Category : EDITORIAL

The last two months have witnessed a continuous onslaught on millions of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and beyond, with occupying Israeli forces carrying out relentless attacks with the encouragement and abetment of global powers. Terms like ‘ceasefire’ and ‘humanitarian pause’ cannot obscure the reality of oppression and an uninterrupted history of occupation which has nevertheless been bravely resisted by Palestinian men, women and children. The heartening fact is that the pro-Palestinian movement has seen a global upsurge, with record-breaking rallies and demonstrations dotting the streets of every major city in the world. The horrifying images of Palestinian children dying in incubators due to the incessant Israeli bombing of hospitals, as well as the images of parents cradling their children and bidding them goodbye continues to haunt us. As a women’s magazine, Aura’s pages too have been dotted with the fervent writings of young men and women alike in solidarity with the movement. This issue too, Aura features poetry and a short story on Gaza, some by very young writers.

December brings important events like the anniversary of the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid, concerns of human rights and minority rights, and the death anniversary of a transformational personality, Dr BR Ambedkar, who challenged the set course of history for India’s marginalized and excluded communities as well as women. The growing concerns over ‘deepfakes’ and how this can affect women’s privacy, but also more generally, the civil liberties of all citizens are addressed in the cover story. While the growing rise of new and disruptive technologies has been a welcome and exciting change in many aspects of our lives, there remain valid concerns over the lack of regulation, their potential for invasive effects, and the possible misappropriations by anti-social elements and surveillance states alike. In the field of journalism as well, this is of immense concern, as a flood of fake news and manipulated images challenge us to sift fact from fiction, truth from lies and real from fake in very practical and everyday ways.

As the year winds down to a close, it is a sombre moment of reflection for all of us. While it is not a space of despair, there are immense concerns on all fronts, especially within India. On the eve of election results, which has also taken place within a deeply polarised and communalised environment, we must go beyond counting losses and attempt to imagine – and actively reconstruct – a society free of evils both political and social and one where children do not have to grapple with the loss of their childhoods and families. As the Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad wrote:

When they ran over her,
the mulberry tree said:

“Do what you wish,
but remember
my right to bear fruit
will never die.”


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