Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Not the kind of supporters Israel needs

Hindu Samhati rally, Tajinder Bagga (aka Sardar Bagga)
founder of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena in the centre.
Israel in India Facebook page, run by the Israeli Embassy in Delhi today made a post stating "Thank you Kolkata: 20,000 attend pro-Israel rally in India" with a link to a forum page run by indiandefence.com (not related to the Government of India or Ministry of Defence but they use official government emblems and symbols).

According to indiandefence.com, which refers to a Times of Israel article but provides no link (we found the article here),
The rally was organized by a political group known as Hindu Samhati in memory of Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay, a local hero who defended the Hindu people and "saved innocent lives during the Great Calcutta Killing in 1946.
So the rally wasn't exactly for supporting Israel but in memory of "a local hero who defended Hindu people" organised by Hindu Samhati president, Tapan Gosh.
Hindu-Muslim tension never fully resolved in India's West Bengal region, and further riots erupted against Hindus in East Bengal, which has a Muslim majority. Sikhs and Buddhists also reportedly attended the rally on Saturday.
It does seem that those who attended where Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus but not Indians?  Was this a rally in support of Israel or to create tension between Hindus and Muslims?
The crowd, holding placards stating “Hindus and Jews have a right to exist” and “Hindus and Jews — united against terrorism,” cheered Ghosh’s statements.
"The root of Muslim violence is not a handful of rotten elements,” said Ghosh in the same interview. “…Muslim terrorism is a snake fed by the Americans, but the source is Islam.”
Is this really the kind of support the Israeli Embassy in Delhi wants to encourage? Of rightwing organisations? Doesn't it appear to the Israelis that they are being taken for a ride? Being used as a tool to insight hatred against fellow Indians?

There are many who support Israel in it's fight with Hamas, I am one of them. Unfortunately, this action by its Facebook administrator is disappointing. If Israel seeks a stable and secular partner, it needs to stop encouraging these types of right wing organisations.

The Sikh gentlemen in the picture above is Tajinder Bagga (aka Sardar Bagga), if he looks familiar, it is because he is the same gentleman who attacked lawyer Prashant Bhusan at his office. Here is an interview he gave to Abhinandan Sekhri on the NewsLaundry:


Would Israel encourage such violent right wing groups within its borders? I would like to appeal to the Israeli Embassy in Delhi to remove the post in question from their Facebook and make it clear that it does not support such groups.

If it doesn't, it puts many like me, friendly to Israel, in a very difficult position.