New Delhi: Civil society raised its voice to break the silence on Kashmir and bring the voices of the Kashmiris in the limelight. In a press conference-cum-public meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday by Campaign against Fascist Attack on University (CAFAU), noted journalists, filmmakers and academics unanimously demanded that the political rights of Kashmiris must be recognized.
Human rights activist Gautam Navlakha from People’s Union for Democratic Right, emphatically pointed out that the freedom of India remains incomplete until and unless there is a democratic political solution for the people of Kashmir. “The power structure is interested in exasperating the violence for political gains in the Indian mainland. There is a deadly combination of communalism & jingoism which the BJP is employing,” said Navlakha. He attacked the Indian state saying India is at war with Kashmir and has been violating the autonomous structure of Kashmir.
Sukumar Murlidharan, journalist, said the Indian media has been playing a vital role in fueling the situation in Kashmir. He claimed that Indian mainstream media is misreporting and promoting a jingoistic culture.
Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia University, explained that the narrative of jihad is being built by the state and the media to defame the movement of Kashmiris. “Media is running what security agencies are saying. Defence spending is increased to suppress the people of Kashmir and Chhattisgarh through heavy militarization,” said Sethi.
Rajendra Sachar, retired chief justice, Delhi High Court claimed that all political parties are responsible for what is happening in Kashmir. Prof. Ish Mishra from Janhastakshep said that he was threatened by Delhi University Students Union President Satender Awana from ABVP for speaking on Kashmir.
The main concern of this public meeting-cum-press conference was to emphasize right to self-determination of Kashmir and its people. The civil society members stated that the real solution lay in fully recognizing the political right of the Kashmiris, taking into cognizance the decades of alleged repression.