Editor’s Note: We thank Axis of Logic columnist, Shahid Siddiqi for this clarifying message in support of the people of Kashmir. Kashmir solidarity day will be oberved on February 5.
Les Blough, Editor
“I have no desire whatsoever to conceal from this court that to preach disaffection towards the existing system of government has become almost a passion with me… Sedition in law is a deliberate crime but it appears to me to be the highest duty of the citizen”.How ironic that in a country that is enjoying freedom won for it by such people as Gandhi, who called sedition ‘his duty’ in the struggle to throw out the foreign occupiers of his land, there are people who level charges of sedition against Kashmiris who refuse to be coerced into calling themselves Indians and demand ‘Azadi’ (freedom) from India which had forcibly occupied Kashmir in cahoots with the departing British Viceroy and later annexed it into the Indian Union against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
Ludicrously, demands are being made by nationalist and rightist groups for prosecution under sedition laws of the Kashmiri leaders and those honest, fearless, outspoken and forthright non-Kashmiri Indians of all faiths who support this cause as just.
The Seminar on Azadi
In a seminar held in Delhi on 21st October 2010 on “Azadi (freedom) – The Only Way”, the elderly Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundhati Roy – a noted writer, Sheikh Showkat Hussain – Professor of Law, Varavara Roy – a human rights activist, Shuddhahruta Sengupta and many others came to present Kashmir’s case for ‘Azadi’ directly to the people of India, bypassing the dishonest media, and give them the true picture of what was happening in Kashmir – ruthless security forces engaging in brutal killings, arrests, human rights abuses and a systematic economic blockade of the valley, all with the intent of breaking the will of the people and forcing them into submission by giving up their demand for freedom.