Disclaimer: Violence in no form or manner or by any person or group is neither acceptable nor must be tolerated. I strongly condemn all violent acts that have taken place and that are currently taking place. This piece of writing is meant to spread peace and harmony wherever conflict exists. Peace is the only way to salvation.
German Political writer Hannah Arendt, author of renowned and respected works such as the book The Origins of Totalitarianism, starts the masterpiece with:
“Many STILL consider it an accident that Nazi ideology centred around antisemitism and that Nazi policy, consistently and uncompromisingly, aimed at the persecution and finally the extermination of the Jews. Only the horror of the final catastrophe, and even more the homelessness and uprootedness of the survivors, made the ‘Jewish question’ so prominent in our everyday political life.
“What the Nazis themselves claimed to be their chief discovery—the role of the Jewish people in world politics—and their chief interest—persecution of Jews all over the world—have been regarded by public opinion as a pretext for winning the masses or an interesting device of demagogy.”
Seventy years later and 4,193 miles apart from Germany in India, a young student belonging to a finance background finds her words thunderous. The paragraph with which this book begins is a shining mirror reflecting the ignorance and state of mind of the men, women and the masses of 20th Century world which had witnessed not one but two World Wars, countless conflicts on domestic turfs of countries, empires, provincial estates, princely states and so on.
The young student found the book as an answer to the question that had made it impossible for him to sleep peacefully. The question was haunting him day and night. It was a madness that he was unable to shrug away after all his country was on fire.
After all, his conscience demanded so; after all his soul yearned for humanity for all; after all, he was seeing his own country being destroyed by a few demagogues and after all, he grew up with ideals of integrity, empathy, sympathy, peace and dignity for all. After all, he was born in freedom and he denied to accept that maybe one day he could die as a slave.
The question that haunted him was this. Hundreds of millions of people in India, most of them young able men and women, have become tone-deaf because of the sectorial, communal and fascist propaganda that they intentionally started to deny one section of the society from exercising its fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India.
They also denied them the dignified treatment of humans where the Indian Constitution speaks about secularism, equality before law and freedom to all for practising any religion and speech.
Now, these same people have been made to purposefully and manipulatively surrender their own independence in the name of “national interests”. They’re made to objectify-argue-exploit-manipulate-coerce others once again in the name of “national interests”. They are being used as tools in the big fascist propaganda machinery, being led towards joining a cult of a fascist leader.
They are made to believe that preaching the leader alone is the way to serve democracy and the nation. We are told that “The Supreme Leader is the Nation and the Nation is the Supreme Leader”.
And what will poor people like us do to save ourselves and our country from becoming what France became during the First World War, what Germany became during the Second World War, what the USSR became during the Cold War, what Iraq became under Saddam Hussein, what Iran became Ali Khamenei, what Russia became after the Cold War and what China became ever since its independence?
The Hindu and Muslim issue in India requires no introduction. The infamy of this issue is spread across the world and some have found a way to find refuge from life in this topic by channelling their anger and frustration. These are termed as right-wing of the Indian society. Many others, after so long, have become tired of it and want to get it resolved, over and out of conversations.
The latter who yearn for peace dream of a world undivided or unified for the right things that should matter in this 21st Century, which can be termed as love for humanity, temperance for each other, sympathy, empathy, mutually existing respect and acknowledged dignity.
Imagine an empty cup. Imagine tea (the most favourite beverage in India) being poured into this empty cup. Every morning many Indians enjoy this delicious hot beverage. Imagine this tea we just spoke of as a liquified version of Hindu-Muslim division, a poison that some people of both religions prepare every day and drink in the morning and all the hours of the day while relishing its flavours.
Such people belong to right-wing groups we discussed earlier. These right-wingers are on both sides of the religion. To say one is more or less is as much a lie as much a distraction tactic.
Every day in India, many issues are floated on social media, specifically, Twitter, whereby Hindu right-wingers, as per their propaganda, float one or the other “hashtags” and tweet in such excessive numbers that the tweet starts to trend. The same is true for right-wing Muslim groups. The trend is not to put forth a topic for discussion, but it’s for igniting the other.
This fever and mania for making things go viral has severely dented India’s image abroad and torn the fabric of social equality, harmony, and brotherhood to pieces on several other occasions.
Now we aren’t going to talk about Hindu-Muslim enmity here, but it does have a direct connection with what we are here to talk about.
Once again, please imagine that there’s an empty cup, the tea of hatred is brewed and ready to be poured and when it’s being poured, the pourer becomes distracted and keeps pouring on even when the cup is full. The tea is now being overpoured. This tea of hatred is being spread on the entire table.
This wastage of tea helps nobody while it becomes a mess for those who prepared and overpoured it. They can’t drink it but nonetheless, because the fragrance and colour of this tea are so appealed they keep overpouring.
Confused? Look at these hashtags: #INDIAWITHISRAEL, #INDIAAGAINSTPALESTINE, #INDIAISWITHISRAEL and #INDIASUPPORTSISRAEL.
These are just a few of the hashtags that right-wing groups in India not just floated but actually, and proudly, made a trending topic.
Tens of thousands of people of Palestine, if not more, are under the threat of being wiped out by a country that has one of the most advanced defence forces. Israel is capable of unparalleled destruction and annihilation, but these right-wing Indians were celebrating in India joyfully.
The grimness of the situation is so unsettling that thousands of people worldwide have been losing their sleep contemplating what the final consequences of this conflict may be. But right-wing Indians, or should I say Hindutva Groups, are overpouring their tea of hatred for the world to watch.
There’s a well-known proverb: “With great power comes great responsibility”, but alas, Israel under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu has completely failed to uphold this wise teaching.
Until 15 May, 2021, 22:54 hours IST: Hamas, a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist but pragmatic, militant and nationalist organisation in control of the Gaza Strip, fired over 2,000 rockets on the civilian population of Israel.
Israel’s Iron Dom Defence System has showcased a spectacular technological advancement as it intercepted and destroyed almost all the rockets fired towards Israel except a minuscule number which claimed the lives of many innocent Israeli’s. For that, my deepest and sincere condolences to not just their families but to the entire Israeli population.
In response to this, Israel has been launching air attacks. They have destroyed several prominent high rise buildings claiming them to be linked with Hamas’s leadership, who seem to be using Palestinians in Gaza as their human shields. Once again, my deepest and sincere condolences to the Palestinian families and Palestinians.
But a larger question comes to the surface that when Israel has been able to maintain its defence capabilities with such effectiveness and efficiency till now, it is time for Israel to be the bigger of the two and propose peace talks as Israel’s military power outweighs that of Hamas or for that matter any country in that region of the world.
The use of disproportionate force on civilians is neither protecting citizens of a country nor an act to eliminate terrorism. This has got to stop. Israel is effectively asserting in the world that any country’s leader can act as to his whims and for personal political gains.
If this continues for long, Israel should be seen as the next Nazi rule because if antisemitism is wrong, then anti-Palestinian sentiments and activities cannot be termed right. Violence cannot and should not be vindicated or, for that matter, ever be accepted as justification. Hamas was and is still wrong on its part to fire missiles into Israel.
But so was Israel when it purposefully planned to carry out an igniting and infuriating march on Jerusalem Day through Muslim Quarters which everybody knew would create a problem, which did happen when Israel’s Police violently stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and thrashed the Palestinians on the alleged pretext that Palestinians started to hurl rocks towards the Police Force.
This rhetoric is an extremely old tactic of authoritarian leaders and it’s no doubt that Benjamin Netanyahu is an authoritarian leader by all accounts. He failed to garner enough votes in his country to remain as its supremo because of four inconclusive elections. The world is silent and occasionally taking the side of Israel in this conflict for varied reasons, but none of them is for the benefit or well-being of Israeli citizens.
And it’s high time that the Israeli people realise that people spreading hatred towards Palestinians because of their religion is not equivalent to being well-wishers of Israel. India seems to be the prime example of it.
I can bet that most Indians wouldn’t even know which religion is dominant in Israel, let alone that the idea that Indians would’ve done their research before mindlessly taking sides and tweeting about it. The conflict of Israel-Palestine requires patience and long hours of studies to even be able to say that one has scratched the surface well.
Some Indians are extending support for Israel because of two reasons. Firstly because an Indian lady was killed in the attack by Hamas. Secondly, because most Palestinians preach to Prophet Mohammed, i.e. they follow Islam. The latter appeals to the right-wing Hindu groups because now they have a purpose of overpouring and spreading their tea of hatred and sharing it with the Jewish people.
Most right-wingers wouldn’t even know the Jews and Jewish are the same thing. But they can easily hashtag and share images of violence with only one desire, that’s to see Islam being humiliated everywhere, be it in India or elsewhere in the world using the hashtags.
True, India is the second-largest country globally, but because it’s an English speaking nation, it becomes the largest congregation of people on Twitter who can amplify any topic. Right-wingers have a dedicated cyber cell. Their voices amplify and, at times, suppress the voices of people all over the world.
And lately, several cases are in the spotlight where this infernal machinery has been continuously used for several such matters, whether it a domestic matter of national significance such as the Tablighi Jamaat, Anti-CAA protestors or calling the farmers protesting in Delhi terrorist, Khalistani, etc.
We must not fail to abide by the human rights of citizens all over the world, even if it seems that these ideas, teachings and learnings of all the previous centuries fail to convince people to pragmatically work for humanity rather than become servile to individual greed.
What is happening in Gaza is causing problems for Israel. What Israel is doing to Gaza while the world is watching in silence today only reiterates that everybody in the world saw Hitler take Poland silently. It was the antecedent to the destruction that followed for the rest of the world later on.
If the world carries on to silently see what Benjamin Netanyahu is carrying out in the name of protecting Israel and if Israelis keep on watching without coming forward to stop its Government from causing such severe destruction, they’ll only prove that when given the chance, they too became and act like the monsters.
The world, including me, stands with Israel and Palestine when they both work together peacefully and without violence.
And my biggest regret as an Indian is that India has failed to communicate this response to PM Modi, one of the best friends of Benjamin Netanyahu, that “India stands with peace and peace alone, peace shall prevail and all violence should be stopped, especially when the violence is so non-proportionate”.
It’s not just the responsibility of the U.S. alone. The learned and educated people of the world need to start becoming vocal and active in making the statement for peace to reach Israel’s supremo, who’s doing everything in his power (however evil it may be) to keep himself in power for as long as he can.
Always remember: Albert Einstein preached non-violence, being a Jew.
And as it goes for right-wing Indians, they preach so much about Hindu Gods but fail to realise that God only preached Dharma- Sankhyayoga (The Yoga of Knowledge) and Karmayoga (The Yoga of Action). But perhaps they have never read the Gita but only pretended to know about it all, just like it has happened with the Israel-Palestine conflict.
I pray that the world finds peace soon enough and Israel and Palestine embrace peace at the soonest.