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Amitav Ghosh on his refusing to refuse the Dan David Prize: 'I do not believe in embargoes and boycotts where they concern matters of culture and learning.' These, he argues, 'must, in principle, be regarded as autonomous of the state'.


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1/D-6
Apr 21, 2010
02:58 AM
There is no good Zionist or bad Zionist, they all equally believe in feeding off the rest of the world and then cry discrimination / pogrom when caught out. Ghosh is too insignificant a scribe to have the guts to take on the Zionist Mafia that controls the West - including the book trade.
Gaurav G
SiliValley, United States
2/D-11
Apr 21, 2010
04:24 AM
Ghosh did the right thing in accepting the Dan David award.Brave little Israel is India's friend, unlike the pro Pak Arab states.Unlike our feeble Govt. Israel is determined to defend it's terrority against the Arab terrorists-Hamas etc.The Palestians, who breed like rabbits,are heavily subsidized by the International communlty.Once the Hamas terrorists stop firing rockets into Israel, it could expect concessions from Israel.Not before.
Hriday
London, United Kingdom
3/D-23
Apr 21, 2010
11:17 AM
Would Ghosh have accepted the prize from the Apartheid Govt in South Africa or Nazi Germany ?

Accepting the prize clearly trumped taking a principled stand against Israels extreme oppression against the hapless Palestinians (mostly armed with rocks). However Ghosh is right. Why would anyone want to deal with dreary principles when glamor is readily available.
ajt65
SF, United States
4/D-35
Apr 21, 2010
01:24 PM
AJT65 asks:

"Would Ghosh have accepted the prize from the Apartheid Govt in South Africa or Nazi Germany?"

Clearly, reading and parsing a statement is not considered necessary nowadays before rushing off to condemn with one's pre=conceived ideas.

Ghosh clearly distinguishes between the state and the private institutions. Otherwise, AJT65, living in USA, should be held culpable of and complicit in all the crimes of the USA. Or as he says:

Or else every writer in America and Britain, and everyone who teaches in a British or American university, would necessarily be implicated in the Iraq war, and by extension, in Israel’s actions in Gaza and Palestine. Similarly every Indian writer and academic would also be complicit in the actions of the Indian government in areas of conflict. And if we don’t defend this principle how will we defend the rights of dissent of those who are employed in universities – especially, for instance, in times of war, when reasons of state can be cited to create an explicit complicity?
Ajit Tendulkar
Seattle, United States
5/D-43
Apr 21, 2010
03:30 PM
AJT65, P.G.Wodehouse accepted honour from the Nazis. But his fans don't hold that against him. Our own Subhash Chandra Bose, the greatest of all our revolutioneries and one of the greatest sons of mother India, was an honoured guest of Hitler's Germany, but for that reason we do not disown him, though the congress government has, for the last sixty years, done everything in its power to obliterate his memory from our hearts and minds.

Extending the same logic, the great Maoist and human rightist, Arundhati Roy, should now at least return the Booker prize and the money because Britain was an accomplice of America in the war against Iraq and also Afghanistan, where it is fighting her comrades, the Taliban and the Alqaeda. Therefore, the arguments against Amitav Ghosh are frivolous, mischievous and downright envious.
B.V.SHENOY
BANGALORE, India
6/D-46
Apr 21, 2010
04:11 PM
"Would Ghosh have accepted the prize from the Apartheid Govt in South Africa or Nazi Germany ? "

I don't beleive that Nazi Germany was ever boycotted, being as it was one of the leading countries in Europe. It was too important and powerful a country to boycott. Most likely you would have sucked up to it.

As Ghosh points out all countries are guilty in some way or the other. Do we boycott the USA? Not likely because these "boycotters" will not do anything to jeopardise their gravy train.

Anyway, I am pleased to see a leading author not jump on this particular bandwagon. For it has ugly strains behind it as well. Indians should not jump on the anti-semitic bandwagon.
MK Saini
Delhi, India
7/D-50
Apr 21, 2010
05:25 PM
One hopes the author's enlightened views find resonance closer home and result in sane elements in both India and Pakistan's civil society reaching out to each other.
ashok lal
mumbai, India
8/D-54
Apr 21, 2010
06:28 PM
Ghosh's response shows that he misunderstands BDS to be a principle to adhere to and apply automatically on various situations around the world. BDS, in fact, is a strategy WIDELY adopted by the Palestinian civil society as legitimate non-violent and effective means of struggle. When Ghosh rejects the Palestinian call for cultural and academic boycott he undermines this struggle for freedom.

Now, about Tel-Aviv University and tale about it not being given from the state of Israel:
First, the Prize ceremony will be held with the presence of the Israeli president, Shimon Peres. This shows just how high-profile is the Israeli branding and white-washing that is taking place while utilizing Ghosh's and Atwood's names.
The Dan Davdi Prize is "a joint international enterprise, endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University" (http://www.dandavid...out-the-prize.html). Tel-Aviv University, as all Israeli universities, is state-run and state-funded. But it is further complicit in the state's crimes by the extensive cooperation it has with the Israeli military apparatus, and it also complict in discriminatory conduct towards Palestinian citizens of Israel. See here:
http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1097
Ayala Shani
Tel Aviv, Israel
9/D-62
Apr 21, 2010
08:07 PM
AYALA SHANI,
Will you please explain to an ignoramus like me what is BDS?
bvshenoy
Bangalore, India
10/D-63
Apr 21, 2010
08:09 PM
> "I do not see how it is possible to make the case that Israel is so different, so exceptional, that it requires the severing of connections with even the more liberal, more critically-minded members of that society." Amitav Ghosh.

I fully agree with that statement. I also think that it would have been wrong for Mr.Ghosh to turn down the Dan David prize.
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
11/D-75
Apr 21, 2010
09:36 PM
@anwaar

you are a serious minded chap. would you agree with this statement:

"It is possible to make the case that Pakistan is so different, so exceptional, that it requires the severing of connections with even the more liberal, more critically-minded members of that society. Because such people don't really exist"
MK Saini
Delhi, India
12/D-18
Apr 22, 2010
04:28 AM
Saini,

>> ".... Pakistan is so different, so exceptional, that it requires the severing of connections with even the more liberal, more critically-minded members of that society. Because such people don't really exist"

Your statement is false.
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
13/D-28
Apr 22, 2010
10:51 AM
--"When Ghosh rejects the Palestinian call for cultural and academic boycott he undermines this struggle for freedom. "

That is totally right. Ghosh, unfortunately, made his choice and its clear where his sympathies lie.

Ghosh--"Is it really possible to argue that there is in that country such a unique and excessive malevolence that it contaminates every aspect of civil society, including private foundations and universities?"

There is and you know it. Otherwise you would not have even bothered to conjure up some magic prose to justify your position.
ajt65
SF, United States
14/D-29
Apr 22, 2010
10:52 AM
BDS means boycott, divestment and sanctions.

It is such a lie to say that the academic elite in Israel is progressive and against the occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. They are SUSTAINING IT! And that's the logic of the boycott - to pressure the elite that sustains the oppression.
If you support "peace negotiations" between oppressor and oppressed and on conditions of severe oppression and pressure - you are nothing but a colonizer. "peace" has been negotiated since 1993 and the result - an apartheid wall and siege on Gaza for the Palestinians, with self-governing authority that further increases the Palestinians dependence on Israel... while Israel has managed at the same time to waive the boycott it was subjected to (the Arab league countries boycott) and sky-rocket its economy.

Did you know that 94% of Israelis supported the Gaza massacre?

That 110 out of 120 parliament seats in Israel are Zionists (believing Israel should be a Jewish-state, rejecting Palestinian right of return and entitlement to equal rights and representation), and supported the massacre in Gaza too?
Ayala Shani
Tel Aviv, Israel
15/D-65
Apr 22, 2010
05:57 PM
Ayela,

You are calling Israel the oppressor and the Palestinians the oppressed. I think you have blanked out a bit of recent history. In 1967, 13 Arab countries, almost three fourths of the size of the African continent, invaded Israel, a tiny speck on the map. If they had even half succeeded, Israel would have vanished from the face of the earth a second time in the history of mankind. In 1973 too, Egypt, Jordan and Syria attacked Israel by stealth, when the whole country was fasting on the occasion of the Yom Kippur festival and was totally taken by surprise. Then too Israel would have been wiped out totally and Islamic rule would have ordained mass massacre of the losers, the Jews. When you are surrounded by very hostile, anti-semitic, arrogant, Islamic fundamentalists what would you do? When they are not willing to negotiate any peace settlement and always rain rockets on the land of Israel, what would you do? We In India, of course, would wait for a Gandhi to talk peace and settle for whatever the aggressor grants us, but you cannot expect the Jews, who have tasted Hitler's decades long pogrom cannot be expected to be meek and humble and suffer their fate silently, so that at a future date they will inherit the earth.
bvshenoy
Bangalore, India
16/D-68
Apr 22, 2010
06:29 PM
Shenoy
>>> We In India, of course, would wait for a Gandhi to talk peace and settle for whatever the aggressor grants us...

Gandhi could afford to talk peace because the other side-the British were civilised people.If they desired was it difficult to snuff out life out of a frail old man like Gandhi in that isolated ashram? And the same Gandhi who breathed only peace proved a failure with Jinnah!! So it is finally who you are dealing with which matters.
sandilya
Chennai, India
17/D-36
Apr 23, 2010
01:11 PM
BVShenoy ... please read up on your history before making sweeping generalizations. Painting a pretty picture of Israel and its Zionists is a favorite pastime of Western Nations. Israel has shamefully used the sins of the holocaust and the Worlds sympathy to successfully commit what amounts to genocide against the Palestinians. Israel knows it can get away with broad, daylight murder (the recent invasion of Gaza), and the World cant say or do anything against it because the sins of the holocaust trumps their own oppression. Zionist colonization of the Palestinian State should be condemned. Israelis should either return to Europe and upstate New York or at least commit to the Oslo process (which itself was deeply flawed).
ajt65
SF, United States
18/D-3
Apr 24, 2010
12:53 AM
B V Shenoy of Bangalore :

Do you have any first hand experience of how the Jews operate ? Or is it based solely on some programs ( propaganda ) you have watched on satellite TV while stuck in Bang ?

I have lived in the US for the last 35 years and seen how Kissinger ( remember him - in 1971 he supported the Pakistani genocide of Bangladeshis ) and fellow Jews ( Zionist & Liberal alike ) have turned this Superpower into a tool of Israel and brought it down to the level of a debtor nation subservient to China.
Gaurav G
SiliValley, United States
19/D-14
Apr 24, 2010
01:37 AM
Gaurav,

>> how Kissinger ..... and fellow Jews .... have turned this Superpower into a tool of Israel.

Can't blame the Jews. If Arabs or Indians had similar influence in the U.S., they too would have used it maximally to their own advantage. And Americans themselves bear responsibility for letting their foreign policy get so unbalanced.
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
20/D-36
Apr 24, 2010
03:36 AM
To Ayla and fellow commentators, in the last fifty years or so ,a nation of twenty million people have won more than 180 Nobel prizes. Ghosh is fortunate the Israelis found him competent. He must take the prize and exchange his ideas with some of the best brains in the world. If Indians can talk to pakis,the meanest of the mean, the terrorists of the world, there is nothing wrong for Ghosh to go to Israel and accept the prize.
george
london, United Kingdom
21/D-58
Apr 24, 2010
12:23 PM
Gaurav G:
"I have lived in the US for the last 35 years and seen how Kissinger ( remember him - in 1971 he supported the Pakistani genocide of Bangladeshis ) and fellow Jews ( Zionist & Liberal alike ) have turned this Superpower into a tool of Israel and brought it down to the level of a debtor nation subservient to China."

It is a pity the 35 years in the US has not made you any the wiser. The country has turned into a debtor (some would even go as far as saying 'a beggar')nation not because of its support to Israel but because of its own parasitic nature of life style and profligacy with other peoples' money and wealth. It has become a vassal of the Chinese because of its misadventures in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and again in Pakistan/Afghanistan.

Gaurav, please be also informed that there are millions in Pakistan and even within India who hold India entirely responsible for the death of 3 million Bangladeshis. They don't even want to mention it as genocide and want to have brotherly relations with that country even with the blood of so many on its hands.

As for Kissinger's approval of the Pakistanis, it is pertinent to note here that the entire Muslim world represented by the IOC has consistently passed resolutions against India for "occupying" Kashmir and also for treating its minorities and their religion shabbily. And, India still wants to have and has succeeded in having, good relations with all those hostile countries.
bvshenoy
Bangalore, India
22/D-60
Apr 24, 2010
12:39 PM
Ayela,
Thanks for enlightening me on BDS. Actually, most of us Indians are ignorant of such noble thoughts, because we are products of some of the most traditional universities. Let me, in my turn, enlighten you about how it is in India. We have only three progressive or very progressive universities: JNU, Jamia Mila Islamia and last but the best, Aligarh Muslim University. Delhi University has been trying hard for the last few decades to gatecrash into this elite club, but unsuccessfully. The rest are all run of the mill, bourgeois, mass production factories.
bvshenoy
Bangalore, India
23/D-67
Apr 24, 2010
01:27 PM
B V Shenoy :

Your blaming India for the Pakistani massacre of Bangladeshis in 1971 would be going too far even for a raving Jihadi. Blaming the Consumer Culture in the US w/o acknowledging the role Jews play in tempting the masses here via Madison Ave and Hollywood pornography would mean that you are just a village idiot stuck in Bengaluru.

Or is it just that your incoherent ramblings are merely the symptoms of a schizophrenic half - wit.
Gaurav G
SiliValley, United States
25/D-76
Apr 24, 2010
03:13 PM
Gaurav G,
It is becoming increasingly clear that the rarified air of Silivalley has made your posts look silly and you an antisemitic. You would have found yourself very comfortable in Germany where there still are many Neo Nazis, who would simply embrace you to their bosom, even overlooking that you are a brownie.

Your blaming the the small community of Jews for all the ills and the debt trap the US has self-inflicted, is like blaming the Kashmiri Pandits for India's troubles in Kashmir and with Pakistan.

I am a Bangalorean and am proud of the fact. We are doing half of all America's work which nincompoops like you have left undone or can't do. Come off your Bangalore fixation.
B.V.SHENOY
BANGALORE, India
26/D-77
Apr 24, 2010
03:24 PM
Gaurav,
"Your blaming India for the Pakistani massacre of Bangladeshis in 1971 would be going too far even for a raving Jihadi."

I am sorry you can't even understand what I had written in simple enough English. There still are millions of Indians who blame India for the 3million deaths of Bangladeshis, which means they are blaming India for the breaking of Pakistan into two. I am not one of them. I have loudly cheered the Indian soldiers in 1971 when India soundly thrashed Pakistan into submission. I am definitely among those who then felt and are still feeling that India avoided dealing the death blow to the concept of Pakistan, which was within Indira Gandhi's grasp.
B.V.SHENOY
BANGALORE, India
27/D-79
Apr 24, 2010
04:12 PM
It is no good envying the jewish people for their power.they earned it through hard work, shrewdness and brain power. Read Dr.farrukh saleem 'why are jews so powerful' and you willknow why everything from medical science to computer chips has a jew behind the innovation. They are the most educated community in the world.
george
london, United Kingdom
31/D-27
Apr 25, 2010
03:54 AM
Being anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist are two completely different things. Criticizing Israels oppression of the Palestinian minority doesn't make you an anti-Semite. Unfortunately Zionists use exactly this tactic to further propagate their oppression. Its a ruse deployed with devastating effect. Commit murder and use the anti-Semitic and holocaust weapons to subdue any dissent.
ajt65
SF, United States
32/D-28
Apr 25, 2010
03:55 AM
Some of the most vocal critics of Israel in the U.S. are Jews. You will be hard-pressed to find even a handful of similar critics of Sanghism.
ajt65
SF, United States
56/D-65
Apr 27, 2010
08:45 PM
AJT65

Wouldn't be the best option to have both the sides of an opinion to be controlled by same group. Intellectually challenged like you will take a long time to understand the nuisances of such intricate manipulations.
Akil
Bangalore, India
57/D-29
Apr 28, 2010
02:37 AM
--"Intellectually challenged like you will take a long time to understand the nuisances of such intricate manipulations."

I guess you meant nuances, but your post definitely contains lots of nuisance value.
ajt65
SF, United States
58/D-78
Apr 28, 2010
12:12 PM
Amitav Ghosh wins Dan David Prize. (TOI)
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
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