Recent steps taken by the Modi government threaten India’s minorities. Ethnic cleansing and genocide are their fate. Indian Muslims are most vulnerable given the NRC, NPR, and CAA, while dalits, tribals, and women, will be increasingly more vulnerable. The assault, killings, and clampdown on students and protesters, and in particular Indian Muslims, are part of a worrying trend criminalizing all forms of dissent. The Indian government’s sole response is violence. Their goal is a homogenous Indian society.
We specifically condemn violence directed against Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University students. Second, we condemn the JNU administration and Indian police for facilitating the right-wing assault on JNU students.
We express our concern for students from Jammu and Kashmir studying in Indian universities. Historically and currently, they remain targets of state sanctioned mobs.
As Indians bear witness to the brutality of their state on a massive scale, we see that Kashmir continues to be misrepresented in the course of conversations regarding current developments in India. Those standing for India’s minorities persist in parroting India’s talking points on Kashmir. To all of this, SWK says:
It is grossly inappropriate to label what is happening as the “Kashmirization” of India. Kashmiris have suffered through decades of a military occupation, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, torture, and other human rights violations and war crimes. To all of this, most Indians and the international community remain mute spectators.
As “azadi” slogans reverberate across India, raising these slogans in Kashmir has come with a cost: Kashmiris have lost their lives, sight, and their future.
To those who continue to equate what “azadi” means in Kashmir with what it means for the protestors in India: Kashmiris have been demanding freedom from India well before this current fascist government took power. Ours is not a struggle for freedom and equality within India. Ours is a struggle for self-determination. Each and every Indian government has been systematically consistent in its approach to Kashmir. To equate “azadi” for Kashmir with restoring communication or Article 370 is ahistorical and inaccurate.
No movement against fascism in India can succeed as long as Kashmir remains occupied and India refuses Kashmiris their right to self-determination. For Indians today to speak out against the crimes of Hindutva, but remain silent on the crimes of the Indian state in Kashmir, is sheer hypocrisy.
Our freedom might not be your freedom, but it will also set you free. We long for a day when we can affirm all meanings of freedom.