From most sections of the political spectrum in India, except the Hindutva forces, there has been a long-standing support for the Palestinian cause. This solidarity has been a part of a wider anti-imperialist struggle and the Non-Aligned Movement. This event marking ten years of the Indian Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel, (InCACBI) co-organised by the Indian Cultural Forum and BDS India, brought together some notable Palestine solidarity activists, artists, writers and academics, as a significant reminder of what it means to extend solidarity to the Palestinian cause.
Pushpamala N, visual artist, speaks about some key moments of the last ten years of InCACBI including when several artists boycotted the Israeli invitation for participation in an exhibition called “Deconstructing India” in Tel Aviv. Pamela Philipose leads an engaging, incisive conversation with Achin Vanaik and Nivedita Menon about connections between Israel’s Law of Return and the CAA-NRC, as well as the growing, unprecedented affinity between the two countries at the level of foreign policy. As a resounding response to the alliances between repressive governments, Sudhanva Deshpande and Orijit Sen offer with aplomb, chronicles of growing solidarity and cultural collaborations across India and Palestine – the Freedom Jatha of 2015-16. Finally, Jana Natya Manch presents excerpts from its Ujle Safed Kabootar – poetry on and for Palestine, with a visual essay by Sherna Dastur. This performance features dramatised readings of poetry by the likes of Palestinian national poet, Mahmoud Darwish.