Thought Box



by HUMRA QURAISHI November 14 2023, 7:48 pm Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins, 39 secs

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the raging Israel-Hamas conflict completed a month on November 7th and more than 10,000 people, 0.5 percent of the population, in the besieged enclave have been killed, writes Humra Quraishi.

I’m living like most others in this killer-haze enveloping New Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas. Survival is getting tougher as pollution is surmounting and there’s no relief from it. In these terrible times, who really cares about the many people who are dying, or for that matter even living in this hell! Save for a few who can afford air purifiers to avoid the poisonous air, the rest find it difficult to breathe or to go about their day-to-day chores! It’s tragic to see so many people coughing and wheezing.

And, the tragedies are compounding as news reports from Gaza carry more depressing details. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the raging Israel-Hamas conflict completed a month on November 7th and more than 10,000 people, 0.5 percent of the population, in the besieged enclave have been killed with an average of 160 children dying per day! Yes you heard right, an average of 160 Palestinian children are dying every single day in Gaza!

Imagine the plight of the elders of these children killed by the violence and the barbaric war tactics unleashed upon them. In fact these deaths are affecting every human being on earth. It’s the worst that an entire humanity of the world is witnessing of the violence through television and social media. Men, women and children of all ages across the world are watching the horror unfold and are beginning to come to terms with their own insignificance because people’s voice has no meaning left when positioned against the might of the military strength of the governments and the state. Where is democracy when the thousands who walk the streets across the world in protest can’t be heard? I’m not talking of thick-skinned politicians with expansionist agendas that they boast of, but about all of us, people like you and me. We are weighed down with heart-breaking reports of the Israeli bombardments on civilian Palestinian populations with no recourse.

The recently evacuated American nurse from Gaza, Emily Callahan, who works as nursing activity manager for ‘Doctors Without Borders’, is quoted saying that there are burnt and amputated children in Gaza because of the relentless bombardments of Israeli forces. She also said that there is no food, no water for hundreds of Palestinian families and their children…many are dying of hunger, starvation and severe burn injuries. I’ve seen her speak in a well-circulated video where she gives the grim information about Palestinian families, that they are left to die because there is nothing to survive on, no medicines to treat the injured.

Let us not be short sighted and imagine that there’ll be no aftermath of this upon the rest of the world. Everyone is now waking up to the realization that the leaderships in the West are following hypocritical policies to take over Palestinian lands and natural resources. That they are killing hundreds of Palestinian and chasing those alive out of their homeland!

Resistance is bound to rise in such scenarios. The West and its allies may call reactionary groups ‘terrorists’ but the truth is that resistance has surfaced because of uncontrolled violence upon helpless people. These groups have not emerged from a vacuum! There is a huge background to their existence. There ought to be immediate cease fire. There ought to be focus on the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. It’s their birth right to live as free citizens in their own country. They have suffered for decades and have been subjected to the worst forms of torture and humiliation.

I’ll end this column with these lines of Professor V. K.  Tripathi (he taught Physics at IIT, New Delhi): “I have a soul. But it has stopped responding. I am filled with ideas, logic of action, reaction - Hamas versus Israeli state. But both targeted the same civilians, children and women. One killed in hundreds, the other in thousands. I hear of the 25 days siege over people made helpless for decades, of them being bombarded. No water, no food, no medicine, no light. In a dream, I find myself trapped in a tunnel with the fire entering with a deafening sound. I scream, wake up, and feel relieved. But there’s no relief for people facing bombs in real life. They are me but have no nation, no government. No battlefield to show their bravery. No labs to produce research worth the Nobel. But they are alive, truthful and caring. They practiced nonviolent intifada against tanks. I adore nonviolence. But nonviolence is dead without action. Without saying ‘no’ to injustice and oppression. I wish I were a nonviolent activist and could tell Israeli regime to stop genocide. Hamas to shun violence. The Indian PM to stop arms purchase from oppressors. The US President to stop supporting genocide. But these thoughts are distractions. May I feel the pain of dying people. Deeper, then I would tell the world that it should not hide its naked hatred behind Hamas atrocity. It should instead see the agony of the people and cruelty of the state”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.