AIPSO Banks on Kolkata’s Anti-imperialist Past for Expanding Movement
Image for representational purpose. Credit: AIPSO
Kolkata: For expanding their movement in West Bengal, All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation has been conducting seminars in various districts of the state. However, the organisation says that it is banking on Kolkata’s anti-imperial past for the spread of the movement.
Arindam Mukerjee, an AIPSO activist said, “Crony capitalism is responsible for disturbing the peace in the world at the moment. And we need to fight that. Be it Gaza, Palestine or Cuba or it through the fundamentalists of Afghanistan, the US hegemony is disturbing world peace and we need to resist this hegemony.”
He added, “The US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara had to leave Kolkata as slogans were raised against him at the height of the Vietnam War. It was in this city that slogans like ‘Tomar naam amar naam ,Vietnam Vietnam!’ were raised. Kolkata has always been a crucial epicentre of protests and movements.”
Talking to NewsClick, Saumendra Nath Bera, general secretary of the AIPSO West Bengal Unit recollected that in 1949, the first All India Peace Conference was held in Kolkata. The city also witnessed international peace marches in the 80s and 90s and had hosted figures like Che Guevera, Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela, and Hugo Chavez.
Apart from international matters, one of the key issues AIPSO is focusing on is also the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Population Register (NPR). It has also taken a stand against the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir. The organisation believes that India has moved away from its non-alignment stand gradually and its foreign policy, when it comes to West Asia, now replicates that of the US.
“The various neoliberal regimes have produced a global hegemony and the imperialist danger is more so at our doorstep now. It may seem like the number of wars being fought has decreased, but peace still remains an elusive phenomenon due to gender ineqaulity, cultural discrimination when it comes to citizenship issues among other such issues,” said Bera while speaking to NewsClick. The organisation has also asserted that the “saffron brigade” can not dictate the terms of India’s foreign policy and saffronisation of our foreign policy will be severely detrimental to the national interest.
Apart from rapidly setting up district committees, AIPSO has also been observing various days and birth/death anniversaries of leaders like M K Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Whenever restrictions have been imposed due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the organisation has made use of webinars to continue building a solid structure.
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