THOUSANDS of people marched in the streets of Kolkata on September 1, raising anti-imperialist, anti-war mongering slogans. Left parties, along with left and democratic organisations organised the huge rally which crossed seven kilometre long way from central part of the city to north.
Remembering the horror of the beginning of Second World War, the rally carried 79 colourful flags. Tablos, depicting global peace, defence of the earth from nuclear weapons, contours of US-India strategic relations were there. Songs from Tagore to Satyajit Roy’s film, Salil Chowdhury to Bob Dylan rendered the spirit of the rally. The rally was also splattered with colourful festoons and posters. Participation of students and youth was notable.
The most heard slogans were against India-US joint exercises and US military presence in Indian Ocean. There were slogans in support of Cuban people, Palestinian struggle, Modi government’s attempt to change India’s long standing foreign policy.
Left leaders, Biman Basu, Surjyakanta Misra among them, walked with the stream of people. Addressing a public meeting at Deshbandhu Park after the rally, Surjyakanta Misra said, as long as imperialism would exist the Left would come in the streets. Imperialism breeds poverty, inequality and ultra right reactionary ideologies. Left will resist India becoming the playground of imperialism. Biman Basu criticised the Modi government for compromising India’s long standing positions on international issues and becoming a junior partner of US imperialism.
Leaders of CPI, AIFB, RSP, CPI (ML-Liberation), SUCI (C ), CPB addressed the rally.