Arun Kumar: a socialist alternative

From World Socialist Website: “Indian forces crackdown on Kashmiri protests

“Tens of thousands of troops were used to patrol the streets of Srinagar and other towns, and enforce a curfew. Indian security forces are notorious for their use of arbitrary detention, torture and extra-judicial murder to suppress opposition by armed separatist groups over the past two decades.”

“The first-ever economic survey by the Jammu and Kashmir government in 2007 revealed that the state lags behind others on many indices, including health care, communication and literacy. The state’s per capita income is just 17,174 rupees ($US367)—two thirds of the national average. The unemployment rate estimated by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) stands at 4.21 percent compared to national rate of 3.09 percent.”

“The Indian establishment routinely uses Pakistani support for Islamist separatists to divert attention from their decades-long suppression of basic democratic rights and lack of economic assistance in creating widespread opposition to Indian rule.”

“The heavy deployment of security forces to suppress protests has been matched by a crackdown on the media. For four days up to July 4, nearly 60 newspapers in Kashmir suspended publication to protest against restrictions on the movement of journalists. On July 3, the police filed a case against a New Delhi-based television news channel, News-X, for airing allegedly incorrect news about a police killing in Kashmir’s Pulwama district.”

“The Stalinist Communist Party of India-Marxist, which has a long history in backing the Indian government’s repressive policies in Kashmir, took part in the meeting. In an effort to deflect widespread anger, the party’s state secretary Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami appealed to “all political parties in the state not to indulge in the blame-game…”

“Sections of the Kashmiri opposition support either an “independent” Kashmir or integration into neighbouring Pakistan—neither of which will resolve the aspirations of working people for democratic rights and decent living standards. Only a unified struggle of the working class and oppressed masses, independent of all factions of the bourgeoisie, against the reactionary capitalist state structures established in 1947 and for the establishment of a Union of Socialist Republics of South Asia can resolve this festering economic, social and political crisis.”

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