Dear John, how could you leave out Kashmir from your segment on Modi?


Dear John,


Last Week Tonight recently aired a segment on India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The segment gained ample amount of traction, amassing six million views in three days and counting. It was a good decision to run with. Given the madness in Delhi right now, it was obviously a good call to zoom in on dear Leader Modi.


No, I am not a Hindu nationalist in a Modi mask. You can calm down.


I thought most of your segment was great. It did an excellent job showing how divisive Islamophobic Modi and RSS, the right wing paramilitary group, have been through their policies.


The secular foundations of India (while shaky in the first place) have been eroded by their actions. I mean, what else do you expect from someone who was given the toilet award by Bill Gates? Your segment is certainly commendable.

[Crowd prompt: please applaud]


But even if receiving just praise, and the segment itself was banned in India, you need to know that your show didn’t go nearly far enough. Not just that, you did that thing only you Brits know best. You just divided the lines, left us out of the conversation and just f***** off.


Your great grand uncle Lord Mountbatten would be proud.


In your entire segment on Modi, you didn’t mention Kashmir even once. Not once. I know you must have discussed it, perhaps it was included in the original script and it had to go because of “time constraints”, but I am sorry, this is a travesty.




Kashmir is a region that has been fighting for its right to self determination, even before the making of India and Pakistan. Even before Modi put on his fascist knickers. As a result, the region has been at the forefront of violence, oppression, and suppression for decades.


So what’s new you ask? Well, ol’ chap, what Modi did to the region is unparalleled.


In August 2019, Modi revoked Kashmir’s special status promised in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. I won’t bore you with the details, but it negates Kashmir’s special rights and self autonomy and paves the way to ethnic cleansing and demographic change. You know, the usual.


Since August, Kashmir has been silenced and isolated from the world. It has been more than 200 days and the internet STILL hasn’t been fully restored in the region. Very little news can come in, no news can come out, effectively silencing the chants of freedom. India has been doing everything to erase Kashmir from the international conversation by pretending that all is normal in the valley. But it isn’t. Nothing is normal there. And hasn’t been for decades. And certainly not over the past 8 months.


And here is the kicker, John. With you also completely disregarding Kashmir, no matter your reason, you have played in the hands of the Indian government, the RSS (those Hitler loving fascists) in keeping Kashmir off the agenda.


John, you do so much for the people.


Hell, I used a lot of your ideas and presented to various classes as a college student and I was lauded as a genius. Thank you for that good sir. But if your argument against Modi and the current Indian leadership is the erasure of secularism of the Indian mantra and anti-Muslim legislation, then why didn’t you involve Kashmir in your segment?



Kashmir is facing genocide, with India’s plan to have a settlers project in order to change the demographics of the region. They want to make the Muslim majority state into a Hindu majority state and make sure the day for the long-awaited resolution to this 72 year old “dispute” never comes.


Kashmir is the poster child of the topics you hit on your show.


But disregarding Kashmir is negligent and unjust.


I wish I had written you a love letter, John. But it isn’t. I wish it was a rom-com, too, John. But now’s not the time.


We are being bludgeoned by hate.


I still love your show, though. I just want to be heard. I just want Kashmir to be heard. We have been silenced for so long. We need help from people like you to be heard.



Shajei Haider
Stand With Kashmir

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