[A speech by Jan Myrdal, (internationally well-known writer for his support for the people’s movements world-wide), at a public meeting sponsored by the Forum Against War on People, New Delhi, 6 February 2012.]
I want to say something on the international solidarity movement with the peoples of India.
We are here because there is an ongoing war against the peoples of India by the Indian state itself or – to put it more charitably – by dominant sections of the Indian state machinery. You as Indian citizens want to stop this war. I and other friends of India abroad are trying to organise an international solidarity movement with the people of India against the horrors of this war.
To try to do that is not interference in the internal affairs of India. We do not tell you in India how to conduct your affairs. That is for you to decide. No foreigner can prescribe for you. Even if many from the imperial camp – governments, media, NGO’s – always try do so.
This respect is a matter of principle. You – not we – are in your actions responsible to the peoples of India. As we said during the solidarity movement with the peoples of South East Asia in their struggle against US imperialism: “Support the peoples of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam on their own terms.”
But there is a truth that was formulated in 1624 by John Donne and has been quoted and used by those of us in different countries that have taken a stand against oppression and social cruelty – as during the Franco war against the people of Spain. A truth that is the base of international solidarity:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main /…/ any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
There is nothing secret about the present cruel war against the peoples of India. I could myself witness and hear about the war against dalits and adivasis when I was in Andhra Pradesh in 1980 (see India Waits, Sangam books, Hyderabad) and now 2010 in Chhattisgarh (see Red Star over India, Setu Prakashani, Kolkata).
In this war armed gangs and groups from ruling elites and land grabbers are attempting to drive people from their homes their lands and forests. Villages are being burned. Women are raped. Not as an expression of male sexual lust but as a cold conscious attempt thus to destroy the dignity and self-respect of the people. Those who defend themselves are branded as terrorists. Continue reading