A Protest was undertaken by Lok Sangram Morcha, in Punjab in Nature Park in Moga district on March 5th protesting the War in Ukraine. The front is a conglomeration of revolutionary democratic mass organizations, adhering towards Communist revolutionary line. Even if not more than around 400 persons it was impactful in raising the consciousness of the basic masses on the ground reality of the Ukraine War, in context of the World and India. Significantly it comprised of farmers, agricultural workers, intellectuals, women, students and youth.
The participating organisations were Bharatiya Kisan Union(Krantikari) ,Lok Sangram Morcha,Grameen Mazdoor Sabha, Association for Democratic Rights. The main speech was made by Swaranjeet Singh of Association for democratic Rights who very lucidly or congenially highlighted the nature of imperialist contention and the mutual agression.
The protestors marched through the main market place shouting slogans and holding banners, culminating the rally at the bus stand. Resolutions were passed demanding Russian withdrawal of troops from Ukraine, supporting demands of farmers, removing corrupt elements from college managements and introducing positive and democratic aspects about progressive Sikh figures in history in school textbooks, who challenged feudalism.
Speakers included Darshan Singh Tur, of Lok Sangram Morcha Tara Singh Moga,,Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union secretary Lakhveer Singh Lakha ,district secretary Parminder Singh Barad,Sucha Singh Nathuwala ,Jaswinder Kaur, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Krantikari) district member Gurdip Varoke, Women’s leader Surinder Kaur Dhudike and district secretary Tahal Singh .
The main speech was made by Swaranjeet Singh of Association for Democratic Rights.,who very lucidly and logically highlighted the nature of imperialist contention and the mutual agression.In a balanced manner he condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine but left no stone unturned in exposing the conspiracy of America and Western countries in patronising the Fascist regime of Ukraine and bringing Russia within the fold of NATO. He summarised how American and Western imperialism was banging every nail into the wall to subvert nations and sharpen contention for hegemony. However unlike some forces within the Marxist camp he tooth and nail condemned Russia’s imperialist designs and felt there was no justification of Russia’s claim that it was forced into the act or its goal was to liberate Ukraine from fascist control. In no uncertain terms he condemned the utter insensitivity of Prime Minister Modi in not coming to the aid of the victimized Indian medical students by vacating them promptly .and on the contrary blamed them for migrating to study.
On similar lines the Kirti Kisan Union in Village Chakk Sadoka in Jalalabad held a rally earlier on February 28th protesting the Ukraine War and similarly exposing the wrongs of both sides and condemned the treachery of Prime Minister Modi in behaviour towards Indian students. Most emphatically Senior leader Mandeep Singh and Doctor Sukchen Singh condemned the inter imperialist rivalry to grab profits, or achieve hegemony and entrap the world people in a cross fire. Kheta Singh asserted that it was imperative to call for cease fire in the current war, to save the world people and the Indian govt should play a major role in ending it. Prominent participants were Dr,Sukchen Singh Kheta Singh,Mandeep Singh,Mahinder Singh Arniwala,Harvinder Singh,Sardul Singh,Paramjit Singh,Sardul Singh. Even if small such a protest lit the first sparks in the antiwar Resistance of Punjab and was a significant development in arousing anti imperialist feelings amongst the framing community. It gave lot of importance in saving the lives of the trapped Indian students in Ukraine and condemning apathy of Prime minister Narendra Modi. A father of a Student in Ukraine Ranajeet Singh recounted the misery his own daughter was facing with great intensity, with basic amenities being denied.
Punjabi revolutionary Surkh Leeh editor, Pavel Kussa has written some most articulate or analytical articles in journals, exposing the nefarious designs of the rival countries and consequences. He vociferously condemned NATO countries as well as Russia in newspaper and on social media.
The Medical practitioners Association too has chalked out a sustained campaign to confront the war on 5th March at the Nature Park in Moga , which is most encouraging.Baldev Singh Ghudkot and Gurmail Singh Madhoke were the main speakers in the preparatory meeting. A major convention and series of protests have been planned.
Unfortunately a strong tendency has crystallised within the World Marxist camp on the Russian attack on Ukraine to be soft in criticism or denying the Russian attack as an invasion and place one sided blame on NATO and America. They virtually see the Russians as a source of help to national liberation wars, terming them as possible allies for toppling the neo-Nazis in Ukraine .Intellectuals must condemn NATO and America but recognize that the Russian attack is an infringement of International rights of sovereignty and toad it even collaborates with certain neo-Nazi countries. They must grasp that Russia has not in any way demarcated from imperialist or expansionist line and cannot ally with any progressive tendency. Russia must be condemned. It is an imperialist country. NATO cant be “blamed” for their expansion. NATO and Russia are part of world imperialism and their conflict is the contradiction within imperialism. They are rival imperialists tearing Ukraine apart but the resistance of the Ukrainian people should be supported against the Russian invasion Marxists supporting Russia have lost all political reality. They ignore what Mao and the CCP analysed about soviet social imperialism which Russian imperialism is a continuation. The government that Putin wants to replace will be a reactionary government Putin is a reactionary. This will not bring any real liberation to the working people of Ukraine. The real liberation of the working people of Ukraine will come only when they overthrow the bourgeois government, whether it be Putin’s or the US backers and establish their government, constitution and state.”(With reference from comments by Ollie C and Akib Surid).
In this light it is welcoming that democratic forces in Punjab are trudging along the correct road in stand on Ukraine invasion.-unequivocally condemning all the imperialist countries.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist. Toured India, particularly Punjab .Written on Mass movements