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Viral: Pro-Israel protester chants ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan at US university, here’s what happened

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A video, now gone viral, shows a pro-Israel demonstrator chanting the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan amid pro-Palestinian protests at a US campus. The video surfaced online in the wake of such protests overwhelmingly sweeping over US universities, particularly in the past few weeks, followed by mass arrests targeting hundreds of people encamping on the university grounds.

Still from Shayan A Krishna’s Instagram video.(@theblondedesi)

The people of the community and faculty members are also joining the massive student-led demonstrations. However, a recent incident at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) took a different turn when people lining up with the pro-Palestine and pro-Israel rhetorics clashed against each other.

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Amid the charging pro-Palestinian protests, the pictured man responded to alleged anti-India remarks by raising his own chants of “Jai Shri Ram.” (Per reports from Asianet, this clash took place at UCLA.)

Also read | University of Utah: Riot police clamps down on pro-Palestinian protesters; ‘disturbing’ footage emerges

Pro-Israel protester raises “Jai Shri Ram” chants

The man seen draped in an Israeli flag is Shayan Ali Krishna (@theblondedesi on Instagram). The Pakistan-born influencer proclaimed himself “Indian by heart, American by choice” in 2023, when he also claimed to have adopted the Sanatana Dharma.

“Jai Shri Ram” has synonymously morphed into the cry for Hindu nationalist ideology – blurring the lines between it and Indian nationalism. On the same note, Shayan Ali is heard counter-attacking alleged anti-India rhetoric, which supposedly arose upon an Indian flag being spotted in the hands of anti-Palestinian protesters.

The South Asian influencer posted the video on his social media handle, as his Instagram post mentions, “India and Israel are on the same page! Because… both countries are facing extremism from their neighbours,” which he said while referring to Palestine and Pakistan.

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An extract from Shayan Ali’s Instagram caption reads:

“Palestinian Protesters started chanting against India 🇮🇳 so this is what I did 😅😂

JAI SHRI RAM 🙏

India 🇮🇳 Stands with Israel 🇮🇱 in the fight against terrorism!”

Contrary to Krishna’s stand in the Israel-Gaza conflict, several other students of Indian origin were pictured at Columbia University, raising their voices in solidarity with Palestine. This side of the politically divided narrative has demanded US universities divest from their ties with Israel.

Amid the ongoing campus upheaval, Indian-origin student Achinthya Sivalingan was one such individual partaking in pro-Palestinian demonstrations. On Thursday, she was arrested. In addition to facing disciplinary action for joining the encampment protests, she’s also reportedly been barred from the university.

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