by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the RCIT, 29 October 2019, www.thecommunists.net
According to a report of Al Jazeera published yesterday, a delegation of 27 politicians drawn from 11 European countries will visit Indian-occupied Kashmir. (*) This visit takes place without any involvement of EU institutions. It is, however, fully endorsed by the Indian government of the right-wing extremist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In fact, it has been organized by New Delhi.
On the face of it, this seems to be spectacular news. As it is well-know, the Hindu-chauvinist government of India has revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution on 5 August which removed some formal autonomy rights of the region. Since then, New Dehli has imposed de facto a state of emergency in the whole region. This has resulted in dramatic consequences for the Kashmiri people. They have only limited or none access to essential things for survival like food and medicine. They are cut off from nearly all forms of communication. Hundreds of thousands of Indian occupation soldiers and paramilitaries are patrolling the streets day and night. They constantly raid the homes of Kashmiris and have already arrested thousands of people. In other words, the tyrant Modi, has transformed Kashmir into a huge concentration camp!
Unsurprisingly, the Indian government is cutting off the province from any foreign visits so that the world does not learn about the dramatic living conditions of the population. Foreign journalists have been denied permission to cover the situation in Kashmir. Even US Congressman Chris Van Hollen was not allowed to visit Srinagar, the main city of Kashmir, earlier this month!
So why does New Dehli suddenly allow this delegation from Europe to visit Kashmir? The answer is very simple and, at the same time, highly characteristic. These European politicians are mainly coming from right-wing extremist parties like Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in France. Clearly, the Indian right-wing extremist government has nothing to fear from their brothers and sisters in crime. Their visit only serves to whitewash the tyrannical regime of Modi and its brutal oppression of the Kashmiri people!
As a matter of fact, Kashmir which has a Muslim majority population has been occupied by the Indian state since many decades. The people were never asked if they want to be part of India and, in fact, the huge majority wants to separate. The Kashmiri people have demonstrated their desire for independence by a long history of heroic resistance. They started a popular uprising in 1989 which the Indian army tried to smash without utmost brutality. Since then, nearly 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims have been killed and nearly 10,000 women have been gang raped by marauding bands of Indian soldiers. Currently, at least 800,000 Indian soldiers and police forces are deployed in Kashmir – an area that has a population of only 8 million Muslims. This means that there is almost one Indian soldier for every ten Kashmiri Muslim!
All socialists, all democrats, all righteous people around the world must support the struggle of the Kashmiri people for freedom. We repeat: Kashmir is our second Palestine! Their liberation is our liberation!
(*) Al Jazeera: EU far-right MPs head to Kashmir in rare foreign visit, 2019-10-28, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/eu-mps-visit-kashmir-foreign-visit-clampdown-191028121735778.html
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We refer reader also to other articles and documents of the RCIT on this issue which are collected in a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/collection-of-articles-on-the-liberation-struggle-in-kashmir/