Saturday, August 30, 2014

India: Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists rally for Israel

(TheJC) All over the world, tens of thousands have loudly protested against recent Israeli military actions. In one populous and culturally pivotal corner of India, however, reactions have been significantly different - at least amongst a sizeable, vocal minority.

On August 16, nearly 20,000 people rallied in support of Israel in Kolkatta (formerly Calcutta) in the largest demonstration of its kind to date.

Protesters from the Hindu Samhati movement, including Buddhists and Sikhs, carried banners reading "Save Israel from jihadi aggression" and "Stop Hamas, Gaza will be peaceful."

Protest organiser Tapan Ghosh told the crowd: "The destiny of India and Israel as thriving democracies are intertwined. We share the same values." He added that both were "surrounded by very tough neighbours" and insisted that Israel had every right to defend itself.