A meeting organised by Lok Raj Sangathan two weeks after the gruesome attacks on Mumbai drew concerned people from across the city. Shri S. Raghavan, the President of Lok Raj Sangathan imitated the discussion with his opening remarks. Pointing out that people were justifiably very angry over what happened in Mumbai he said that not a place was safe – the markets, the theatres, the buses, trains, not even hospitals! The terror attacks have increased over the years in different cities and yet the government is not able to identify the perpetrators and bring them to face justice. This raises the questions of "what is the source of this terrorism?" and why is that the guilty are never caught and punished?
He also pointed out how these genuine concerns of the people are misrepresented in the media; the government is also using this to bring in fascist laws on the pretext of "curbing terrorism"!
Shri. Raghavan’s comments were followed by elaborations by Comrade Prakash Rao, Convenor of Lok Raj Sangathan and spokesperson of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, noted advocate Shri .Prashant Bhushan and Shri.Bijju Nayak (President, Delhi LRS). Each of them elaborated on one aspect of the issue. Com.Prakash Rao highlighted the role being played by the imperialists in the South Asia region, their criminal manipulations, and how the imperialists have played this role since many decades of dividing the peoples of the region. He condemned the collusion of the Indian government with the US in blaming Pakistan for the terror attacks. He showed how flimsy the "investigation" reports aired in the media have been and such reports have been planted in the media to put pressure on Pakistan. Shri Prashant Bhushan warned of the danger of imposition of fascist laws by the Indian government on the pretext of "controlling terrorism". He also pointed out that till the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its incursions into Pakistani territory, this region had not witnessed any terrorism. Shri Bijju Nayak spoke passionately of the need to punish those guilty of such dastardly crimes. He cited his first hand experience of state organised terror as he witnessed it in 1984 in Delhi.
What followed was a very sober but passionate discussion on the source of terrorism, Indo-Pak relations, Pakistani and Indian people’s mutual sentiments, and the necessity to fight against all prejudices against Pakistan. There was unanimous condemnation of the role of US imperialism, the media for its sensationalising of the tragedy and its false propaganda. The meeting unequivocally condemned the war mongering and recognised the need for people to do everything in their power to actively carry out propaganda against war between the two countries.
The meeting reached a very significant conclusion that the masses of people need to be active in the polity and must fight to end their marginalisation from political power and decision making. It was acknowledged that Lok Raj Sangathan had made a significant contribution by organising this meeting and the initiative should be carried forward to discuss the plan for mobilising many more people to come to the same conclusions.
Shri. S.Raghavan highlighted the following points in summing up the meeting:
- We must oppose all draconian laws proposed by the government – strengthening the security machinery is not going to solve the problem of terror.
- Peace in S.Asia has to be based on mutual faith amongst the people in the region, we must not succumb to suspicion of each other that the imperialists seek to sow between us; we must put up a united front against terror.
- We must take a resolute stand against war. War spells danger for the people of the sub-continent and war mongering will only lead to further militarisation of the concerned countries.
- We must demand conclusive evidence about the perpetrators of terror. We must demand punishing the guilty, regardless of their standing in society. We need mechanisms that will enable enforcement of full investigation.
- We have to be very clear that we are against any interference in the region by the USA or any other imperialist state.
- We must contribute to building political unity among the people by resolutely opposing name calling, branding and victimisation of people on basis of religion.
- Finally, it is not sufficient to just raise the above demands. We must fight for political power to fully realise our demands. People’s organisations have to be built. Discussion is very valid, it will help us to identify what stands to take. However we must also organise people to come out and fight for these issues. People’s empowerment is paramount.