An Indian convoy started its journey towards Jerusalem in a bid to join a civil resistance movement for the freedom of the Holy Quds, dubbed as Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ).
In a farewell ceremony that was held at the Rajghat, which is the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the 54 member Indian delegation was felicitated by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan (Member of Parliament and President Lok Janshakti Party).
The delegates were also welcomed by Mr. Zuhair Hamdallah (2nd Consul, Palestine Embassy) and Shri Mani Shanker Aiyar (Member of Parliament).
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan congratulated the delegates for their commitment for the cause of Palestine, as it embodied the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
He stated that this movement would serve to create awareness about the cause of Palestine in India and across the world.
The freedom of Palestine he said was interwoven into our very freedom struggle.
Shri Paswan finally said that his party would now lead a convoy of Indians to Jerusalem. He also promised to raise the issue in parliament & take up the matter with the government of India.
Mr Zuhair Hamdallah, a veteran of the Palestinian freedom struggle, with tears in his eyes extended his heart support to the Indian effort.
He called for a greater role for the Indian people and government in their traditional and historical support for Palestine.
He stated that all the Palestinian and Arab people respect Mahatma Gandhi and his unique contribution of civil-disobedience and non-violent resistance to the world.
The delegates come from all the four corners of India and represent the diverse, plural and secular ethos of India. Each of the delegates explained the reasons for their participation in the convoy.
The Indian convoy will cross over to Pakistan across the Wagah border on the 10th of March. Prior to that they will be felicitated in Amritsar with programmes held at the Golden Temple and the Jalianwala Baug.
In Karachi, the Indian delegates will also be joined with delegates from Indonesia and Malaysia. The convoy, which has been organized by the Asian Peoples’ Solidarity for Palestine (APSP), will then travel to Iran, Turkey and then by ship, to Beirut.
Finally on the 30th of March, with hundreds of thousands of people and delegations from the majority of the nations of the world, they will march to the borders of Palestine, demanding an end to the Judaization of Jerusalem and Freedom for Palestine.