Friday, August 16, 2019

Over 200 writers and cultural activists respond to the Kashmir situation: “This is a mockery of democracy”

From the Indian Cultural Forum:

By revoking the special status of Jammu & Kashmir and splitting it up into two union territories, the central government has made a mockery of democracy. It has violated the solemn promises made to the state of Jammu & Kashmir by the Union of India during the accession of the state in 1947.

The abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and the breakup of the state has been executed unilaterally, clandestinely and coercively. The people — across religious, cultural, ethnic and ideological segments — have not been consulted. Indeed, the unprecedented security and information clampdown in the state since 5th August 2019 is proof of the government’s fear of popular discontent and democratic dissent.

We, Indians who are writers, artists, media persons and cultural activists, condemn the undemocratic and unconstitutional moves of the government in Jammu & Kashmir. We condemn the government’s division of people and territories from above, subverting the very basis of our constitutional federalism. We condemn the state of siege imposed on the people of a state already suffering for many long years.

We demand that the state of siege in Jammu & Kashmir be lifted, and all basic freedoms — including those of free expression, communication and media freedoms — be restored with immediate effect. We demand the restoration of Article 370, and the restoration of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. We declare our solidarity with the Kashmiri people, and call on all our fellow citizens to resist this authoritarian challenge to the freedom and autonomy of Jammu & Kashmir.
 Click on the link below to see the names of the signatories to this statement

Monday, August 12, 2019

India's colonial occupation of Kashmir and its deception and lies

--Nasir Khan, August 12, 2019

India has never liked someone telling the truth about Kashmir that became the Indian-administered Kashmir in 1947, but in reality was the Indian-occupied Kashmir. Since then, the Indian Government in New Delhi has consistently followed the strategy to malign those people or news agencies that said something that went against the official Indian version. That strategy is still in place, and used by the present Hindutva government under the premiership of Narendra Modi.
At present what India is doing in Jammu and Kashmir is to keep a heavy lid on the events reaching the outside world. Within Kashmir India has a tight military control by employing around 800, 000 soldiers. The Indian leaders and officials keep on fooling the world public opinion with their deceptive lies and false information. Even in this extremely hard conditions they face, the people of Kashmir, men, women, and young children are protesting and resisting the Hindutva fascists. But these people face the full wrath of the occupying army.
For the full coverage, click on the link: 

BBC says it stands by its reporting on Kashmir

The UK-based media house refuted the Indian government’s assertion that its reports on Kashmir were inaccurate or misleading

NH Web Desk

NH Web Desk

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), widely respected for its integrity, on Sunday countered the Indian authorities' allegations that its reports on Kashmir were inaccurate or misleading.

In a statement, the BBC said that it stands by its report and emphasised that it was covering the situation in the Valley "impartially and accurately".
According to a BBC report, "Despite the unprecedented security lockdown, thousands of people demonstrated in Srinagar and were met with live fire, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets."

"The BBC stands by its journalism and we strongly refute any claims that we have misrepresented events in KAshmir. We are covering the situation impartially and accurately," the BBC said in a statement.

"Like other broadcasters, we are currently operating under severe restrictions in Kashmir but we will continue to report what is happening," it added.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

India as a brutal Colonial Power in Jammu and Kashmir


-- Nasir Khan, August 9, 2019 

A young man, Asif Janjua, whose family sought refuge in Azad Kashmir/Pakistan from the Indian Occupied Kashmir in 1947, has raised a few points in his comments about the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir. In his anger, he has suggested that Pakistan should think of fighting India or even use its nuclear weapons to deter India from annexing Kashmir into India. I understand the pain and anguish of Asif Janjua and many other people about the actions of the Hindu extremists and nationalists led by the Indian prime minster Narendra Modi. All such reactions of anger, frustration and disgust we experience are natural, and are caused by the Indian rulers' callous disregard of Kashmiri people's political, social, cultural and legal rights under their occupation. 

But as a political activist and writer, I have to see things rationally as much as I can, without becoming a prey to strong emotional outpourings. In brief, I am trying to clarify only two, three points about the Kashmir situation under India's brutal power. Some readers may find my views helpful to understand the Indian violations of basic political, social and legal rights of a subjugated people who, since 1947, have suffered enough under India's colonial oppression but who have never surrendered their national aspirations and struggle against this powerful usurper. 

First of all, it is natural for some of us to think of war as the only means to repel India from its barbarous military occupation and brutalization of the 12 million Kashmiris. However, things are not so easy. For instance, if Pakistan wages a war on behalf of the beleaguered Kashmiris, India will respond with a bigger force; India is a big military power, and has a very large army. That will not give Pakistani army any advantage over Indian forces. In such a weakened position, if Pakistan uses nuclear weapons as a 'deterrent', then what will India do? Maybe India had already put its armed forces on alert and also put its nuclear arsenal in readiness to use on its selected targets in Pakistan before declaring its annexation of Kashmir and expecting any military reaction from Pakistan. So, things are quite complicated and fraught with danger.

Yes, over the last seven decades the world should have done more to help resolve the Kashmir conflict. I agree with this view. But in reality, things do not happen in such way in the world. We should keep in mind that powerful states do not follow any moral principles in world politics. They follow their own geopolitical interests, and act when they want to protect these interests or deter any threat to such interests. 

The only major international forum is the United Nations. It is only through the United Nations that the world at large discusses any major political conflicts such as the Kashmir issue. Here again, only the five permanent member states have veto power; they may all support any resolution or any one permanent member state veto a resolution. 

If a party to conflict, refuses to follow any UN resolution, there is no credible mechanism to force it to comply with the UN demands. One glaring example is the Zionist colonial-settler state of Israel, which has rejected numerous UN resolutions against its policies in Occupied Palestine and its treatment of the Palestinians. India has played a deceptive game in dealing with the Kashmiris since 1947; India had no intention to let the Kashmiris decide their future status. Over the seven decades, India used all sorts of pretexts to avoid the Kashmiri demand of plebiscite in Kashmir. And now it has found the Final Solution in the illegal and treacherous annexation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). 

It is a fact that India wanted to keep Kashmir under its rule at every cost, but it allowed J&K a special status to run its own affairs with a large measure of internal autonomy. Now, it has abrogated that constitutional provision and put the whole state under its direct rule because the Hindutva nationalist parties led by Modi wanted to do so and end the Muslim majority in Kashmir with measures that will reduce and negate the identity of Kashmir and Kashmiris in a profound way. 

What India has done is a demonstration of power politics. In such a misuse of power, the rights and voice of the people of Kashmir have been mercilessly discarded. But it does not mean that the struggle of the people of Kashmir will also come to an end. When the people know how they have been deceived by the Hidutva fascists led by PM Modi, they will resist the occupation and annexation of their country into India, which is fast becoming a Hindu Rashtra, a puritan Hindu state.


Thursday, August 08, 2019

BJP Government of India and Kashmir

-- Nasir Khan, Aug. 7, 2019

The Hindu nationalists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government have never felt any legal or moral restraints when they brutalized the Muslims of Kashmir with the help of their armed forces. Since 1989, they killed around one hundred thousand people, blinded young boys and girls by pellets, raped thousands of Kashmiri girls and women, and transformed Kashmir into a virtual hell.

Now, after abrogating the provisions of the special status , which the Indian Constitution gave to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi and his Hindutva militants are free to oppress and do whatever they want without any inhibition. The mantra of what they do in Kashmir will be, as usual, it is only their 'internal matter', about which no one from outside need to say anything or criticize. 

But they have some other sinister designs for Kashmir. They will facilitate the gradual colonization of Kashmir by the enemies of Kashmiri Muslims from other parts of India, especially by the the Hindutva fanatics. In this way, the Muslim majority of Kashmir may see demographic change in the composition of population. This is how a Hindu Rashtra will become a reality even in Kashmir.

BJP workers celebrate the government's decision to revoke Article 370, August 5, 2019. Photo: PTI