Arundhati Roy & SAS Geelai on the dias in the historic public meeting on ‘AZADI: The only way’
22nd October 2010 in LTG auditorium (Delhi)
Yesterday in a historic convention in LTG Auditorium, Mandi House, many voices representing various peoples’ movements of South Asia reverberated to collectively assert that Azaadi is the only way ahead for Kashmir. Along with the prominent speakers from Kashmir, the struggling nationalities of Manipur, Nagalim, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, as well as activists, writers, intellectuals from India hailed the heroic struggle of the people of Kashmir for their denied self-determination, the aspiration for justice and dignity. The communal-fascist lumpen brigade of RSS, ABVP and Panun Kashmir repeatedly tried to disrupt the proceedings, create a ruckus and assault the speakers on the dais, but were successfully resisted by the audience present there. The convention extended an overwhelming support to the ongoing movement against the occupation by the Indian armed forces, and the inalienable right of the Kashmiri’s right to self-determination, including secession from India. Once again, the corporate media today carried more of the news of the disruption with its general misinformation campaign, while purposefully erasing the solidarity which was reasserted in the assembly. The media neither cared to report about the deliberations at the convention, nor about the spirit of unity among the oppressed peoples of Kashmir, Indiaand other persecuted nationalities of South Asia. Far from a truthful reporting of the various views kept in the meeting, the Hindu-fundamentalist Indian corporate media demanded the booking of the organizers and speakers under charges of sedition! At the same time, having failed to stop the convention from its successful completion, the Sangh-giroh has today gone to the parliament demanding a clampdown on all democratic spaces and platforms of solidarity among the people of India and Kashmir.
Varavara Rao & SAS Geelani being flanked by the Kashmiri youth and student volunteers as some right wing miscreants attempt to disrupt the proceedings for a while..
From June this year, Kashmir has witnessed one of the largest mass mobilizations against the Indian occupation. People of Kashmir have come out on the streets in tens of thousands braving the teargas, bullets and batons of the armed forces. With nothing but courage in their hearts and stones in their hands, the youth, men, women and even children of Kashmircontinue to defy curfew and relentlessly uphold their aspiration of Azaadi.Since June this year, 111 Kashmiris including two children have been brutally shot dead by the police and CRPF. Neither the Indian ruling class nor the corporate media are ready to hear this clarion call of the people ofKashmir. The response of the Indian state to this mass upsurge has yet again been bullets and brute force first, followed by sham committees and promises of ‘dialogue’. A delegation of parliamentary parties who are directly responsible for ordering the killings in Kashmir visited the Valley in the pretext of discussions. All that the Indian state could come up with following this much-hyped visit was to appoint a committee of ‘interlocutors’ who will further ‘interact’ with people in Kashmir to recommend some measures for reconciliation. This shows the complete lack of commitment of the Indian state to the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
The people of Kashmir have proposed a five-point charter of demand to the Indian state, which asked for : 1. acceptance of the disputed nature of the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2. repeal of AFSPA and other black laws, 3. release of political detainees and prisoners, 4. withdrawal of the armed forces and 5. punishment of those police officers and armed men guilty of taking life in the past few months. The fascist Indian state is yet to respond to these demands. What they came up instead is an ‘8 point formula’ which basically included ‘economic packages’. The Indian state is not ready to withdraw Indian Army or even review the draconian AFSPA. And all that the Indian state is doing is to delay any dialogue with the people inKashmir and in the meantime employ more force to crush the movement of the people. It is not ready to accept Kashmir as even a dispute for that will bring out all ugly facts which are forcibly buried in the past. The unfulfillment of the promise for plebiscite in United Nations in 1952, the prolonged suppression of peaceful movement till 1980s, the imprisonment of elected representatives in 1989, the presence of 8 lakh armed forces, the draconian AFSPA and PSA, the 70,000 people killed, the thousands who have simply ‘disappeared’, the thousand of rapes, the torture centers, the fake encounters, the crackdowns, the mass graves, the massacres… do we need more evidence of the real status of Kashmir, which was never an ‘integral part of India’.
We do not need any more ‘interlocution’ to hear what the people ofKashmir are saying. The writing is loud and clear on the walls of Kashmir. Slogans like ‘Go India Go Back’ and ‘hum kya chahte? Azaadi’ are echoing in the streets of the valley every single day! The deaf Indian state might try to silence it, its corporate media lackeys might try to ignore the reality but this is what the millions of Kashmiris are saying in unison. No might of the colonizing Indian state can dominate this unflinching aspiration of the Kashmiri masses. It is the united fight of other oppressed nationalities along with the oppressed masses in India which can defeat this fascist brahminical state and its oppression.
In Solidarity with the brave Stone-pelters of the Valley..
With those braving the Indian Occupation Forces in Kashmir..
A human-chain being formed by Kashmiri youth, students and organizers to shield the speakers from thesanghi hooligans who made a failed attempt to disrupt the historic meeting..