Korea’s Choose Peace. Why Can’t India and Pakistan?

Korea peaceIt’s mighty good news for people around the world who reject war and violence, and demand coexistence and peace. The Korea’s — North and South — decided to end their seventy-year-old war.

So, American propaganda to demonize North Korea did not work. Just the other day, U.S. media corporations and their mouthpiece politicians — Trump and all — declared North Korea was a demon, a major threat for world peace, and it must be destroyed. In fact, Republican and Democratic administrations for decades have told us that.

Suddenly, the two Koreas met at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and American media and their Trumps began scratching their heads. War industries were terribly upset at the prospect of peace between the two countries.

Not only the two Koreas declared peace, but according to New York Times today, Korean Leaders Meet, Eyeing a Peace Free of Nuclear Arms!!!

Of course, war industries would be terribly upset, but let them be more upset.
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India Pakistan peace
Now, if only India and Pakistan could learn how to make peace! Their 24/7 media propaganda and political parties would be bankrupt, if the two countries with thousands of years of common history could realize it! Only if the people realized how their ruling class has cheated us, based on lies and concocted violence!

Yet, the situation is so strikingly similar. Just like South Korea and North Korea, India and Pakistan have been at war and major armed conflicts since the British left the subcontinent after two hundreds years of looting and ravaging one of the most peaceful and prosperous places on earth, and then cutting up the country in three different parts — causing incredibly misery and bloodshed.

Just like the Koreas, or like places in the Middle East, partitions and artificial boundaries were imposed by the occupying forces. In case of India and Pakistan, the line of partition often went through a piece of land, where the kitchen and bedroom of the same houses fell in two different countries!

All the rulers — democratically elected rulers in India and mostly military regimes in Pakistan along with a couple of elected leaders — kept the violence and armed conflicts alive. Indian and Pakistani rulers greatly benefited from this long, bloody, cruel wars and hostility that killed and impoverished millions of Hindus and Muslims.

Every time the government is in trouble, a cooked-up war would break out!

And USA powers and corporations are now deep inside India, in an unprecedented, disastrous way. American corporations have practically taken over the Indian economy. I have never seen such a complete takeover of India’s economy by foreign forces. This is neo-colonization at its peak!

American rulers have supported Pakistan for decades with arms, and they have supported military dictators in Pakistan. In 1971, with active support from Kissinger and U.S. government, Pakistani military caused havoc in Bangladesh (which was East Pakistan at that time), killing and raping hundreds of thousands of ordinary innocent men and women. They had extremist Muslims helping them on the ground.

But that’s another story. For now, if India and Pakistan take note of this peace declaration and de-nuclearization of the two Koreas, and find a way to emulate them, it would bring a very long-overdue peace in the land of Gandhi and Tagore.

We have had enough! We do not want another war. And do not war any N-bombs! 

Hands off, America! Hands off, Trump! Hands off, British and European powers!

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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tagore-gandhi

How to Kill A Mockingbird in 2015

Mockinbird

In the movie To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch famously said:

“I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house, and that he’d rather I’d shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted, if I could hit ’em, but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Today, November 29, we are going to remember Haider Rizvi, a dear brother, who left us suddenly exactly a month ago.

I’m not sure how many people will show up, and I couldn’t afford to do anything bigger than this event at a small Coney Island Avenue restaurant basement here in Brooklyn. But I wanted to organize this event, with help from some other friends for a couple of reasons.

One, Haider and I shared a few things in life. We were both first-generation immigrants here in USA, immigrants who did not prioritize money unlike most other immigrants especially from the Indian subcontinent.

We both rejected wealth as the ultimate measure of success. And we both knew that we were forced to leave our home countries, because our present and past rulers and British colonizing powers through their cruel and corrupt acts made our lives impossible.

We were both victims of the cruel, bloody partition, and we both suffered from that trauma — all our lives. I know some of my family members were destitute, being forcibly uprooted from Lahore and Dhaka. I know Haider’s family went through similar experiences. I could never visit Harappa and Mahenjodaro, which are my history too.

Haider Rizvi rejected and refused to accept the partition. So did I. We never believed in power’s forced boundaries, to keep people divided.

Haider and I were both victims of powers back there, and then as politically conscious and poetically inclined people, we were not treated by the powers here in America, the way we felt we should have been treated. After long, difficult struggles, wasting our health and other pleasures of life, we achieved success in our own fields, although the success was much more intellectual than economic — a fact that made us feel ostracized in our own immigrant communities here and also people we left back there.

And the second reason to organize today’s event is that I did want to make friends with more Indian, Pakistani, American and European men and women who would come together, and use his memory to work for peace, and a global environment of love, friendship and solidarity.

Today’s event is not a big United Nations general assembly. It’s a small event at a Brooklyn taxi drivers’ diner. But we couldn’t care less. We will create a sense of global togetherness out of this basement.

I hope you join us physically, and I hope you join us in spirit. Our resolve for love and peace is real.

Please, please, do not let them kill the mockingbird.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

Haider

I Am Bangladesh, I Am Palestine

UPDATE on January 6, 2014. — Bangladesh is falling apart. Bengal is falling apart. First Britain, and then USA, with help from their cronies and crooks, have managed to destroy a very prosperous land with a thousand years of glorious history, art, poetry, literature, wealth and religious harmony. Oh God!! I don’t know Palestine well. But I know Bangladesh. I weep for Palestine. I cry out loud for Bangladesh.

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A garment sweatshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh just killed over one hundred poor workers. UPDATE: A building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 24, killing at least 1200 workers. Many more are permanently crippled.

Bangladesh Body Bags, Again and Again.

This is a repeat slaughter of Bengali workers — mostly young women aged 12 to 24 or so — at a Wal-Mart, Disney, Gap, H&M, Hanes or Tommy Hilfiger outsourced factory run by these corporations and their international and domestic agents. Even New York Times expressed their disapproval. Even CNN thought it was not pleasant to have so many sweatshop workers killed so often.

I wrote before about Trayvon Martin when they killed the seventeen-year-old, unarmed kid because somebody thought he was a criminal and could therefore be killed. I said Trayvon was my kid. I wrote about Troy Davis when they killed him strapped on an electric chair. They killed Troy because somebody thought he did not deserve justice.

I wrote about Sikhs in America after 9/11. They started killing and hurting Sikh men and women because somebody thought they looked like Osama Bin Laden and therefore deserved hate.

I wrote about Muslims in Brooklyn after Afghanistan and Iraq. They started killing and hurting Muslims because some people thought all Muslims were terrorists and therefore they deserved random arrests, imprisonment and mass deportation.

I wrote about Latino immigrants in Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft’s America. I wrote straight from the Arizona-Nogales border — straight from a van we took to cross through the Sonoran desert when it was 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I wrote from the morgue where they kept unidentified dead bodies of women and children who perished walking across the scorching desert into the U.S.

I wrote about my experience in Israel and Palestine when I had an opportunity to visit the Middle East as a journalism student from a prestigious journalism school here in New York. I saw how Palestinians lived and suffered at the hands of the powerful. I went to see Golan Heights at the Syrian border where the Six-day War back in 1967 permanently displaced Palestinians from their own land and international big brothers made sure they remained destitute forever.

We Keep Mourning.

I wrote about the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Struggle when some people decided a British-pauperized, partitioned East Bengal and its millions of newly-impoverished people had no right to food, freedom, dignity or even their own language, and they decided to send a Kissinger-crafted CIA war into that land through Pakistan, and killed ten million people, raped half a million women, and evicted ten million more from their homes and lands — to repeat a similarly bloody and catastrophic 1947 history in less than twenty five years.

I went to work on the borders of India and Bangladesh to see the suffering of those refugees first hand. I wrote about them.

I am now writing again to express my feelings about the poor Bangladeshi garment workers who were burnt alive yesterday in a repeat inferno at a Wal-Mart, Disney, Gap, H&M, Hanes or Tommy Hilfiger sweatshop at the outskirts of Dhaka.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about the barbaric killing of innocent Palestinian children in Gaza. A few weeks ago, I wrote about Obama’s drones that killed innocent children in Pakistan, Yemen and Mali.

I don’t know if my writing has any impact at all on the minds of the otherwise intelligent, educated and human rights-minded liberals in America and India — the two countries I know the best — or for that matter, anywhere else in the world. I have every doubt that such killings are now transient news blips that come on the surface, shake up a few minds for thirty seconds or less, shake up their conscience for an even smaller amount of time, and then disappear into oblivion.

They Keep Mourning.

Worse, these otherwise intelligent, educated, human rights-minded liberals in America and India — the two countries I know the best — or for that matter, anywhere else in the world keep supporting the Democratic Party and its leaders like Obama or Clinton, or the Congress Party and the Gandhi Dynasty in India…or…you put your favorite country and its political system and leaders…and by doing that, they sustain an inhumane, corrupt and cruel, exploitative socioeconomic system that is responsible for all these horrendous acts that are killing and torturing and maiming and starving and displacing and destroying millions of poor men, women and children — all over the world.

I have no hope that bringing up these horrendous acts of violence — political or economic — on the surface would make any long-term change within the status-quo minds of these intelligent, educated and human rights-minded people.

I have learned how not to hope anymore. Not from the elite liberals anways — American or Indian.

I just write about it because I have no other way to cleanse myself of my own sin — of being a part of this system.

She could’ve been my child. Or my sister.

Thank you for at least listening. Now if you want, you can go back and do your Christmas shopping at Wal-Mart, Disney, Gap, H&M, Hanes or Tommy Hilfiger. If you’re in India, find your favorite shopping mall for Diwali shopping. Soon, you’ll find Wal-Mart and Disney too…across the country.

Please do it. I wouldn’t mind at all.

Sincerely Writing (without caring about the outcome),

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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The Global Inferno That Kills All of Us. One at a Time.