(Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya’s Press Statement on 16 September 2001)
As a revolutionary party of the peace-loving democratic people of India, the CPI(ML) has strongly condemned last week’s terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Thousands of innocent people were killed in these unconscionable terrorist acts, and we will probably never be able to get an exact count. Hundreds of Indians have also been killed in these attacks and we offer our heartfelt condolences to the American people and to the family members of all those who have lost their lives in these attacks.
We however do not see these attacks as an attack on the American notion of freedom or model of democracy. If the US evokes popular resentment and triggers even such fanatic hatred, the culprit is its superpower arrogance, its bullying tactics, and its imperialist policies. There are countries in Europe that offer better applied models of bourgeois freedom and democracy and are not resented a wee bit for that reason by any part of the world.
Soaked in its superpower arrogance, the Bush administration has already declared war on whoever it suspects to be a terrorist or aiding and abetting terrorism. Ironically, the terrorist networks now targeting the US have all been created and funded by Washington at some stage of their development. Osama bin Laden and the Talibans are only a product of the US policy of virulent anti-Sovietism, they all owe their origin to the proxy war waged by the US against the erstwhile Soviet Union in and around Afghanistan.
The so-called first war of the twenty-first century declared by the US against what it calls the invisible and global enemy of terrorism poses a grave threat to world peace. As Indians we are especially worried because the primary theatre of this war is likely to be very close to our own borders. But instead of exercising utmost caution and restraint, the BJP rulers of the country are going out of their way to endorse and echo the Bush administration’s war cry. They have not even bothered or dared to utter a single word of concern over the growing incidence of abuse and attacks on Indians, especially Sikhs, in the US since September 11.While the European allies of the US are busy distancing themselves from the American war plans, New Delhi is dying to jump on to the Bush bandwagon. It is rightly said that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
In the course of the Prime Minister’s televised address to the nation and yesterday’s all-party meeting in New Delhi, the Vajpayee government has again and again repeated its offer of total allegiance to the Bush administration. Such a course obviously entails enormous costs and the government is busy devising ways to realise this staggering cost from the Indian people in terms of still greater economic hardship and curtailment of democratic rights. The government is also desperate to make full use of this opportunity to institutionalise India’s strategic subservience to the US and its allies like Israel.
None of it can be acceptable to India. A thoroughly discredited and weakened saffron regime is trying to derive strength and legitimacy by offering greater loyalty to its American masters in the name of combating terrorism. Nothing could be a more dangerous omen for our crisis-ridden country.
We appeal to all peace-loving patriotic and democratic Indians to reject and resist this saffron course of strategic subservience to the US. By allying with the US and by inviting and facilitating greater American intervention in the region, the Vajpayee government is posing serious threat to India’s own sovereignty and independence and giving terrorism a more fertile ground to flourish in the region. We must prevent this national disaster.