Another IIT Bombay event on Israel-Palestine rakes up controversy

Another IIT Bombay event on Israel-Palestine rakes up controversy

In a letter to the Powai Police station, the students objected to a talk by Sudhanva Deshpande, a theatre director and actor, where he, among other things, described his interaction with Palestinian militants.

Musab QaziUpdated: Thursday, November 09, 2023, 03:21 PM IST
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Another IIT Bombay event on Israel-Palestine rakes up controversy |

Mumbai: A day after IIT Bombay cancelled a lecture on Israel-Palestine conflict, some students have submitted a complaint against another event on the issue to the city police.

In a letter to the Powai Police station, the students objected to a talk by Sudhanva Deshpande, a theatre director and actor, where he, among other things, described his interaction with Palestinian militants.

Israel's counsel general in Mumbai Kobbi Shoshani also expressed shock after a video clip from the event made it to the social media.

A day earlier, a different lecture, titled 'Israel-Palestine: The Historical Context, by writer and academician Achin Vanaik was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to 'unforseen circumstances'. Both events were organised by the premier institute's Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The students claimed that Deshpande, in his virtual interaction, "glorified armed rebellion and violence." They particularly objected to the actor's remarks about visiting Palestine and meeting Zakaria Zubeidi, a Palestinian militant and cultural activist, whom the students described as a 'terrorist'.

In his talk, Deshpande is quoted to have described the armed struggle against Israel by Palestinians as 'freedom struggle'. "There has been no freedom struggle in the history of the world's in the history of colonialism, that is 100% non-violent. It is never! Indian freedom struggle wasn't 100% non-violent and so on and so forth," the theatre personality is claimed to have said.

The police have so far not registered any complaint in the matter, which is being probed.

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