Amid Israel-Hamas war, what world can learn from India


In the wake of a harrowing Hamas attack, the world found itself grappling with the haunting images of innocent lives lost. Among the distressing scenes, it was the heart-wrenching sight of children becoming unintended casualties in the crossfire that left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness. As we confront this stark reality, we must ask ourselves: Can humanity endure such senseless suffering, and how can we strive for a world where the innocence of children is never tarnished by the horrors of conflict?

As the world called out for peace in unison, a disconcerting ripple emerged from our own neighbourhood. A voice, rather unexpected, echoed a perilous path of jihad against India. The source of this controversy? None other than Nawaz Shareef’s son-in-law, the retired Captain Safdar Awan, a prominent figure in the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

It was a crisp evening in Rawalpindi on 15 October when Awan took the stage, unaware of the storm his words would unleash. In a rally that should have been a platform for unity and healing, Awan’s remarks seemed to dance dangerously close to endorsing activities that could be construed as encouraging terrorism. Urging his ‘Muslim brothers’ to prepare for a ‘Jihad against India’ and invoking the ominous call for Ghazwa-e-Hind (the conquest of India), Awan’s words sent shockwaves through the already tense atmosphere.

This wasn’t just a political figure making a statement; this was a mindset echoing sentiments reminiscent of groups like Hamas. In this ideology, non-Muslims are labelled as kafir, and the establishment of an Islamic regime is considered the ultimate goal. Whether it’s Jews in the case of Hamas or Hindus in Pakistan, they are seen as adversaries in a grand narrative of conflict. The tale of Captain Safdar Awan’s controversial remarks is a cautionary one—a reminder that the words of leaders can either fan the flames of discord or breathe life into the flickering embers of peace. The world watches, hopeful for a chapter where swords are turned into plowshares, and the call for Ghazwa-e-Hind is replaced with a chorus of voices advocating for a Ghazwa-e-Aman, a conquest of peace.

In Pakistan, voices of solidarity with the Palestinian people are growing louder, marked by rallies expressing unwavering support. It’s noteworthy, however, that Pakistan now champions itself as a strong advocate for the Palestinian cause, drawing a parallel with the Kashmiri struggle. Yet, a closer look reveals a stark contrast. In the case of Kashmir, it’s the Kashmiri Pandits who often go overlooked, their plight fading into the pages of history.

Picture this: In the tumultuous landscape of the Israel-Palestine conflict, there are two fundamental truths that demand our attention. On one side, there’s Hamas, a militant Islamist movement, and on the other, Israel, proudly standing as a democratic nation. The recent barbaric attack by Hamas leaves no room for ambiguity—it’s an outright terrorist act. Yet, as the tale unfolds, it becomes crucial to recognise the ethical high ground that a modern state like Israel is expected to uphold. Bound by rules and laws, Israel is held to a higher standard, a standard that sets it apart from the very terrorists it contends with. Governed by established rules and laws, Israel is held to a loftier standard; otherwise, it risks blurring the line that distinguishes it from a terrorist organisation.

In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes persist, and the death toll keeps climbing. Israel claims it takes precautions to avoid civilian casualties, but the mounting Palestinian fatalities challenge that assertion. In a recent incident involving a church, Israel acknowledges its involvement but argues it didn’t directly hit the church. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say they targeted a Hamas command centre, causing an explosion that damaged the church. Regardless of the details, the tragic loss of life on both the sides and destruction remains deeply concerning.

Now, let’s journey to another realm, where comparisons between India and Israel attempt to draw parallels in their responses to such attacks. But here’s the twist—in this storytelling, each nation is a unique character, navigating its own intricate plot. India, facing threats from groups akin to Hamas, takes a divergent path. Unlike Israel, criticised for settlements and occupation, India’s approach in Kashmir since 2019 seeks historic peace and prosperity.

As we delve deeper into this narrative, India used to find itself grappling with a situation reminiscent of Gaza. Extremists in Kashmir embrace the Intifada model, mirroring the resilience of Palestinian resistance with tactics like stone-pelting protests. The Indian state, though not flawless, successfully ushers in peace and resolution. The data reveals a compelling story—a commendable 92 per cent decrease in stone-pelting incidents post-370, and a significant drop in civilian casualties and injuries during law and order situations. The statistics tell a compelling story: during the pre-370 period, there were a staggering 5050 incidents of stone-pelting, a number that significantly dwindled to 445 post-370—a commendable 92 per cent decrease. Between 5 August 2016 and 5 August 2019, 124 civilians lost their lives in protests and stone-pelting incidents. However, in the last four years, not a single tragic incident of this nature occurred, signifying that no children of lesser Allah have perished. Furthermore, instances of civilians losing their lives during law and order situations dropped from 132 in the pre-370 era to a notable zero in the post-370 period—a striking 100 per cent decrease. This reduction underscores dedicated efforts to minimise collateral damage during security operations, with a staggering 99 per cent decrease in injured civilians in law and order situations. In the last two years alone, the Union Territory has attracted investment proposals totalling Rs 81,122 crore, a sharp contrast to the cumulative private investments of Rs 14,000 crore that J&K had garnered since Independence. Notably, the UT witnessed a substantial influx of 1.88 crore tourists last year—a commendable figure for any region. Anticipating further growth, the administration foresees surpassing the two-crore tourist mark this year.

Oh, how endlessly convenient it is to lay all the blame at the feet of one individual in this vast nation! For how long, I wonder, shall we continue this theatrical charade of playing the perpetual victim? Amidst the sea of statistics and accusations, let us not forget the narrative that paints a portrait of a leader ceaselessly toiling, not for personal glory, but for the peace and prosperity of an entire community and nation. India, in the face of unrelenting challenges, stands like a mighty fortress against the tide of terrorism, unyielding in its rejection of oppression, and fervently dedicated to seeking resolutions that defy the very notion of surrendering to threats. Indeed, it is a marvel to witness such unwavering commitment to a higher cause.

Let us be unequivocal: India stands as an unyielding sentinel against the forces of terrorism, and we vehemently disavow any oppression against innocent civilians. Our nation is resolute in its unwavering dedication to fostering peace and tirelessly seeking solutions, firmly standing against the tide of threats. Prime Minister Modi, delivering a message of staunch support for Israel in the fight against terrorism, etched history with his momentous visit to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah—an unprecedented move, marking him as the first Indian prime minister to do so. This action exemplifies India’s steadfast support for the Palestinian state, underscoring the core of our moral stance. Our commitment to justice and peace transcends rhetoric; it manifests in concrete actions, and our resolve remains unshaken.

The author is a final year LL.B student at O.P Jindal Global University and is a Bachelors in Global Affairs from the same university. She writes articles on women’s rights, technology and law. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect Firstpost’s views.

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