Here is an excerpt from a report of the anti-nuclear tests
demonstration organised by the Sarvodaya Mandal in Bombay on May 26,
1998 at Hutatma Chowk.
The great leveller: Pokhran united scattered fringe groups
Express News Service
It was small in size but large in diversity. A demonstration against
India's new nuclear policy today brought together an obscure
political spectrum of Mumbai's political life, one which many
believed had died many years ago.
It was the first ever action in the city to protest the nuclear tests
at Pokhran and following the national celebration of India's new
status as the world's sixth nuclear nation. The demonstration was
organised by a committee formed at the initiative of the Mumbai
Sarvodaya Mandal, comprising political activists, artists,
economists, professors and others. All of them assembled despite the
police denying the demonstration permission. And the two- hour long
event went through various stages of political militancy as each
school of thought took over the leadership in turn.
The demonstration was kicked off by the Sarvodaya Mandal whose slogans
and speeches appealed to people to help create a nuclear free world.
"We all would be together in freeing the world from the nuclear
curse," their oath said.
Next came the Dalit activists who refused to believe that Buddha
could have ever smiled at the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction."Stop mocking Buddha" was their slogan.
While the most condemned was PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the socialist
lobby was the first to condemn George Fernandes.