Kashmir and Palestine Kashmiri anger in the Srinagar valley

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Kashmiri anger in the Srinagar valley is spinning out of control. The pompous arrogance in Delhi – by politicians, generals and media alike on Kashmir – bizarrely resembles Tel Aviv’s propaganda against the Palestinians. A desperate and despicable gesture by a beleaguered military unit (tying up a Kashmiri man in front of an army jeep as a human shield) is greeted as a grand act of bravery and initiative by the Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat .This is indeed pathetic, appalling and unprofessional. As if that was not enough   he is on record having said, “it would be better if the agitators used guns and not stones because that would allow troops to fire back!”   

John Pilger says:  What enrages those who colonize and occupy, steal and oppress, vandalize and defile is the victims’ refusal to comply. And this is the tribute we all should pay the Palestinians. They refuse to comply. They go on. They wait – until they fight again. And they do so even when those governing them collaborate with their oppressors. This statement is so true and of course is equally applicable to the Kashmiri freedom fighters who deserve praise and honour for their unwavering and enduring struggle. Israel and India unashamedly continue to thrive on stolen lands. 

The problems of Kashmir and Palestine both date back to 1947. While Palestine is well known globally, Kashmir is virtually an unknown entity. Ken Stone of the Canadian Peace Alliance thinks it ought to be brought into mainstream. Both the peoples of Palestine and Kashmir were promised self-determination by the United Nations (UN) in 1948. The Palestinians have not yet attained their state and the Kashmiris have not yet had their opportunity to vote on their preference to become part of India or part of Pakistan. While the comparison would be anathema to New Delhi, there is a clear parallel between Israel’s atrocious behaviour towards the Palestinians and the brute force India has unleashed upon the Kashmiris.  While speaking at the London Institute of South Asia seminar on “Human Rights in South Asia: Issues and Challenges” Soraya Boyd of Facilitate Global said: “The extreme violence, torture, other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment, including sexual violence against women and young girls (rape as a weapon of war), the disappearance of people (militant or non militant) perpetrated against Kashmiris are woefully underreported by mainstream media in the west.  

She further said: Persistent human rights violations and brutal state repressions have had profoundly dire  consequences over time with multi dimensional outcomes all impacting every aspect of daily life for Kashmiris living under a protracted and brutal Indian military occupation. 

Kashmir is chiefly a post-colonial problem created by Britain and made worst by India. Like Northern of Ireland, Palestine, Kashmir is used as a testing  ground to ascertain just how far the government of India can go to take away / strip away general rights and freedoms. It’s also not the only part of India that suffers in this way. The northwest is in a similar situation and if religion is the issue, all religious minorities are persecuted in India. These young Kashmiris men are paying a huge price. They are in many ways like members of the French resistance. Celebrated as resistance and freedom fighters. Our maquisards (men and women engaged and united in their common struggle) did what they had to do and used whatever means to liberate their country, my country: France. Had I been around then I certainly know which side I’d be with/on. In matters of justice, there can only ever be one side: the right side of history.” 

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