spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

* Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Human Rights keywords:

Conspiracy (9)

Democratic rights (135)

Detention (37)

Freedom of Information Act (5)

Genes (3)

Genocide (8)

Guantanamo (13)

Human rights (99)

ID cards (10)

Internet (12)

Jean Charles de Menezes (17)

Jobstown (8)

Jury (10)

Legal aid (26)

Liberties (19)

M25 Three (3)

Rendition (5)

Slave trade (3)

Stop and search (14)

Torture (24)

Trial (39)

Torture


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 639, 22 September 2010: Brutal bosses? Time to fight back!

Search site for keywords: Kashmir - India - Torture - Family

Kashmir: An eyewitness to oppression in the valley

"A PARADISE turned into hell". That's how the people who live there describe Indian occupied Kashmir. Monday 13 September saw 18 people, mainly young men, mown down by some of the 700,000 soldiers in the Indian army who occupy Kashmir. Further attacks mean that well over 100 people have been killed in just over 100 days since 11 June.

Many hundreds, some as young as 14, have been injured; many will never walk or see again. Doctors describe injuries caused by inhumane torture and by the use of pellet guns, banned under international law. Across the country hundreds have simply 'disappeared'.

During the curfew/bandh (strikes) the empty streets are peopled only by khaki-clad, lathi-[large stick] and machine gun-carrying soldiers; rolls of razor wire are like some dystopian tumbleweed. Everywhere the walls shout: "Indian dogs go back", "Go India go" and, of course "Azadi" (freedom).

No-one dares to leave their house during the curfew days.

The schools have been shut for three months. Exams have been postponed. Young people's futures are on hold indefinitely.

Initially, women could venture out for food and necessities but sexual harassment, the snatching of headscarves and the abuse has made this impossible. They dare not let their children out the door. Broken windows and shot out street lamps are the calling card of the soldiers. Water provision has also been targeted. Women tell of soldiers barging through their homes and beating their children. They fear that if the young men go out they will never return.

This is what happened to Meraj-ud-Din Lone, a 22 year-old father and vegetable seller, the sole breadwinner in his family. At 10.30am on 3 August he was shot in the heart as soldiers chased a group of unarmed protesting boys.

His family and his young widow Daisy, who now have to worry about their very survival, have been frustrated in every attempt to seek justice. No-one from the authorities has spoken to them. This is not an unusual story in Srinagar. This is just one family's hell.

Self-determination

For ordinary Kashmiris, Azadi is the only goal. Politicians discuss so-called 'peace packages' but these are no more than tawdry tokens. Sonia Gandhi, president of the ruling Indian National Congress Party, promises an 'economic package' of jobs but this has no impact.

Almost everyone I spoke to, from civil rights activists to students and workers, said that economic packages which do not address their national aspirations will never satisfy.

The very right-wing, nationalist BJP makes demands such as "total peace" before talks take place. It is an ardent opponent of any reasonable autonomous package or settlement and demands more troops be sent in. Anti-Pakistan sentiment and the threat of 'Islamic terrorism' are the mainstays of its propaganda.

The traditional left parties, such as the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), participate in state governments alongside Congress and other parties and do not make serious demands on troop withdrawal.

The occupation has claimed about 70,000 lives. But everywhere, the hospitals, the homes of grieving families, the shops, the streets, people want to voice their demands: 'Stop the killing, get the army out, the right to self-determination and independence from India, Pakistan and China'.

While there is no trust in the government there is hope that resistance in the valley can have an effect.

The Hurriyat is an alliance of political, religious and social organisations. Geelani, one of its leaders, announces the dates for bandhs, a type of general shutdown strike. While support is uniform there is no evidence of mass participation in the decision-making process.

The government retaliates and attempts to assume control by imposing curfews at the same time.

Ehadjan, not a stone-pelting youth but a 52-year old policeman, was at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital to receive treatment for kidney damage after four days of severe torture.

He had thrown a shoe at the state chief minister during a flag unfolding ceremony. He, like others, is desperate for the eyes of the world to focus on the daily mass torture and incredible denial of human rights that is life for the masses of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Most people fear that the Indian government's propaganda is widely accepted outside Kashmir. While this may be the case in general, some young people are starting to discuss the issue and to connect it with other aspects of the reality of life for the majority in 'shining India'.

David Cameron, British prime minister, visited Bangalore in June to declare Britain 'open for business' with the wealthy elite of India. The Financial Times entreated with him to avoid two elephant traps - speaking about poverty and speaking about Kashmir.

He heeded the FT well and actually described so-called Indian democracy as "a beacon to our world". This must be a warning to the working, poor and young people of Kashmir, of India and of the UK.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999