Noam Chomsky, ‘Is Chuppi Ko Tod do’ (Break This Silence)


Ever since the Israel-Palestinian conflict flared up on 7 October 2023 people all over the world are awaiting your sagacious comments/ any new point by way of revision of your very own opinion on this long standing dispute. I wish to remind you that in your interview by Eliyahu Freedman carried by Al Jazeera on 9 April 2023 you had spoken about the regrets in not taking certain positions in the past. You had mentioned that you should have taken a stance on Vietnam much earlier. You said:

“when the U.S. began to support the French effort to reconquer their former colony and when the French failed, the U.S. took over, undermined the Geneva Accords, established a client state in the south that killed 60 or 70 thousand people … that I should have started earlier.”

About Israel you said:

“I started talking publicly about the criminal nature of Israel’s actions in 1969 – it should have been much earlier.”

May I remind you that you are committing the same mistake again. Presently Israel is committing Holocaust II on Palestinians. You must break your silence and don’t be mild in your criticism. You are already much much late. People have likened you to be an American Socrates. But Socrates as a public intellectual/philosopher would sit in the market place and talk about life philosophy with anyone there and then. To get to you in this era of internet for someone thousands of miles away is no easy task. Hence your stance post October 7 may kindly be made public and disseminated widely.

My friend Manas of Naujawan Sabha, Delhi had written a poem in Hindi titled “Intellectual” part of a collection of poems titled “Break This Silence” published in January 1997. The scanned version of the poem which indicts intellectuals for fighting battles only in books is reproduced below.


[P.S. Sahni is a qualified orthopaedic surgeon. He has worked extensively with the victims of Sikh Genocide in 1984; amongst victims of 1992 anti-Muslim violence; and at the India-Bangladesh border during the Bangladesh Liberation War resulting in 1971 Bangladesh Genocide of Hindus.

Blog: ]

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