21 October 2010, New Delhi: AZADI: THE ONLY WAY
Kashmir today has turned into a tortuous prison for its people where the right to life is a mirage. Mourning is a luxury which common masses cannot afford. Everyone in the beautiful valley is condemned, whose turn for being murdered could come anytime, anywhere. Ironically, the murderer is a claimant to democracy. And the murder is of democracy.
The killings of at least 110 civilians, most of them young teenage boys, from the start of early summer till now are testimony to this fact. Curfews were imposed, bullets were fired, tear smoke used to intimidate and suppress the people of Kashmir into submission by the Indian state. Every trick in the book was employed, perhaps surpassing even the Machiavellian imaginations. In the face of brute force and scheming tactics of the state, the people of Kashmir have shown the highest levels of patience, perseverance and courage. A lively spirit, and a determined attitude which is exemplary for the resistance struggles worldwide and brings to light the pinnacle of the strength of the human will.
While many people have shown concern and expressed their views about the recent turn of events in Kashmir, it is imperative to contextualize the whole situation. We need to ask the question as to why people are getting killed in hundreds, injured in thousands, kept behind bars, tortured and maimed. It is important at this juncture to bring the attention towards the fact that the basic issue at hand regarding the Kashmir dispute is the self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for which they have been steadfast and hence been the target of the repressive military machine of the Indian state. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are clear about the fact that what they want is Azadi which they have time and again defined in coherent terms of letting them decide their own future. They have made clear that for them Azadi is the only way.
The latest people’s resistance – which forms the part of the recently launched ‘Quit Jammu and Kashmir Movement’- needs to be viewed as a continuity of the resistance movement (Tehreek) which the people of Kashmir have been sustaining for over six decades. And which for the past few years has been completely non-violent and peaceful. The only violent party being the Indian state.
The political dispute vis-à-vis Kashmir need not be confused with the superficial measures like the removal of AFSPA, human rights violations, other draconian acts, stopping of unlawful killings, tortured, enforced disappearances etc. Though all these things do exist and need to be stopped at any cost, they manifest only symptoms of a broader and deeper malaise- a militarized governance used to maintain a military occupation of the region by the Indian state, through its armed forces, numbering at least 7,00,000.
In order to address these issues several measures are required, which would move in the direction of the attainment of Azadi for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. And we at this convention ‘Azadi : The Only Way’ organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), on 21st October, 2010 at LTG Auditorium, New Delhi, propose the following:
We ask the Indian state to:
1. Formally admit that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute.
2. Immediately start steps towards complete demilitarization of the region.
3. Release all the political prisoners languishing both in Kashmiri as well as Indian jails.
4. Removal of draconian laws like AFSPA, Disturbed Areas Act, etc.
Also, we would ask all democratic people in the world at large to:
1. Pressurize the Indian state to take immediate steps in this regard,
2. Investigate into thousands of unnamed and mass graves in J&K,
3. Prosecute and bring to justice all those responsible for the murder of innocent Kashmiri civilians
ORGANISED BY COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS (CRPP)