The Killing of four militants including Hizb-ul-Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo in Jammu and Kashmir by Indian military is celebrated by Modi government, and the captive mainstream media with euphoria Massive restrictions have been imposed across the Valley and mobile phones and internet have once again been blocked, disabling information to trickle out from the ground about the reaction of the Kashmiri people against these killings. The trigger happy Indian military bosses and the Modi administration refuse to recognize that oppression and brutality under excessive militarisation and political control by New Delhi have created a fertile ground for young men, who have lost their sense of fear, inspired by the spirit of fighting for national liberation pick up the gun, and this militancy cannot be ended simply through a military hot-pursuit. It is shameful that though the Indian government, is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by its General Assembly on 10th December, 1948, right from the time of Nehru government, Kashmir became a sacred cow for all the mainstream parties, all of them colluded to go against the spirit of this Declaration, and as a result, in denying the right of self determination to the people of J&K which was never part of British India.
Article 15 of the Declaration says (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality; (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. Again, Article 2 of the Declaration says: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Just because raja Hari Singh signs some agreement with the then government in the concrete condition of that time, nobody has the right to abrogate the right of self determination of the people of J&K. When the India- Pakistan dispute over this territory went before the UN General Assembly, rejecting the claims of both, adopted a Resolution calling for a plebiscite covering all areas of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and India occupied Kashmir (IoK). If it never got implemented, no Indian prime minister can escape from its blame by saying Pakistan is responsible for it; history shows that consecutive Indian governments were also equally responsible for its non-implementation. Even while showing hatred for each other, waging three wars between them, continuing incessant skirmishes across the Line of Control (LoC), in spite of spending a huge part of the revenue to build powerful military establishments with nuclear teeth while keeping vast sections of the population in acute misery, during these seven decades, both government had covertly conspired in denying the J&K people their right of self-determination, to decide their future. Though both continue military occupation of the areas under their control, they are in effect colluding to continue the stalemate, while the Kashmir valley is turned in to a killing field for the military establishments of both sides for a long time.
It was in this situation, after repeating its electoral victory in may, 2019, with a show of its muscular nationalism, using Balakot as trump card, the Modi-Shah government decided to settle Kashmir question once for all by abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution and transformed the J&K state in to two Union Territories. All democratic rights of the people were taken away and J&K, especially the Kashmir valley is turned in to worse than an open jail, violating all basic principles of Indian Constitution and UN Declaration. With this the Kashmiri people have lost all hopes for a political solution about their future. Modi-Shah have antagonized the whole Kashmiri people intensifying military oppression and denying even the remnants of democratic rights that had existed. Though, along with the security forces in Kashmir, Modi and his bhakth media repeats, Riyaz Naikoo as “big jolt” for militancy in Kashmir, according to reports it will only encourage hundreds of youth to pick up the gun. Fascists never learn from history. If he wants, Modi can ask his Israeli Zionist friends, how far they have succeeded in annihilating the Palestine people’s resistance struggle for national emancipation, even after so much of dehumanized aggressions and massacres by them. Even if Modi and Imran Khan, change their game, join hands and jointly attack, the Kashmiri people’s struggle for national liberation cannot be defeated. It is high time for the security grid and the political top brass to realise the flawed, a-historical strategy it is employing in Kashmir. As Kashmir Times editorial of 7th May states: “The Centre's smugness of celebrating Article 370 dilution as a major master-stroke that would kill terrorism has also lost its appeal”. According to government spokes person after January in 27 operations 66 militants were killed. Still over 200 militants continue to be active in Kashmir and hundreds more may join them in the new situation It is not the cross-border infiltrations, it is now the Kashmiri youth who are mainly fighting. Too much time will be wasted if we wait for Modi to learn from history and change his track. Neither Hitler did it, nor is Trump expected to do it.
It is high time that the democratic forces in the country come forward, and in the spirit of Indian Constitution and UN Declaration, demand the scrapping of the abrogation of Article 370, restoration of the J&K state, withdrawal of Indian military to barracks and start political dialogue with Pakistan, fully involving representatives of Kashmiri people from both sides of the LoC, to resolve the question based on the right of self determination of the people.
We should not allow the Modi administration to use Indian military as cannon fodder for realizing the Hindurashtra of RSS’ dreams. We appeals to all mainstream parties to rectify the chauvinist line you had also pursued till now; we appeal to all democratic parties, mass movements and progressive intellectuals, mainly the youth and students to come forward and extend support to the right of self determination of the Kashmiri people. We are confident that such a democratic initiative from Indian side will encourage the democratic forces in Pakistan who are already taking a stand similar to ours. A political solution for the future of the J&K shall open the vistas for strengthening solidarity between peoples of India and Pakistan, and shall open the path of peace and progress in South Asia. In these difficult days, let us take up this question with all the seriousness I demands. n
The present clampdown was imposed on Kashmir on 5th August, 2019. In her post, the 19-year-old Srinagar-born young star mentioned how Kashmiris continue to suffer in a world where it is easy to place restrictions on their liberty and are never allowed to voice their opinions. She penned down a long post which read, “Kashmir continues to suffer and see-saw between hope and frustration.” There’s a false and uneasy semblance of calmness in place of escalating despair and sorrow. Kashmiris continue to exist and suffer in a world where it is so easy to place restrictions on our liberty. Why do we have to live in a world where our lives and wills are controlled, dictated and bent? Why is it so easy to have our voices silenced? Why is it so easy to curtail our freedom of expression? Why aren’t we ever allowed to voice our opinions, let alone our disproval’s, to decisions that are made contrary to our wishes? Why is it that instead of trying to see the cause of our view, our view is just condemned ruthfully? What is so easy to curb our voices so severely? Why can we not live simple lives without always having to wrestle and remind the world of our existence? Why is that life of a Kashmiri is just about experiencing a lifetime of crisis, blockade and disturbance so abundantly that it has taken away the recognition of normalcy and harmony from the hearts and minds?”
She further added how the system is not even making small efforts to stop all this, “Hundreds of questions like these-unanswered; leaving us bewildered and frustrated, but our frustrations find no outlet. The authority doesn’t make the slightest effort to put a stop to our doubts and speculations but stubbornly tend to go their way to confine our existence mired in a confused, conflicted and a paralysed world. But I ask the world, what has altered your acceptance of the misery and oppression we’re being subjected to? Do not believe the unfair representation of the facts and details or the rosy hue that the media has cast on the reality of the situation. Ask questions, re-examine the biased assumptions. Ask questions. For our voices have been silenced, and for how long...none of us know!”