Change in Left’s ‘olden’ perception towards Obama?


New Delhi: Though the Left parties had unanimously boycotted Bill Clinton’s address to the Indian parliament in 2000, they are not yet decided on how to receive US President Barack Obama, with some maintaining that “a change” was needed from their olden “perception of diplomacy”.

Support TwoCircles

Left leader T.J. Chandrachoodan said that Obama “explicitly has not done any aggression” on any other nation.

“There must be a change in the Left parties’ perception of diplomacy. These are not olden days. So far, explicitly Obama has not done any aggression on any other nation,” Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) general secretary Chandrachoodan told IANS when asked whether the Left party MPs would boycott Obama’s address to the joint sitting of parliament Nov 8.

Chandrachoodan also said his party would not welcome any suggestion from Left parties that a mass protest should be organised across the country and the national capital against the “imperialist policies of the United States”.

“There is no rule that all the US presidents must be boycotted. We will have to change our perception with the changing times,” he said on phone from Thiruvananthapuram.

He, however, said his party would protest, if Obama opted for the ways of his predecessor, George. W. Bush, who launched aggression on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and Rajya Sabha member Tapan Sen said Obama is “just a new man” and there is no change in the “US’ imperialist policies”.

Sen said the Left parties have not decided about whether to protest or not during the US president’s India visit as “the government has not communicated so far” about it.

However, Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas told IANS that the party would organise one week protests against the “imperialist policies of the United States” during Obama’s visit.

“We are not against Obama or others. We are against the policies of the US,” Biswas said.

The party has not taken a decision yet whether to boycott Obama’s address to the joint sitting of parliament.

Communist Party of India (CPI) deputy general secretary Sudhakar Reddy said Obama was continuing with the US’ imperialist policies.

The party would discuss its action plan later.

The Left parties had boycotted Bill Clinton’s address to parliament in 2000.

The Left parties, which supported the United Progressive Alliance-I (UPA), forced the government to drop its plan to invite then president Bush to address joint sitting of parliament in 2006.