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India - Pakistan: Press release and Glimpses from Delhi Citizens Action Against War-Mongering (9 Nov 2016)

9 November 2016

print version of this article print version - 9 November 2016



New Delhi - 9th November 2016: Deeply concerned about the toxic climate of war-mongering that has dawned on India and Pakistan after the Uri attack, over 40 organisations and many prominent individuals and artists came together and organised CITIZENS’ JOINT ACTION AGAINST WAR MONGERING at Jantar Mantar today on November 9th, from 2 to 6pm.

The programme appealed to the people of India to pause and think about the consequences for India and South Asia, of such militarism, war and hate-mongering. 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. 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.

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 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. 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. The statement also condemned increasing defence budgets at the cost of social schemes and citizens’ entitlements.

Hundreds of citizens, artists, intellectuals, activists and professionals joined the programme to appeal for peace. A social media campaign on facebook, whatsapp, twitter, instagram started on Nov 2nd with video messages against war from various activists, new anti-war posters and memes using #WARछोड़_ना_यार and #NoToWar. Anti war songs were circulated.

Nov 2-9 was observed as Anti-War week and anti-war films were screened at various organizations, urban working class communities, schools and institutions.

The following speakers expressed their opinions during the programme raised critical questions pertaining to people’s issues at large.

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, Shehla Rashid Shora

Many Poets, Singers and Artists have also raised the issue through different mediums of expression. They are,

Ashok Vajpeyi, Delhi Sultanate & Begum X , Dhruv Sangari, Gauhar Raza,Janasamskiriti, IPTA Delhi , JANAM, K Satchidanandan, Nishant Natya Manch, Raza Haider, RELAA, Sangwari, Sanjay Rajoura, Saurabh Bajpai , Sofia Ashraf, Sohail Hashmi

Visual artists: P Kumara Swamy, Mansi Sharma, Amita Rana , Aban Raza & Jyotidaas KR participated and painted on the spot.

Organisers :

AIDWA, AIPF, AIPWA, AISA, AIUFWP, All India Catholic Association (AICU), ANHAD, Ashraya Adhikar Abhiyan, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, Centre for Financial Accountability, Citizens for Democracy, CITU, CNDP, Delhi Solidarity Group, Delhi Young Artist Forum, Disha Chhatra Sangathan, Dwarka Collective, DYFI, Federation of Catholic Associations of the Archdiocese of Delhi, FIAT, Hazards Centre, IFTU, IPTA Delhi, JALES, Jansamskriti Delhi, Janhastkshep, Jan Natya Manch, Khudai Khidmatgar, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, KSSP Delhi, NAPM, National Movement Front, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, New Socialist Initiative Nishant Natya Manch, NTUI, PDSU, Pehchan, PIPFPD, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan, PUDR, RELAA, Sangwari, SFI, Siksha

Photo posted on Twitter [Photo credits ?]
Screen grab from a Facebook live video from the Anti Warmongering event in Delhi 9 Nov 2016
Photo by Vidya Bhushan Rawat posted on Facebook

See below a slide show of photos by Mukul Dube