A Happy New Year
Every cloud has a silver lining. The human spirit and human conscience is still alive and kicking. Protest against genocidal war, resistance to repression and oppression and the voices of peace, sanity, reason and humanity are vocal, visible and audible world-wide as well as in this large and diverse land of ours.
So let us move forward Friends, with a hope and the resolve to unitedly struggle for a better world of love, harmony, peace, friendship and equality. Wish you all a Happy New Year 2024!
Aurobindo Ghose
[Aurobindo Ghose, writer, economist, lawyer, human rights activist, can be reached at
[Source: Countercurrents]

‘Stop the Assault on Gaza’
P Smith, Christopher Pissarides, John F Clauser, Giorgio Parisi, Richard J Roberts [all Nobel Laureates] and 2049 Academics, Clergy, Professionals and Artists of America called on the US to lead the way in negotiating an immediate and lasting ceasefire, implementing a hostage-prisoner exchange, and supplying urgent humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The human toll is unbearable, with both sides committing grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and humanitarian law. Some 1,200 Israelis were killed in the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023 close to 7,000 wounded, and 240 taken hostage. Hamas committed atrocious crimes that day, including rape.

Since then, [update January 1, 2024], more than 21,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombing, the majority of them women and children. Tens of thousands are wounded, 7,000 are still missing under the rubble, and–in what amounts to a humanitarian disaster–most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are starving, displaced, and deprived of water, electricity, and medicine.

The signatories to the statement sent to US President Biden denounced the October 7 attacks. At the same time, they made it clear how ‘75 years of displacement, 56 years of occupation, and 16 years of blockade have generated an ever-worsening spiral of violence that can only be stopped with a political solution’. Israel’s continued apartheid in the West Bank, administrative detention (jail without trial) of civilians, while daily terrorising Palestinians by armed settlers, is causing an escalation of violence. This historic injustice continues unchecked because the US allows Israel to flout binding UN Security Council Resolutions.

The signatories also urge the US to stop its unconditional support of Israel's assault on Gaza and flagrant violations of international humanitarian law. Ideas for a political resolution abound but they require political will. The US must set the tone for a paradigm shift, from managing the conflict to solving it within a short and reasonable timeframe.
Grazia Borrini–Feyeradend, USA

Assam CM
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, citing Bhagwat Geeta, tweeted that it is the natural duty of a Shudra to serve the three Varnas–Brahmin, Kshatriya and  Vaishya . But times have changed. This is not the era of Ved Vyas but of Ambedkar.

No Protests in India
It is strange to note that none of the political parties in India–even the left or left extremist groups–have conducted any protest demonstrations and rallies against the inhuman genocide–especially of thousands of children and women–being perpetrated by the Zionist chauvinist terrorist state of Israel in Gaza War! With PM Modi definitely siding with the genocidal Israel, ditching India’s longstanding pro-Palestinian foreign policy traditions in one go without any public or parliamentary discussion even, it seems people have given up the courage and perseverance to protest against the injustice and cruelty in such international affairs and especially on a matter in which thousands of people are coming to streets in protest demonstrations even in the US, Britain and the West. Things look very sad and bad.

Israel’s current war crimes in its continuing aerial attacks and horrible aggression of Gaza Strip, killing more than 22000 Palestinians, mostly women and children seems to have no parallel in the annals of modern post-WWII wars. Doubt whether even the barbarous bombings of Vietnam in the 1960s by the American imperialists took such a huge toll of civilians, especially children and women, in so short a time span. The chief war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu has absolutely no regrets but is giving more belligerent calls to exterminate the population there in the name of annihilating Hamas Jihadi terrorists. Strangely the International Criminal Court[ICC], which just in the last January issued a much-publicised but secretive arrest warrant against President Putin of Russian Federation on the allegations of his having transported some ‘Ukrainian’ children from their home places to somewhere in Russia–as per Russian sources it was done for their own protection to avoid war casualties–has remained completely silent in this mass genocide being committed by the Neo-Nazi Israeli ruling circles, supported by most of the Israeli Jews now turned into Nazi gangs. ICC is acting just as a lackey or tool of the American imperialists and not for the welfare of people of the world in general. True, Hamas did conduct a heinous terrorist operation on 7 October 2023 causing deaths of more than 1400 Israelis and other nationals, taking hostages, committing horrible atrocities, which everyone strongly condemns, but the Israeli ‘retaliatory’ attacks–a mini-Holocaust by Zionist chauvinists, that turned Gaza into a ‘graveyard of children’ as the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described–are too excessive. The ICC must shed its duplicity, immediately investigate into this mass-slaughter, first of all name the war criminal Netanyahu as the chief accused and issue public warrants of arrest against him for the genocide of children and women in Gaza as also the blatant transgression of all rules and norms of international law.
I Mallikarjuna Sharma,
Advocate, Editor,
Law Animated World
(online publication only),

Why Not a Plebiscite in Taiwan?
In all these debates over China's claim on Taiwan–whether to be brought about by peaceful diplomacy or military invasion–what is lost sight of is the choice of the people of Taiwan. Do they want to be a part of China under the present regime of Xi ? Has any survey been undertaken to assess their views? Mere geographical proximity to the mainland does not mean that the same Chinese-speaking people inhabiting this particular territory (an independent state all these years), who had been enjoying civil liberties, will have to be herded into the state of People's Republic of China, where such liberties are denied. Let there be a plebiscite held in Taiwan, under the auspices of the UN, or some other international neutral body which is acceptable to PRC, to find out what the people of Taiwan want.
Sumanta Banerjee, Hyderabad

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Vol 56, No. 29, Jan 14 - 20, 2024