While a war rages and the world tries to come to grips with the violence let loose by Israel on Gaza, a photograph of a Lebanese journalist kissing her Jewish boyfriend has gone viral.
Just as at the time of the global financial crisis, the only commentator on mainstream American TV who seems to be able to call it as he sees it on Israel-Palestine seems to be Jon Stewart.
Chetan Bhagat has done it again. His ill-considered tweets on the situation in Gaza have stirred up a controversy. The best selling novelist has often managed to enrage the Twitterati, including the furore he caused by comparing the fall of the rupee with rape.
We are members of an internet mailing list concerned mainly with South Asian literature.
In light of the recent letter campaigns, online petitions, opinion columns and blogs variously urging you to reject the Dan David prize and/or condemning you for refusing to take such a position, we thought of writing to you expressing our admiration for your writings, especially for your responding to these with grace and firmness while sticking to a principled position.
We have no common position on the Palestinian question. We do have a common position on the need to expand the common ground that writers such as yourself seek to establish - a ground on which all human beings can celebrate their commonalities and negotiate their differences.
K. V. Bapa Rao
One reason for my decision was that all too many people advised me not to do it. Perhaps, like many other novelists, I tend to do the exact opposite of what I am told. If people are telling me -- and especially if they are warning me -- "Don't go there," "Don't do that," I tend to want to "go there" and "do that." It's in my nature, you might say, as a novelist. Novelists are a special breed. They cannot genuinely trust anything they have not seen with their own eyes or touched with their own hands.
And that is why I am here. I chose to come here rather than stay away. I chose to see for myself rather than not to see. I chose to speak to you rather than to say nothing.
Please do allow me to deliver one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:
"Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg."