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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 46-47 November 11 & November 18, 2023

Killer Haze of Delhi & Rubble of Bombed-out Gaza | Humra Quraishi

Saturday 11 November 2023, by Humra Quraishi


Sitting in this killer-haze that’s been enveloping the New Delhi-NCR and the adjoining areas. The very survival getting tougher and tougher. Pollution of all hues and forms surmounting, with no relief. Anyway, in these barbaric times who cares how many of us die or stay live, and if alive then in what pathetic condition! Save for that small percentage of those who are able to afford air purifiers and the rest of the survival bandobast in these poisonous polluting times, the rest of the population is finding it difficult to breathe or to even go about the daily chores! It is tragic to see so many amongst us coughing and wheezing or down with breathing issues. Perhaps, dying a slow yet steady death of sorts!

The tragedies are only compounding as news reports on Gaza are carrying very, very depressing details. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as the raging Israel-Hamas conflict has completed a month since it erupted on October 7, more than 10,000 people, or some 0.5 per cent of the total population in the besieged enclave, have reportedly been killed, with an average of 160 children dying per day! Yes, an average of 160 Palestinian children dying every single day, in and around Gaza!

Just imagine the emotional havoc inflicted on the parents and grandparents of the children killed by violent-barbaric war tactics unleashed on a hapless people… In fact, why just closely related to the dead children, as these deaths are affecting each human being. Nah, not talking of the thick-skinned political rulers who have only and only expansionist agendas and arms contingents to boast of, but all those of us with human emotions tucked in, in our human forms and psyche. Our fragile systems getting weighed down as news reports are carrying heartbreaking details of the Israeli bombardments on the civilian Palestinian population in and around Gaza.
And the recently evacuated American nurse from Gaza, Emily Callahan, who works as nursing activity manager for ‘Doctors Without Borders’, has been quoted as saying that there are burnt and amputated children in Gaza because of the constant bombardments by the Israeli forces. She’s been also focusing on the fact that there’s no food and water for hundreds of the Palestinian families and their children …many could be dying of hunger and starvation and severe burn injuries. I just saw and heard her speak in one of the well-circulated videos where she is giving details of how Palestinian families are slowly dying because there is just nothing to survive on, and also just no medicines to treat the injured and burnt children. Some very grim details

Mind you, let’s not be naïve or short-sighted to see no aftermath of this, on us, the world over. Already, the world seems to be waking up to the realization that the Western world, rather it’s so-called leaders, have been following a policy of lies and deceit and damned hypocrisy, in its quest to take over the Palestinian lands and natural resources. And with that in the background or foreground, they are killing hundreds of Palestinians and also hounding the alive Palestinians away from their homeland! Can there be a bigger dark reality than this!

Quite obviously resistance or reactionary groups are bound to come up! The Western rulers and their Allies can term these resistance groups as ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’ but the reality is that they have emerged as a reaction to the unabated and uncontrolled violence and deceit heaped on a hapless people. These groups haven’t come up in a vacuum! There is a definite background to their creation. They have emerged as a reactionary force or forces. They have taken birth as a reaction to the aftermath…that war and destruction and deaths brings about.

There ought to be an immediate cease fire. There ought to be the much needed focus on the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. It’s their basic birth right to live as free citizens in their very own homeland – Palestine. They have suffered for decades and been subjected to worst forms of tortures and humiliation. It’s about time they could live intact and in peace in their homeland.

ENDING THIS COLUMN With these lines of Professor V. K. Tripathi ( He was earlier teaching 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 25 days siege of people
Made helpless for decades
Being bombarded
No water, no food, no medicine, no light

In a dream, I find myself trapped in a tunnel
Fire entering with
deafening sound I scream, wakeup, feel relieved.
But no relief for people facing bombs in real
They are me but have no nation, no government
No battle field to show their bravery
No labs to produce research worth Nobel

But they are alive, truthful and caring

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 tell Israeli regime to stop genocide
Hamas to shun violence
Indian PM to stop arms purchase from oppressors
US President to stop support for genocide
But these thoughts are distractions
May I feel the pain of dying people
Deeper, then I would tell the world
Don’t hide naked hatred
Behind Hamas atrocity
See the agony of people and cruelty of the state.”

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