Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Region awaits a Gandhi

fter days of unjustifiable silence, leaders across the world are now feeling the heat of pitched battle in the Gaza Strip. Calls for truce are coming up from every corner. Meetings, dialogues, discussions, proposals- revealed and unrevealed- etc float on the air. Major global establishments like European Union, United Nations Security Council are holding emergency meetings and trips. But consensus on the overgrowing crisis over Gaza is unheard of. And none is ready to blame Israel for its most inhumane attack in the history of battles the world has seen so far.

Just take a look at Israel’s justification of one-sided war in Gaza: “We are not trying to occupy Gaza. We just want to teach Hamas a lesson. We want to stop their rocket attack to ensure the safety of our people.” So is Israel having fun in killing more than 560 innocent people and injuring about 3000 people for reasons Hamas fighters is solely responsible? If so, by killing women and children who are not part of the fight Israel is setting a trend to other countries to attack whoever they want.

It was just a few months back, when Russia resisted Georgia’s bombing in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, US, the great ally of Israel has come up with condemnation. Many other countries followed Bush’s outcry against the former Soviet stronghold, Russia. But Russia did not kill innocent people on its way to crushing down US-backed troops of Georgia. Russia was replying to an attack which was unprovoked, US sponsored attack.
Israel, which is so keen about the safety of its people, is not willing to think about that in a perspective of 1.5 millions of Gazans who are cut away from the rest of the world because of its 18 month-old siege. And the so-called Israel punishment for Hamas fighters’ rocket attacks seems so silly like a school teacher who expels a student from school for not bringing books and pen. However hard Israel tries, they cannot prove that Hamas’ rocket attacks caused destruction at a scale comparable to the attack it has unleashed in Gaza Strip.

Israel, with its most modern weapons and ammunition mostly supplied by US, are fighting with Hamas, which is equipped with less sophisticated arms and ammunition. In ancient times, a war was never fought between unequals. We have so many ancient epics and legends like Mahabharata, Aenied etc depicting nerve racking wars fought between enemies. Even during that time immense care was taken to follow the rules of warfare. But as time changed and when might became rule, the world became a place for the “survival of the fittest.”

Israel, which is trying to prove that they are the strongest in terms of military power in the region, bombarding the Palestinians with shells thrown by US- made F16, F14 warplanes. Reports from various sources say Hamas’s weaponry includes Qassam missiles, mainly manufactured within Gaza, and Chinese copies of Russian-made granades smuggled from across the border along with mortars, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, heavy calibre machine guns, mines and improvised devices. This is nothing to Israel’s US supplied weaponry, but defence analysts believe Hamas could take an advantage in the ground. Though compared to Israel, Hamas is ill-equipped, the undying spirit embedded in the seven letter word FREEDOM make them defiant- a fight for right to live with all dignity.
They too deserve a normal life. But it has been denied to Gazans by Israel for decades. Added to this perennial issue, Israel which could not recognise the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza, has put a siege resulting in big humanitarian crisis too. Simply speaking, the innocent people are made victims for politically motivated agendas. The oft-said Mideast issue has now cornered to Gaza Strip for which ordinary people are paying high price. Just like millions of Palestinians around the world, the entire Middle East has been awaiting for a solution to the territorial conflict that has arisen as a territorial issue in the beginning of the 21st century. Unfortunately, the conflict is carried over to next century.

And now, Israel’s offence has made its repercussions all over the world. Since Israel began its air strike in Gaza Strip ending a truce, protests against the Zionist action has been going on in various parts of the country.

Do all these make the world bound to accept the words of controversial political scientist Samuel P. Huntington who died soon after Israel’s gaza assault? Huntington’s wrote on his Clash of Civilisation essay: “It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation-states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilisations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilisations will be the battle lines of the future.”

Down the pages of history, we are able to see that wars and battles were the outcome of territorial disputes which was triggered by civilisational clashes which later took the shape of  freedom struggles. Human history is soaked in bloodbaths that happened almost all part of the world. Of the freedom struggles fought and won, India stands apart. It is all because of the greatest freedom-fighter Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi whom India calls Mahatma or the great soul.

India, which was under British colonial invasion for almost a century had won its freedom through the resistence fights dominated by Gandhi’s non-violence. Of course there were violent fights in some parts of the country. But if it was not  Gandhi, the warring factions of a vast country would never have united under one banner of “freedom from the colonial powers.” Gandhi championed peace in all his agitations which resulted in the disintegration of British colonial authority.

If a vast country like India could win freedom from the colonialist power without shedding much blood, what hinders Middle East from achieving that? Of course the time has changed. But a strong leadership and determination for a noble cause can do its magic in the region. And the ordinary people wait for that move to end US sponsored military invasion in Gaza Strip. 

(The Gulf Today-January 7, 2009)

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