SP Shukla, Anuradha Chenoy, Seema Mustafa, Shabnam Hashmi, Mahesh Bhatt and fifty two other concerned members of the society have signed the letter below to the Prime Minister requesting India to stand up for the Palestinians who have been targeted by both the US and Israel
The Prime Minister of India,
Dr Manmohan Singh,
7, Race Course Road,
10 January 2009
The world is witnessing a barbaric attack by Israel on the hapless citizens of Gaza. Hundreds have been killed and thousands injured. Gaza has been turned into a concentration camp, with the Palestinians unable to get medicines to treat the injured. Women and small children have been killed and seriously injured in the attack that has violated all international laws and norms of human behaviour.
Israel is impervious to world opinion and has continued with the aggressions despite protests all across the globe. Its leaders have compared their use of military might to the rockets being fired by Hamas and the stones being pelted at the Israeli occupation forces by children and young Palestinians from time to time. It is clear from the large scale destruction of Gaza, and the loss of civilian lives, that Israel is using the Hamas as an excuse to occupy the territory and completely subjugate the Palestinians.
We condemn this attack and expect the Indian government to respond to public opinion that is not restricted to any class or community to immediately:
1) condemn Israel and direct it to stop the aggression immediately;
2) snap off diplomatic ties until the military offensive stops and the Palestinians are rehabilitated in their territory;
3) stop military relations with Israel;
4) impose economic boycotts and sanctions on Israel;
5) send medical teams and medicines to Gaza;
6) unequivocally condemn the United States for blocking the resolution against Israel in the United Nations Security Council.
This, sir, is the least that the government of India can do to stand up for the Palestinians who have been targeted by both the US and Israel. We might remind you that India, after independence and under the leadership of Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, had tried to establish itself as a leader of not just the non aligned world but also as a voice for the oppressed, be it the struggle against apartheid or justice for the Palestinians.
SP Shukla, Anuradha Chenoy, Seema Mustafa, Shabnam Hashmi, Mahesh Bhatt