The View From India | Unending brutality

Updated - March 06, 2024 11:14 am IST

Published - March 04, 2024 11:51 am IST

(These articles form a part of the View From India newsletter curated by The Hindu’s foreign affairs experts. To get the newsletter in your inbox every Monday, subscribe here.)

Over the last five months, Israel has persisted with its bloody war on Gaza, mowing down citizens without any consequence yet. In the latest show of its brutality on February 29, Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinians gathered near trucks bringing food to starving people. At least 112 Palestinians were killed and over 700 injured in the subsequent stampede, according to Gaza’s health authorities, while the total death toll has gone past the 30,000-mark.

Israel’s allies — especially the United States — are showing no remorse at this catastrophe, and are instead backing this relentless bloodshed, by continuing to supply arms. The Biden administration has repeatedly vetoed UN Security Council Resolutions that called for a ceasefire in Gaza, while calling upon other countries to “protect human rights”, seeing no irony in its stances. “This war should be brought to end immediately, and aid allowed into Gaza without any ifs and buts,” The Hindu’s recent editorial said.

India voiced “deep shock” at the escalation. “Such loss of civilian lives and the larger humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to be a cause for extreme concern,” the Ministry of External Affairs said, as Kallol Bhattacherjee reported.

While India has taken a cautious line so far, calling for a two-state solution to the crisis, and opposing Hamas’s terror attack on October 7, 2023, what does the long arc of India’s Palestine policy tell us?

In this analysis, Stanly Johny looks at how India’s position on Palestine has evolved over the years. “A close analysis of India’s voting record at the UN, post-October 7, and the statements made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) suggests that this position of balancing has not changed. It is neither a strong moral critic, like Brazil or South Africa, of the way Israel is conducting the war, nor a mute spectator or enabler of Israel, like the United States or the United Kingdom,” he writes.

Whether it’s Israel’s war on Gaza, or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, can India really help end the conflicts? Suhasini Haidar examines India’s role in this week’s Worldview. Watch here.

Neighbourhood watch:

Signalling a compromise between India and the Maldives, on the contentious issue of Indian troops stationed in the Maldives, New Delhi confirmed on Thursday that a team of Indian technical personnel have landed in Maldives to replace military troops that have been operating aircraft there.

Three years after objecting to a Chinese energy project in northern Sri Lanka, barely 50 km off Tamil Nadu, India is set to implement a hybrid power project in three islands off Jaffna peninsula with a $11-million grant.

An Indian MP who visited rebel held areas of western Myanmar said that the area that he visited is part of the Chin state of Myanmar that has been totally liberated by the Arakan army, one of the several ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) that is waging an armed struggle against the military junta of Myanmar.

Top 5 picks this week:

1. “Travel writing at its best is an act of empathy,” Colin Thubron tells Sudipta Dutta in this interview

2. The current global order — a fraying around many edges, writes Priyanjali Malik

3.Burden of power: On India’s astronauts and the Indian space policy

4. A respite: On the Trump case

5. L. Srikrishna writes on the nagging problem of Katchatheevu

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