Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Kashmir solidarity statement by artists, filmmakers and creative workers

We are deeply shocked by the action of the Indian government to 'lock down' Kashmir. The military violence that has prevailed over the last two decades is now enhanced by curfews denying freedom of movement and association, communication black out denying people access to mobile and internet devices, denial of free access to independent journalist so that they can report on the actual situation and suppression of normal commercial activities are denying people the right to goods and services including medical provision.

In such an environment, the military and the secret services have been a free hand to injure and kill civilians, to arrest detain and torture civilians without due process. The use of pellets which have blinded hundreds of people is cruel and inhumane. These are gross violations of the UN declarations of human rights and other conventions. 

The revocation of the special status of Kashmir and to suspend all institutions of state government in Kashmir by imposing direct rule without the consent of Kashmiri people is gravely unjust. The house arrests and imprisonments of political leaders and activists deny the Kashmiri people the democratic right for political expression and association.

By its extreme actions, India has lost moral legitimacy in the eyes of the Kashmiri people beyond the point of no return. It has also lost such legitimacy across the world. 

We believe a just solution to the Kashmir issue can only be political involving a peace process between Kashmiri people, India and Pakistan. One fundamental principle here is that the ultimate arbiters of the dispute over Kashmir are the people of Kashmir in all their diversity. A durable peace requires demilitarisation across the line of control, restoration of normal flow of people and commerce in divided Kashmir and restoration of democracy. Policies must be put in place to deescalate conflict, to bring peace and security, too heal the wounds, to bring prosperity to Kashmir and to release creative energies of the Kashmiris.

Signed:

Ali Nobil Ahmad Academic, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin

Tariq Ali Writer

Ajay Bhardwaj Documentary Filmmaker


Dr Ashraf Bhat Academic Researcher

Anne Marie Carty Doctoral researcher CREAM University of Westminster

Kooj Chuhan Virtual Migrants Collective

Kanwal Dhaliwal Artist

Gurnam Dhillon Poet

Shiraz Durrani Writer

Shareefa Energy Poet

Bhajan Hunjan Artist

Tony Kalume Visiting Lecturer University of Brighton


Rafiq Kathwari  First Kashmir-American recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award

Dr Nitasha Kaul Kashmiri author, poet and academic [Associate Professor, Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, UK] 


Khushdeep Kaur Malhotra PhD Candidate (Political Geography), Temple University

Sundjata Keita 

Armeena Khan Actress
  
Vinay Lal Professor of History (UCLA)

Samia Malik Singer & Songwriter

Saleh Mamon Political Activist 


Prof. Sherry Millner Filmmaker

Saif Osmani Artist

Zarina Patel
Writer, editor, Awaaz Magazine

Shailja Patel Author of "Migritude"

Anand Patwardhan Documentary Filmmaker

Dr Steve Presence University of the West of England 


Progressive Writers Association UK 
 
Ravinder Randhawa Writer

Zahid Rajan Editor, Awaaz Magazine


Fesl Reza-Khan  Film Producer

Tajender Sagoo Artist (London)


Manmohan Singh Mohan

David Somerset Film Programmer


Kuldip Suri

Pippa Virdee Reader in Modern South Asian History, De Montfort University.

Mirza Waheed Kashmiri novelist (London)

Nicole Wolf Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London



29 September 2019



Organisers Saleh Mamon and Tajender Sagoo (London).

If you support this statement and you would like to add your name please contact Tajender at popsamiti@gmail.com

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