Hindu-organized protest in Kolkata commemorates the Great Calcutta Killings in 1946, where thousands died.
Nearly 20,000 people rallied in support of Israel in India on Saturday in the largest demonstration of its kind, The Times of Israel reported.
Protesters carrying banners with pro-Israel messages gathered in the streets of Kolkata as community leaders made speeches declaring Israel’s right to defend itself against the Islamist group Hamas.
Holding signs reading “Save Israel from jihadi aggression” and “Stop Hamas, Gaza will be peaceful,” the crowd marched and cheered as one of the rally’s organizers delivered a speech.
“The destiny of both India and Israel as thriving democracies are intertwined. We both share the same values,” protest organizer Tapan Ghosh was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.
During the rally Ghosh claimed that both Israel and India are “surrounded by very tough neighbors.”
The rally was organized by a political group known as Hindu Samhati in memory of Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay, a local hero who defended the Hindu people and “saved innocent lives during the Great Calcutta Killing in 1946.”
The Great Calcutta Killings marked the beginning of what is called “The Week of the Long Knives,” in which there was widespread violence between Hindus and Muslims in the city of Calcutta (now referred to as Kolkata).Thousands died in the riots and 100,000 residents lost their homes.
Hindu-Muslim tension never fully resolved in India’s West Bengal region, and further riots erupted against Hindus in East Bengal, which has a Muslim majority.
Sikhs and Buddhists also reportedly attended the rally.
H/T Rebekah Jalalai, proud Jew, proud Indian