Thursday, November 10, 2016

Delhi anti-war show equates Hindutva "war mongering" with Pak jehadi onslaught, questions military actions

By Our Representative
In an interesting development against the backdrop of increasing military and diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, over 40 civil rights organizations and individuals held what they called “a citizens’ joint action against was mongering” on November 9 afternoon.
Expressing “deep concern” about what they considered was “the toxic climate of war-mongering that has dawned on India and Pakistan after the Uri attack”, the programme sought broad people’s support to “pause and think about the consequences for India and South Asia, of such militarism, war and hate-mongering.”
Following the “joint action”, a joint statement adopted at the meeting, and issued by National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), which organized the programme, said “The first casualty has been freedom of expression within India with hate and war mongering posing a grave threat to the rule of law.”
“Forces of intolerance and bullying are trying to rebrand themselves as ‘patriots'. Unfortunately, many important media firms have voluntarily surrendered their duty and their right to ask questions about military actions or diplomatic decisions”, the statement complained.
It added, “It is a duty of Pakistan and India to pursue peace with all seriousness, to protect the lives of civilians and soldiers alike. People at the border know the cost of war and peace is a priority for them.”
Alleging that “in India, the war-mongering rhetoric is being harnessed quite openly for Hindutva politics as much as jihadi forces use the same in Pakistan”, the statement says, “The Indian Defence Minister had no shame in declaring that the surgical strikes were inspired by the RSS.”
“In such a climate, on both sides of the border, citizens of India and Pakistan are feeling the need to defend and assert the value of peace. Peace is patriotic. Peace is the only way forward for lasting political solutions to all issues”, the statement insists.
It adds, “War affects the women and poorest sections of society, the most. All over the world, it has taken courage and conviction for citizens to defend peace and oppose wars and jingoism”, even as condemning the “increasing defence budgets at the cost of social schemes and citizens' entitlements”.
Among the participants were artists, intellectuals, activists and professionals, who pledged to participate in a social media campaign on Facebook, WhatsaApp, Twitter, Instagram, the statement said, already, starting with November 2, video messages against war from various activists, new anti-war posters and memes using #WARछोड़_ना_यार and #NoToWar. Anti war songs were circulated.”
Following this, from November 2 to 9 an anti-war week was celebrated, during which anti-war films were screened at various organizations, urban working class communities, schools and institutions.
Prominent persons who spoke included Achin Vanaik, Admiral Ramdas, Anuradha Bhasin, Aparna, Apoorvanand, Gurmeher Kaur, Jagmati Sangwan, John Dayal, Kavita Krishnan, Lalita Ramdas, Medha Patkar, Prabir Purkayastha , Roma, Seema Mustafa, Shamsul Islam and Shehla Rashid Shora.
The participating organizations included Centre for Trade Unions, Delhi Solidarity Group, Delhi Young Artist Forum, Democratic Youth Federation of India, Federation of Catholic Associations of the Archdiocese of Delhi, Hazards Centre, Indian People’s Theatre Association, Jan Natya Manch, Khudai Khidmatgar, National Alliance of People’s Movements, People Union for Democratic Rights, Students Federation of India, and a son.

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