Saturday, October 3, 2009

Human chain protest in Kerala against ASEAN-India FTA

"Hundreds of thousands of Left activists stood in a row at 5pm yesterday, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, holding their hands aloft in a human chain from Kerala’s northern district of Kasargod to the State capital of Thiruvananthapuram, asking the Central Government to revoke the free trade agreement signed with ASEAN....

"CPM estimated around 3 million people joined the human chain. The CPM in Kerala perhaps holds the patent for Indian version of human chain protest. On August 15, 1987, DYFI organized the first human chain in the country.  (Peninsula, Qatar)

Vishwajith, Human Dignity "Today was completely awestruck because of the Human chain by the comrades of Kerala including my Father. From southern tip to Northern tip of Kerala, comrades took part with heavenly attitude, great brethren ship and unending enthusiasm to make the slogan 'ASEAN AGREEMENT IN ARABIAN SEA'. As usual the normal traffic was blocked, the party vehicles were in a rampaging mood and all the traffic rules were as the slogan, in Arabian Sea. I was stuck in a block for nearly half an hour."

Another Indian blogger, not associated with the chain, Keralamnlo, dissents: 

"Yesterday there was a human chain in Kerala, from Kasaragode in the north to the gates of the Rajbhavan in Thiruvananthapuram. Some say it was 777 km long. With only some gaps, one at Changanachery where the Nair Service Society is located, a usual ill omen that, another nearby at Thiruvalla. This chain apparaently was to protest against the recent Free Trade Agreement (FTA) arrived at between the ASEAN nations by the Governmment of India, why the point of end was the Rajbhavan, rekindling the memmories of the British Raj. Deep down it was a desperate attempt to white wash the darkened image of the Communist OParty in the state, which is waiting for the worst in the next elections. The concept of fighting neo-colonialism is fine, but ASEAN is no WTO and this is even a small way of challenging the western hegemony, some how the comrades did not realize that. Good nevertheless, any movement of the people against the vulpine global order is welcome"

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