LBJ, Kashmir, and Indian Liberals: Rajive Kumar

Guest Post by RAJIVE KUMAR

Towards the end of his presidency, Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th President of the United States of America, had been reduced to a figure of universal scorn and derision. His escalation of the Vietnam War to a point from which it became impossible to extricate the US ended up  in becoming one of the defining human tragedies of twentieth century. This was war fought on the basis of pretexts that did not actually exist.  The slur “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” which became an anthem of sorts for protestors eventually compelled him to forgo running for a second term in office in 1968.  Those protesting against the war, those who eventually forced Lyndon Johnson to leave the political arena were Americans who were overcome with images of atrocities and the rising count of civilian deaths in a mindless war.

Continue reading “LBJ, Kashmir, and Indian Liberals: Rajive Kumar”

Alchemies of Art and Resistance in Kashmir

Bertolt Brecht, was to write

“In the dark times

Will there also be singing?

Yes, there will also be singing.

About the dark times.”

Violence, persistent and unending, creates an alternative reality, a festering, perverted, horrible, surreal reality. Violence, unending and unrelenting erases all memories of times past, Memories of times when another reality existed, It is this alternative reality that begins to redefine imagery, ideas, sensibilities and begins to creates a new grotesque discourse, a discourse in which the ugly face of fear and death becomes the normative. I’ll give you one example of how this works. Continue reading “Alchemies of Art and Resistance in Kashmir”

Separatism of Majority against Kashmir : Anil Chamadia

Guest Post by Anil Chamadia

I am an Indian, but a separatist too. I am hostile against Kashmiri people because I only love my fellow countrymen.

The feeling of separatism among the people of a bordering state is easily identified. But there are two types of separatism. In a state or region like Kashmir and North – Eastern states, separatism is identified in such a way that there is a group or more than one group of people who want to secede from Indian nation and they carry out “actions” to fulfill this desire. They try to galvanize public support through their “actions” and harm government machinery as well. But have we ever identified the separatism that is professed by the majority section of the society?

I belong to a Hindu family of north India. Right from the beginning, a separatist feeling against Kashmir has been cultivated within me. A survey can be conducted in entire north India to know how a relationship with Kashmir has been nurtured among the people of this region during their childhood. If I ask 100 children, they all know Kashmir only through the materials available in media. I want to repeat the story how I was introduced to Kashmir. I was born in the early years of 1960s.  While going to school or returning back, I was told that Kashmir has a separate flag which is different from Indian tricolour. Like prime minister of India, it also has a prime minister. There is a separate section in Indian Constitution for it and Muslims are in majority there. Since Pakistan follows Islam, therefore loyalty of Kashmir people is also doubtful. Continue reading “Separatism of Majority against Kashmir : Anil Chamadia”

Statement in Support of Khurram Parvez from Groups and Individuals in Karnataka

Over the past 70 days, there have been over 84 deaths, hundreds have lost their eyesight to pellet wounds and thousands have been injured in Kashmir. As news reports of the death of 11 year old Nasir Shafi, son of Muhammad Shafi, a resident of New Theed Harwan in Srinagar emerge, we also hear about Showkat Ahmed Misger, a person with mental disabilities from Safa Kadal who was admitted in hospital in a critical condition with pellet wounds. Though the people of Chandpora were told by the police that Nasir Shafi was mauled by a bear, pictures of his body with pellet wounds and torture marks stand in contradiction to this official version of events. The violence unleashed by the armed forces continue unabated in Kashmir inspite of extensive social media outrage and mass protests in  Indian cities like Patna, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi etc.

Continue reading “Statement in Support of Khurram Parvez from Groups and Individuals in Karnataka”

Kashmir Scholars Action Group Letter to the UN High Commission for Human Rights on the Situation in Jammu&Kashmir: KSAG

Guest Post by Kashmir Scholars Action Group

To Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Re: Urgent action needed to end state violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir

We are writing to you to express our concern about the situation in Indian-controlled Kashmir where the already subjected population is currently living in a state of siege due to the massive violence unleashed by the Indian forces. We appreciate your decision to create a fact-finding mission and deplore the refusal of the Indian government to allow access to UN human rights monitors (1). In the absence of such a mission, we feel it incumbent upon civil society groups to provide regular updates on the situation.

We, the Kashmir Scholars Action Group, are an interdisciplinary group of scholars of various nationalities engaged in research on the region of Kashmir. Our research on Kashmir, its history, its consequences for the region and beyond, and its possible resolution, delves into the implications for an internationally mediated political solution, and is of relevance to policy makers. Based on our long and active engagement with civil society groups in Indian-controlled Kashmir, we have undertaken to document and communicate the situation on ground since the Indian state’s violence against civilians has continued to mount from July 7th, 2016 onwards. Each of us has written about Kashmiri history, society and politics; and we are particularly concerned about the present conditions of violence. We write to you now as part of our urgent efforts to check the brutality of the state’s response to Kashmiris, scores of whom have mobilized in support of their demand for azadi (freedom). Even as we will go on to list some of the details of the humanitarian crisis, we wish to make clear that we are calling not only for the resumption of basic civil services, the rule of law, and the restoration of human rights in Kashmir, but, most importantly, for an internationally mediated political solution for this ongoing crisis. Continue reading “Kashmir Scholars Action Group Letter to the UN High Commission for Human Rights on the Situation in Jammu&Kashmir: KSAG”

Ambedkar University faculty statement on violence against marginalized communities

Ambedkar University Delhi Faculty Association (AUDFA) expresses serious concern and outrage about the growing spiral of violence against various marginalized communities across the country. In the last one month two states particularly have witnessed violence and protests in an extensive scale.

AUDFA condemns the continued violence against people in the Kashmir valley, where the death toll is continuously rising. The violence in Kashmir this time saw a familiar pattern as before, an (encounter) killing, a funeral where rage is vented through slogans and indiscriminate and abominable violence as a response. Kashmir valley remained under a complete blackout with all modes of communication and transport blocked and curfew imposed for several days. AUDFA urges that immediate efforts towards demilitarization of Kashmir valley must be initiated and steps must be taken towards preventing the killing and injury of civilians.

AUDFA also strongly protests against the brutal beating, flogging stripping and parading of seven dalit men in Una taluka of Gujarat. As protests against this violence, at least twelve dalit men attempted suicide. Massive protests by dalits are evidence towards the failure of the justice system which has not been able to provide redress against the high rates of caste atrocity in Gujarat. AUDFA believes that action needs to be taken against vigilante gauraksha groups (who were the perpetrators of the violence) under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Continuous violence and discrimination against Muslims and the dalits goes against the moral fabric of the Constitution and as a faculty association AUDFA expresses its anxiety over the growing everyday intolerance among and polarisation of the people in this country. We express our solidarity with protests against such ongoing violence.

Gopalji Pradhan                   Rukmini Sen                         Arindam Banerjee

Secretary                                President                               Treasurer

 

Not Pakistan, but Modi has pushed Kashmir on the Brink : Ashok Swain

This is a guest post by ASHOK SWAIN

Since the death of a young and charismatic separatist named Burhan Wani, Kashmir has erupted into violence and chaos. Weeks of violent protests in the Valley have resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people and over 5,000 injuries. Kashmir is not new to violent protests and civilian deaths, but this time the intensity of the protest and the passion of the protesters is unprecedented. Continue reading “Not Pakistan, but Modi has pushed Kashmir on the Brink : Ashok Swain”