Silent Protest Against Genocide in Gaza at JNU

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Silent Protest Against Genocide in Gaza at JNU

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New Delhi: Students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) gathered in significant numbers on May 17 under the banner of ‘JNU FOR PALESTINE’ at the Sabarmati T-point to protest against the genocide in Gaza by the Israeli regime and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. They alleged that the Indian government was complicit in the ongoing genocide in occupied Gaza since October 7, 2023, and was not acting to address the plight of the Palestinian people.

Professors AK Ramakrishnan, Surajit Mazumdar, and Dr. Vikas Bajpai addressed the gathering, providing historical context to the systematic violence and injustice faced by Palestine. Prof. Surajit Mazumdar, who visited occupied Palestine, highlighted the dire situation where nearly 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children (around 14,500 children), with an additional 100 killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. He stated that Israel’s actions are an attempt to eliminate any Palestinian national ambitions or opposition. He also criticized Israel’s claim of self-defense as a guise for exterminating the Palestinian people.

Prof. Vikas Bajpai from the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health at JNU described the situation as one of the largest genocides in modern history, noting the destruction of hospitals, educational infrastructure, and other civilian facilities in Gaza. He emphasized the role of US military aid to Israel and the financial benefits US institutions gain from companies profiting from the conflict. He also pointed out the lack of support from Arab countries, which he said are aligned with US interests.

Speakers accused the Indian government of complicity in the genocide, alleging that it was sending Indian laborers to replace Palestinian workers and supplying arms to Israel. They condemned the repression of student protests worldwide, particularly in the USA, and called for joint demonstrations by student organizations.

The protest concluded with the following demands:
1. Immediate cessation of the genocide in Gaza and the issuance of arrest warrants by the International Court of Justice against Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu.
2. The Indian government should stop facilitating the recruitment of Indian workers to replace Palestinian workers.
3. Sever all relations with Israeli educational institutions and halt any funding to them.
4. Cease arms supplies to Israel by Indian firms.
5. Grant Palestine full membership in the United Nations.

The meeting was conducted by Dr. Swathi and Manmohan, students of the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health. Vikas, Manmohan, Swathi, Asrar, Raman, Harinder, Prabuddha, and many other students actively participated in organizing the protest.