of left-wing parties on Monday morning took out a morcha in Delhi singing songs of peace. They were carrying banners and placards that said: 'No Blood For Oil', 'Hands Off Iraq' and 'You can blow the world to pieces but not to peace.'
The protestors marched from the Mandi House to Connaught Place. The march passed off peacefully.
Communist Party of India leaders Prakash Karat and D Raja, writer-activist Arundhati Roy, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan and senior leader Sitaram Yechuri marched with the protestors.
"The war on Iraq will be a blatant act of aggression. It will be a criminal act in violation of all international laws and norms. It will be an expression of imperialist arrogance," said Karat.
Roy said the Indians had not yet been able to make the connection between America's globalisation project and the war on Iraq. "I think the people in India are very much like Americans -- they are not informed enough. The Iraqis and the Argentinians are the victims of the same process. Either people are battered by International Monetary Fund and World Bank guidelines or uranium is used against them," Roy said.
The real issue, Roy said, was "to gain control of the Middle East. Americans need to control the Middle East to control the world. It is a step for its Globalisation Project."
On the stand taken by India on the Iraq crisis, the Booker Prize winner said that certain quarters wrongly believe that India would benefit from aligning with the US.
The demonstrators also distributed anti-war pamphlets. One such pamphlet tried to establish a link between America's strategic and corporate interests. Referring to a statement of Bush, it went like this: "We 'Shell' not 'Exxon'nerate Saddam Hussein for his actions. We will 'Mobil'ise to meet this threat in the Persian 'Gulf' until an 'Amoco' ble solution is reached. Our plan is to 'BP'repared. We, 'Arco'ming to kick his back."