An event was organized on the 26th of August at the Convocation Hall of the Mumbai University by the Indo-Israel Friendship Association along with the Consulate General of Israel. A discussion was held on the Leaders’ Idea of Nations in the context of Zionism and Hindutva.
A very engaging & intresting discussion on: Leaders idea of nations in the context of #ZIONISM & #HINDUTVA by @Swamy39 & @GadiTaub1 moderated by @TOIIndiaNews columnist @VaibhavP21 ???? pic.twitter.com/GJoro23n2N
— Israel in Mumbai (@israelinMumbai) August 26, 2019
The event was attended by Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP, Subramanian Swamy, and Historian Gadi Taub. The discussion was moderated by a Times of India columnist. For some inexplicable reason, the event was protested by Disha Students’ Organization, unheard of until now. From the pictures the organization posted on its Facebook page, it appears that the protest was attended by hardly 10 people at the most. Even that appears to be an exaggeration.
Considering the fact that the protest was minuscule, one would have expected the media to ignore it completely. However, mid-day.com decided to report on the matter although there are far more news-worthy incidents that occur every single day in this country. It also appears rather disconcerting that the headline of the report read, “Students protest against Mumbai University’s ‘support’ to Hindutva talk”.
It was just a bunch of 10 people at most registering an insignificant protest over the matter, claiming that ‘students’ protested against the event, which carries the implicit assumption that the protest had widespread support among the student fraternity, appears to be rather inaccurate, to put it mildly.
Reportedly, the organization had demanded that the event be cancelled. In a memorandum, it stated, “Mumbai University is organising a seminar on ‘Zionism and Hindutva’ on August 26. This could be seen as a continuation of the process of saffronisation of the education system.”
The President of the organisation, Baban Thoke, an M. Phil student at Mumbai University, told the media outlet, “Savarkar placed the stepping stone to Hindutva philosophy. And because of this philosophy mob lynching is happening across the country leading to communal tension. Even in Israel, Theodor Herzl introduced the philosophy of Zionism. Because of this Israel managed to capture the land of Arabs and continues to subjugate the people of Palestine even today. Such seminars are just strengthening this ideology. We need to stand against them.”
Quite obviously, when the MU Registrar, Ajay Deshmukh, was contacted by mid-day, he sounded visibly irritated. He told them, “These allegations are completely baseless. Neither did the university organise the programme nor is it associated with it in any way. As a usual practice, the Convocation Hall was rented out to a third party for the event. There was absolutely no reason for the students to protest against it and question the varsity’s intentions.”
As it turns out, these people weren’t the only ones protesting. Certain academics, too, have registered their protest over the event. In a statement, signed by about 50 of them, the academics had said, “On the 26th of August, the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai will host an event on Hindutva and Zionism in the Convocation Hall of Mumbai University. The speakers at this event are Gadi Taub of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a known advocate of Zionism, and Rajya Sabha MP of the Bharatiya Janta Party, Subramanian Swamy. A barely known organization called Indo-Israel Friendship Association is a co-organizer of this event. The poster of the event features the proponents of both supremacist ideologies- Theodor Herzl and VD Savarkar.”
These academics calling the Indo-Israel Friendship Association ‘barely known’ in an apparent insult appears rather ironical because the academics themselves are even less known.
They go on to state, “Zionism is a racist ideology calling for a settler-colonial, apartheid state where non-Jews have unequal rights, and in practice, has been premised on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for the last seven decades. Hindutva, its mirror image, is a supremacist ideology that calls for a nation of Hindus, where all other communities have to be relegated to an unequal status through suppression. At the centre of growing ties between the Modi regime and Israel is the collusion of these ideologies.”
Intriguingly, Sabrang India, an organization associated with the highly controversial activist Teesta Setalvad, too, objected to the event. In an article posted on its website, the organization said, “All masks are off and all veneers discarded- the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai along with one Indo-Israel Friendship Association is organising a public discussion on Hindutva and Zionism on August 26th, at the Convocation Hall of University of Mumbai.”
CounterCurrents, another far-left portal, too published a lengthy essay over the entire matter conveying their obvious objection to the event. It said, “On 26th August 2019 The Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, along with one Indo-Israel Friendship Association, is organising a public discussion on “Leaders’ Idea of Nations in the Context of Zionism and Hindutva” at the Convocation Hall of University of Mumbai. The poster of the event displays images of Theodor Herzl and V.D. Savarkar. This is only an expression of the ongoing relationship between Zionists and Hindutvawadis.”
It is not a secret that the relationship between India and Israel has improved immensely since Narendra Modi assumed the Prime Minister’s office. However, the leftist portals and ‘intellectuals’ having such a meltdown against an event that intended to discuss the ideological premises of the two oldest religions of the world is not just amusing, but also another reminder of the left’s intellectual bankruptcy.
Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu haven’t shied away from acknowledging their friendship in public. Thus, it appears to be only natural that such events, as the one organized by the two Israeli organizations, have increased one frequency. It is indeed weird to watch the Left suffer a meltdown over it. Even more so, the fact that the Mid-Day thought the protest, which doesn’t appear to have been attended by more than 10 people, was some significant protest by students of Mumbai University is quite amusing indeed.