Saddam Becomes A Martyr Of Imperialist Resistance

In-depth Report:

It was at 8:30 AM Indian standard time that Saddam Hussain was executed at Baghdad. Soon the Malayalam TV channels down south in Kerala started flashing the news and the news spread like wild fire. Text messages flew from mobile phones to friends and relatives. Although the news was anticipated from late last night the small south Indian state of Kerala stood in disbelief. And the news slowly sank in. Saddam is no more! Emotionally charged news anchors announced the death, describing his last moments. Some of them even wore small black flags on their coats!

Spontaneously, people gathered in market places and street corners and started out small black flagged demonstrations. People shouted, ‘Long Live Saddam’ and ‘Down With Bush’. It was grief and anger all around. Sensing the mood of the people political parties announced a general shutdown in the afternoon. From 3 PM in the afternoon, all the shops were shut down,streets became empty, vehicles stopped plying,offices became empty. Large demonstrations took to the streets. It was a motley crowd, a strange mix of political ideologies. Perhaps it was the first time in the history of Kerala that communist party members, Indian National Congress party members and Muslim League members demonstrated together.

At death, Saddam became a unifier here in Kerala, thousands of miles away from Iraq. What was that unified the people of Kerala, in their grief and anger? Was that because Saddam was a Muslim? No, muslim population is just 20%. Was that because Saddam was a great leader? No, thousands of expatriate Keralites working in Kuwait lost their belongings and fled in panic in Saddam’s Kuwait misadventure. Were they ignorant of Saddam’s genocide of Shias and Kurds? No, Kerala has a very vigilant media and much has been written and read about Saddam’s atrocities. Still thousands of miles away from Iraq a people grieved and shouted angry slogans against American imperialism.

All the television channels described Saddam’s death as martyrdom. It wont be any different in the morning papers as they come out tomorrow morning. People of Kerala, took the execution of Saddam as martyrdom. It wont be surprising if Saddam is described as a martyr of Arab Nationalism. But why here in Kerala? You don’t have to search much, Kerala took him as a martyr of imperialist resistance. Remember, Kerala or India is not directly affected by American Imperialism. India is one of the very few countries in the world where there is not an American military base.

With the execution of Saddam, America has sent out a warning to the erring rulers around the world. If you don’t do our bidding, here is the lesson. But in the process they have elevated the petty dictator of Baghdad to the level of a martyr. If Saddam’s execution was a warning sent out to the empire, what the empire got was a martyr who perhaps could inspire thousands of youngsters to rise up and act. And when they act, will that be the way the empire expect?

Kerala took the message and experessed their anger and protest through peaceful demonstrations. But how will they react in Baghdad, Tehran, Kabul or Gaza?

Articles by: Karthika Thampan

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