Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | December 30, 2008

Reports on Protests in Israel against Gaza Air Strikes

We are all aware of the terrible toll of unarmed civilian casualties caused by the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) air strike on Gaza a few days ago. It demonstrates yet again the willingness of those who currently hold power in Israeli to sabotage the chances of a lasting and durable peace with the Palestinian people. There is no other way to describe these air strikes other than as acts of gross state terrorism. Bombing unarmed civilians from the skies, including children is not a solution or an answer to terrorism. It is terrorism.

Of course, Hamas, (which controls the West Bank, and whose origins lie in the cultivation by Israel of an ‘Islamist Opposition’ within the Palestinian ranks in the eighties and earlier ) with its own obduracy has contributed to the ‘blowback’ that holds the peace process in Israel-Palestine hostage to a never ending cycle of competitive retribution.

Militant Zionists, Fundamentalist Islamists and inflexible Palestinian Nationalists have a joint vested interest in the perpetuation of conflict in a manner that should come as no surprise to those familiar with the faultlines  and destinies of identity-based conflicts in South Asia.

There are  of course, a few stray voices in the Indian ‘blogsphere’ who are already calling for ‘India to Emulate Israel’. Some of them, such as this one, come from Dr. S. Subramaniam, IPS (Retd.)

He says  “..A country which did not have a geographical existence before 1948 is continuing to show the way on how to respond to terrorism…They strike at the terrorist bases wherever they are, ignoring standard international conventions and borders…India has to reassess its policy options and think of non traditional measures for tackling this menace.In this, we have a lot to learn from both Israel and USA.”

Dr. Subramaniam  has had the distinction of being the former DG of NSG (National Security Guards) CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and Founder of SPG (Special Protection Group). So he is not exactly an audolescent Hindutva shadow warrior on testosterone who admires a bit of Israeli state muscle flexing (and there are lots of those). He is a former senior ranking officer who has held posts of great responsibility in the security establishment in India. I sincerely hope that his views represent the opinions of an isolated fringe that has no current influence in the corridors of power.

However, especially at times like this, it becomes important to complicate the picture. Just as  few Indians  and Pakistanis (or so I hope) other than some hyperventilating television anchors and isolated armchair warriors within and without the military-intelligence complexes in India and Pakistan have been recently rooting for war, so too, there is a substantial component within the spectrum of Israeli public opinion and civil society that is outraged (and justly so) by the IDF’s disproportionate and lethal show of force in Gaza.

And just as many of those in India and Pakistan who are committed to combatting war hysteria and the hardening of postures have been condemned as ‘traitors’ by their jingoist peers. So too, many in Israel today are willing to stand up and be called ‘traitors’ because they condemn events like the attacks on Gaza. I think this kind of  action that runs the risk of being called ‘treason’ are worthy of being honoured. Right now, I am rooting for all  those who are being called, or run the risk of being called ‘traitors’  for opposing militarist options in India, Pakistan, Israel and Palestine by their respective ‘uber-patriotic’ peers.

Please find below, two links to reports and reflections on protests, in Israel, by Israeli people, against the Israeli state’s assault on Gaza. May their tribe increase. Characteristically, these have been reported far less in the international media in comparison to the protests across the Arab and Islamic world.
1. Hundreds of activists in Tel Aviv protest IAF strike in Gaza
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Correspondent

2. Onslaught on Gaza – protest on Day 1, in Tel-Aviv
Report by Adam Keller for The Other Israel, December-2008–January-2009 issue

Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | May 21, 2007

Osama in New York

Osama in New York

Originally uploaded by Shuddha.

While the rest of the World looks for Osama bin Laden everywhere, I found him stuck to a wall in New York City

Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | March 6, 2006

Samara Eclectric

On playing word games with Samara
Read More…

Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | February 19, 2006

Delhi 2046

Notes to Self, and assorted Clippings, from Delhi, 14 February 2036

I notice in the morning paper – “….Valentines Day was celebrated with pomp and police protection in many parts of Old and New Delhi. Stray incidents of clashes between militants of the Laila Majnu Brigade and the Atma Niyantran Sena volunteers have been reported, but there have been no serious disturbances. The annual meeting to commemorate the martyr couples in Lodhi Gardens were held without any untoward incident. Rani Mukherjee-Ahluwalia read out an appeal for love and forgiveness. Veteran stalwarts of the Indian Ocean ensemble performed political love songs together with Bay of Bengal and other emerging bands. An appeal was made to repeal section 377 of the penal code.” Read More…

Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | February 19, 2006

Hypertextuality in Herman Melville

Call Me Digital’ : Technology is reshaping literary scholarship on Herman Melville through recovery of his lost annotations – Jennifer Howard

A fascinating account of Herman Melville’s proto hypertextual literary practice, and the detective work done to unearth links and annotations in the writing of Moby Dick and a book on the natural history of Sperm Whales. And on ‘Squinting’ as a method in Literary Criticism and Exegesis

The Chronicle: 2/17/2006: Call Me Digital

‘Must read Moby Dick !

Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | February 19, 2006

Blogged That

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

Trying out ‘Blog This’ for the first time. Let me see if it works !

Posted by: Shuddhabrata Sengupta | February 19, 2006


I have always wanted a place to rest in the middle of all my musafiri, awaragardi. Don’t know if this really is going to be that kind of resting ground. Still when you come to an oasis, it is better to stop and test it out. Is this a mirage, or are these really palm trees and water. Time to sit and catch up with my self. Let’s see what happens.