An estimated 70,000 people took part in a pro-Israel demonstration in Calcutta, touted as the biggest such rally in India’s history, the The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.
The event, organized by the Hindu Samhati nationalist movement to mark the tenth anniversary of its founding on Wednesday, made friendship with Israel a major theme of the day.
Banners were held aloft bearing slogans such as: “Jerusalem: Eternal Capital of Israel” and “India-Israel: Ancient Cultures, Modern Miracles.”
A statement issued by the organizers said that Hindu Samhati founder Tapan Ghosh passed a resolution “by voice vote” urging the Indian government to move its embassy to Yerushalayim.
In a speech to the massive crowd gathered in the center of Calcutta, Ghosh declared: “Moving our embassy to Jerusalem will honor Israel’s long-standing commitment to peace and strengthen the bond between our two ancient peoples.”
Ghosh compared the struggle of the Jewish people for a homeland in Israel to the current struggle of Hindus in India. “In West Bengal… Hindus are being attacked by hostile neighbors just as Jews are fighting for their existence in little Israel. This struggle for survival unites Hindus and Jews, apart from the 2,500 years of glorious history that unites both the communities.”
Hindu Samhati is typically characterized as a far-right, anti-Muslim party.
Ghosh describes himself on Twitter as an “Uncompromising Hindu activist of Bengal. Determined to fight against Islamic aggression & expansion.”