Understanding our Positionality: We believe we are in a privileged position as a diaspora to raise awareness for Kashmir internationally, and especially in the US. We do not see ourselves as “leaders” of a movement or a replacement for the resistance happening in Kashmir. We hope, to the best of our ability, to continue to be informed by the brave work of Kashmiris on the ground. We believe it is important to center their voices and aspirations. Also, our constant work is towards supplementing the gaps in information caused by the Indian government’s relentless repression of the freedom of expression. Our hope is to collaborate and work with other groups and individuals who share our mission in creating pathways for advocacy of the right to self-determination.
Intersectionality: As a movement that is seeking justice and freedom, we recognize that our struggle is inherently connected with the struggles of all oppressed and indigenous communities. The current international order must be transformed in order to respect the dignity and self-determination of all peoples. Therefore, our work recognizes the importance and the power of our collective mobilizations for racial, gender, indigenous, caste, class, disability and environmental justice and against injustice and oppression.
Decentralization: Any advocacy movement is led by the power of people. It’s impossible for an individual or a small group of individuals to meet the goals of a movement or organization. Our work is driven both by a core team of volunteers spanning multiple work streams, but also dozens of regional and campus chapters. This work is decentralized so that each region/community is able to tailor our advocacy to their respective contexts, while getting support from our core team. Our core team maintains discretion in order to avoid leadership models that breed unproductive rankings or a pecking order, and to retain a degree of protection from Indian state’s repressive policies towards advocates both inside and outside the region. Our fundamental belief is that the cause is bigger than individual persons.
We believe in building an awareness and advocacy movement, not simply an organization. We aspire to build a movement that makes all those who are vested in Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination do their part. To avoid confusion, and given our decentralized model, all material or initiatives that we ourselves organize or endorse will include our logo on it. Given that the #standwithkashmir hashtag and subsequent movement has gone beyond our group, events or actions that do not explicitly state our endorsement or include our logo are not directly affiliated with us.
Pluralism: We are committed to building a just movement that opposes any form of supremacism, racism, sexism, classism, casteism, religious persecution or other oppression. We also aspire for a just, peaceful, and inclusive future for Kashmir in which all of its inhabitants are able to live with dignity. We reaffirm the inalienable right of the Kashmiris to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted since October 1947, at the beginning of the conflict. We stand for Kashmir as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious place. We are committed to envisioning Kashmir as a place that derives strength from its religious and ethnic plurality, both historically, today, and in the future.