By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi, Nov. 14, 2023
To mark Children’s Day, the Solidarity Movement organized meetings on Tuesday to mourn and pay homage to the Palestinian children who have died under continuous bombardment by the Israeli army since October 7. Such meetings are also held in several cities across the country. In the capital, participants gathered at historic Lodhi Garden’s Sheesh Gumbad to pay their tributes to those killed in the Israeli bombing. The meeting was held in the morning.
Since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, over 6,000 children have died in the Gaza Strip under a heavy and continuous bombardment done by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). A large number of children are said to be buried under the debris.
In a novel way of expressing grief and sorrow over the deaths of children, participants recited their names. They were divided into groups of four people each and started reading the names of deceased children. The organizers said under the current regime, standing up for humanity and against genocide has become an act of civil disobedience in some cities, including New Delhi. We decided to avoid any untoward situation.
Speaking with Radiance, Vijayan MJ, one of the organizers and activists, said, taking into account the political climate in the country, we did not make a formal call for the homage meeting. India celebrates November 14 as Children’s Day every year, and Palestinian children are also our children, so we decided to hold the meeting on this day, he added.
It is to be underlined that global charity organization Save the Children noted that more children have been killed in just over four weeks in Gaza than in all of the world’s conflicts combined in each of the past three years. Its motto is “The children are always ours, every single one of them, all over the globe.”
Vijayan said India should rise against this barbarity and demand an immediate halt to Israeli aggression in Gaza. Communist leader Rampahl, who came from Haryana to join the meeting, said the international community and our government should exert pressure on Israel to stop its madness against humanity.
Speaking with Radiance, several participants said that while every life is valuable and completely salvable, the murder of children is an outright transgression against nature. Children are the ones who grow up to be adults – both good and bad. There is no rationale for ending a life before it has a chance to manifest.
However, it is highly condemnable that the Israeli military establishment and administration continue to defend the murder of minors. After the ground attack, its soldiers entered Gaza and declared that anybody there in Gaza was our enemy. Since the Israeli aggression started on October 7 with the backing of the US and other western allies, over 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza, which is facing dire humanitarian conditions.