Special Reports

India supports Egyptian people’s struggle

New Delhi: Students and political activists across India came out in strong support of the people of Egypt against the tyranny and US-backed dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak who has been ruling Egypt for the last three decades presiding over a police state. The people of Egypt have finally come out on the streets across the country with avowed determination that they will not go back to their homes until Mubarak leaves.

Protest at JNU

JNU Students held a candle light Solidarity March for Egyptian Protesters on 31 January in support of the people’s ongoing struggle. It was attended by hundreds of students, academicians and activists of all political parties. Starting from Ganga Dhaba, the march ended at Chandrabhaga hostel where convener Omair Anas said that the revolution is just half way and Hosni Mubarak cannot face people’s stiff resistance to his oppressive tactics. He said that this solidarity march is historical in the sense that we don’t want Egyptian people to feel isolated, they should know that they are not alone. Hosni Mubarak regime has been oppressing its own people and using worst oppressive tactics to crush civil society’s every effort. Prof. Ramakrishna of JNU said that this revolution has grown out of longtime unanswered grievances and increased gap between delivery and promises. He emphasized that the revolution will engulf other countries. SFI’s Anand, AISA’s Vismay and DSU’s Anirban also spoke and expressed their full solidarity with the people of Egypt.

Egypt Solidarity Forum said in statement: “In the wake of people’s peaceful protests against Hosni Mubarak regime, the Arab world is expecting major political and social transformation which may end long time suppression and violation of their human rights. Entire opposition of Egypt is on Tahrir Square to liberate their country from a corrupt regime. Egyptian government, instead of addressing their grievances, is trying to crush the struggle and has deployed army with fighter jets against its own people...International community is standing with Egyptian people and Indian people, mainly students, academicians and scholars must register their solidarity and support to Egyptian people. We in solidarity with Arab scholars and Egyptian people express our support to Casablanca Call for political reforms signed by major political parties and individuals in Egypt.”

On 1 February, a large number of students and social and political activists held a march outside the Egyptian Embassy in New Delhi showing their solidarity with the Egyptian people. The marchers demanded an end of emergency in Egypt and ouster of Mubarak. The march was organised by the Egypt Solidarity Forum alongwith Students Federation of India. It was attended by a large number of students and political activists. Comrade Subhashni Ali, SFI Delhi president Roshan Kishor, activist Albeena Shakeel and Egypt Solidarity Forum convener Omair Anas led the march and addressed the gathering. While on way to the Egyptian embassy, the marchers were stopped by police. However, they broke all the barricades and assembled at the gate number one of the Egyptian embassy where they held a public meeting. Anti-Mubarak slogans were given as memorandum to the Egyptian high office in Delhi.

On 2 February another large protest march was held outside the Egyptian embassy. It was organised by Muslim and leftist  organisations. Under the banner 'Indian People's Solidarity March for Egyptians' they shouted: "Yeh Tunisia ki aandhi hai, ab Misr teri azadi hai"; "Go Mubarak go" echoed the slogans of protesters.

Egyptian protest delhi

The days of Hosni Mubarak are numbered, said Dr Zafarul- Islam Khan, working president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations. He said Hosni Mubarak must be jailed and be given a deserving punishment. He warned against American efforts to nullify the change and keep the same old system using new faces. Shuhaib, National Secretary SIO of India, said the human rights violation in India also need to be fought against in the light of the developments of Egypt. Suchita, Vice President of AISA, said the history of the 30 years of Hosni Mubarak will be written as the years of worse injustice and dictatorship. Sayed Akhlaq Ahmed of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights said the history of Algeria to Palestine is that governments are elected by ballot but imperialists topple them to continue their loot. People's appraisal has started to write a new history which will not only change the political landscape of Egypt but the whole Middle East, said Suhail KK, former President of the SIO of India. Speakers included Intezar Naeem of Jamaate Islami Hind, Aslam of AISA and others. At the end the march presented a memorandum to the Egyptian ambassador as well the Indian Minister of External Affairs calling for a quick and democratic change in Egypt ensuring the end of Mubarak’s dictatorial regime.

Zafarul-Islam Khan speaking at the SIO HQOn 4 February, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan delivered a detailed lecture at the SIO headquarters in New Delhi about the modern history of Egypt since the July 1952 revolution which finally led to the police state presided over by Mubarak for the last 30 years thanks to huge American military and economic support.

A number of organisations like Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Popular Front of India etc issued statements supporting the struggle of the Egyptian people. Deoband ulama too spoke in support as some other individual ulama like Maulana Abdul Wahhab Khilji.

The Indian government, too, after some hesitation came out in support of the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2011 on page no. 17

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