A day after one of the worst war crimes of our times was committed in which over 60 people including 30 children were slaughtered as a result of Israeli bombing of their homes in Qana, hundreds of men, women and children participated in a vigorous demonstration organised by the Lok Raj Sangathan and other organisations condemning the aggression against the Lebanese and Palestinian people in New Delhi.
The demonstration was organised by the Lok Raj Sangathan jointly with the Communist Ghadar Party of India , Jamaat – e – Islami Hind, CNDP, Hind Naujawan Sabha, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Students Islamic Organisation, Indian National League, Nirmaan mazdoor Panchayat Sangam, Muslim Majlis Lucknow , MI Kalwe Janwad Sb and MI Saif Abbas Sb Lucknow. Youth and women from working class colonies, activists from Kriti, teachers from Delhi University, leaders of the Sikh Forum, noted writers, all came together to voice the collective concern of the Indian people against the genocidal slaughter being carried out in Lebanon.
Shortly before the appointed time of 11 am on 31 st July 2006 , people began gathering at the intersection of the India Gate Circle and Shahjahan Road . Banners proclaiming “ Israel – the real terrorist!” “Lebanese children killed by US weapons!”, “Stop the bombing now!”, “ Israel – Out of Palestine and Lebanon !”, “Indian government must cut military ties with Israel ” and others greeted those passing by. Men and women from all over the city had gathered to voice their protest against the US – backed Israeli carnages and to proclaim their solidarity with the patriotic people of Lebanon and Palestine . Apart from supporters and activists from the participating organisations, several school girls also participated in the demonstration against one of the most bestial attacks being carried out by the fascist forces of Israel which spared neither civilians nor even children. Many of those passing by voiced their support for the demonstration.
The protesters then began marching towards the Israeli embassy on Aurangzeb road. At the spot where the march was stopped by the police, a militant rally was held. Comrade Prakash Rao of LRS, Convenor of the Muslim Personal Law Board Dr Illyasi, Maulana Saif Abbas, Comrade Sucharita of the Communist Ghadar Party of India , Dr Afandi and Mujtaba Farooq of the Jamat – E – Islami Hind, Janab Suleiman from the Indian National League and others addressed the gathering.
The Israeli aggression of Lebanon and Palestine was severely denounced as a crime against the whole of humanity. The brazen defiance of world opinion by the marauders was made possible by the support of the US . In fact, no one is fooled that the attacks are only a “reaction” or even an “over reaction” to the detaining of a few soldiers. The manner in which the aggression was being carried out with whole cities being reduced to rubble, bridges, roads, power station and infra structure being targeted, and the US using its notorious veto power in the UN security council to block resolutions calling for Israel to stop its devastation makes it clear that the US is fully intent on establishing its dictate in the energy – rich, strategically important region of West Asia. It is using might and main to crush opposition to it. By bombarding innocent women, men and children in Palestine and Lebanon , the real face of the US imperialist – led “war against terror” is fully revealed for what it is – war against all who dare oppose it.
The role of the Indian government also came in for criticism. Instead of playing a positive role, the Indian government, by allying with the US imperialists, had become part of a very anti – people grouping. It was pointed out that India was the largest purchaser of Israeli military equipment. India must snap its military ties with Israel forthwith, was the demand put forward by speaker after speaker. It was also demanded that the Indian government must put pressure to demand that Israel stop its unpardonable actions.
It was noted that demonstrations in support of the fighting people of Lebanon and Palestine have been held all over the world. The people of India stand shoulder to shoulder with the patriots who are bravely fighting against the US – backed Israeli onslaught, as well as those all over the world who are coming out in support of them and in opposition to the carnage. It was necessary for peoples and governments in all countries to get together and denounce US and Israel for their acts of state terrorism.
Moreover, the aggressor state of Israel , being fully responsible for the damage it has wrecked in Lebanon and Palestine must be made to pay full reparations for the destruction caused by it. In fact, the leaders of Israel and the US must be punished by the international community for the heinous war crimes they are committing. All moves to send imperialist forces to West Asia as “peacekeepers” must be fully opposed. The UN must be enabled to play its role in the interests of peoples everywhere.
The gathering decided to send a delegation with these demands to the UN Representative for India . Accordingly, a fifteen member delegation led by Prakash Rao and including Dr Afandi, Comrade Sucharita, Mujtaba Farooq, Wing Commander Chattwal, and other leaders and activists went to the UN office to express the concerns of the Indian people at the grave situation in Lebanon and the apparent paralysis of the UN. The UN Representative for India and Bhutan asssured the delegation that the concerns expressed, as well as the demand for immediate and unconditional ceasefire, would be immediately communicated to the Secretary General Kofi Annan. He assured the delegation that all over the world, people are expressing their anger and opposition to the Israeli aggression, and this pressure was strengthening the hands of those in the UN who wanted to push for an immediate ceasefire.