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LiberalM
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PostSubject: Denial of self determination   Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:21 pm

@chinaar,
Quote :
chinaar wrote:
If that happens, we will be back to square one as only an Independent J&K can satisfy the aspirations of all its constituents i.e. Kashmiri pandits/Muslims, Dogras in Jammu and Buddhists in Ladakh. Accession to any one dominion will create more problems than solutions. I don't know how the modalities can be worked out.....but for all the peoples of J&K to feel safe n secure, the only solution is an Independent J&K with special relationships with both India and Pakistan. A sort of a duty free buffer zone of friendship between the two nations.
Yes, with the UN resolutions as they are, J&K will be back to square one. If the problem is of independence to J&K, then the UNSC resolutions are not the way forward. UN resolutions simply treat Kashmir as a matter of dispute between two parties.

For J&K people to feel safe and secure, people of India and people of Pakistan have to feel safe and secure as well. Indian public opinion at this point is not for J&K independence. Pakistani public opinion (Musharraf was an unelected dictator) does not appear to be favourable for Kashmiri indpendence either. It will take decades of political and economic progress in India (and Pakistan) to come to a stage where a majority of the people will be economically well off and politically mature to have a humanitarian view of Kashmir.

What should Kashmiris do until then ? That is the question for the Kashmiri leadership and the Kashmiri people to ponder.
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Chinaar
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PostSubject: Denial of self-determination   Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:36 pm

@ LiberalMarathi

[/quote]What should Kashmiris do until then ? That is the question for the Kashmiri leadership and the Kashmiri people to ponder[quote]


Its a question that India, Pakistan and people of Kashmir will all have to ponder upon. Status Quo has failed miserably and results in losses of trillions to the exchequer annualy. The resentment in J&K against the occupation is unlikely to die down unless some out of the box solutions are brought forward. For all parties to stop this never ending cycle of uncertainities, its not just us Kashmiris but the people of the sub-continent that have to seriously work on this issue.

As a Kashmiri, one of my primary concerns would be to ensure Kashmiri Pandits live amongst us as before 1989. For the sake of Kashmiri Pandits, if a solution to the J&K dispute is not sought out immediately, then we are in the process of loosing out on a community forever as it is continually disintegrating outside of J&K. However for that to happen everlasting peace has to be first brought into J&K and under Indian rule that is simply not possible. We did try that for 60 years but it didn't work out.

I once again reiterate that an Independent J&K with a special relationship with both India & Pakistan and possibly China is the best way forward. This option will address the grievances of all concerned parties and leave no one disenchanted or side-lined.

One of the possible solutions that I have been thinking about would be to form "THE JAMMU & KASHMIR COMPANY". It will be much like a business conglomerate (a multinational) of today. Its board of directors will have representatives from both India, Pakistan, Kashmir and China in proportional numbers. The Board will have a neutral chairman from Europe etc. The company will be responsible for managing affairs in J&K. Once the area is de-militarized, both countries rather than spending trillions on defense expenditure can utilize just a fraction of that money on developmental projects in J&K. Much like a multinational company investing in a particular country for mutual interests. So rather than wasting money on humungous defense budgets, both the countries and the people of J&K will actually start making money in Power generation (which can be maximised in such a scenario), Develop downstream industries like food processing, dairy products, sports goods, wool, renewable timber, medicinal products (the forests of Kashmir are a treasure house of herbs), soft-ware production in beautiful environs and much more(Notice I haven't even mentioned tourism). Nato is a good example to follow, I mean just 60 years ago, each Individual country in Europe was fighting and bickering, in a span of 20 years they fought two World-Wars which resulted in the deaths of millions. Yet look at them today, we may start talking about political maturity etc but bro we are the area which gave birth to the Indus valley Civilization (more than 10,000 years ago) and if Europeans who were living in dark ages till just 800 years ago can come up with such novel ideas to solve problems, I am sure if we apply ourselves sincerely.....we will come up with even better solutions. Coming back to Nato, many countries in Europe have practically no armies and their defense is the responsiblity of Nato. The member countries in turn invest heavily in these countries and thus create a situation where everyone benefits (Unlike the destructive situation we have back home, where everyone is bleeding). So although each member state in NATO is independent, yet they are completely interdependent.

Once we realise that rigid positions have to be left behind and will lead our peoples nowhere but violence, only then can we build bridges of peace.

Peace as we all know has its dividends and a peaceful J&K means prosperity for the whole sub-continent. The model does not have to be like "The Jammu & Kashmir company" per se but once we sit down and discuss, we may come across even more novel ideas.

Thank you for going through this. Smile
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LiberalM
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PostSubject: Denial of self-determination   Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:26 pm

@chinaar,

It is a well-meaning post and I have nothing against anything you mentioned. For Kashmiris, independence is a very big issue right now but for most Indians, Kashmiri independence is not an issue they worry about every day. It is a developing country and the major issues for most people are Roti, Kapda, and Makan. It is now on a fast growth track but it will still take decades for it to be counted as a developed country where people can think about other issues. That is just the reality of it.

So it will take decades for the humanist ideas behind Kashmiri independence to seep into the consciousness of a majority of the Indian populace. India would have changed dramatically by that time. In those decades, if (and it is a big IF) Kashmir plays it right, has sensible leadership that utilizes the opportunities that are available instead of going on a futile search for those that aren't, then Kashmir would be a dramatically different place altogether as well. By then it will have attained freedom in the truest sense of the word and so will have India.
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Reporter
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PostSubject: Re: Denial of Self determination   Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:12 am

hated-in wrote:


Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010317/main5.htm

Source: http://indiapost.com/article/india/3620/

.

@hated-in

I have just about had it with your hate filled posts and anti-muslim tirades. Where exactly does it mention this in the links that you provided.

Quote :
some want to wage jihad just for the hell of it, and some start shouting slogans and want azadi just because the electricity went out

Your lies just expose your Hindutva mindset.

Provide an answer or be forewarned that you and your lies are not welcome on this forum.
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hated-in
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PostSubject: Re: Denial of Self determination   Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:38 am

If you find my comments regarding jihad offensive, I will withdraw them. I am sure you can carry out simple searches on the internet as well like anyone. About the rest here is what the Arundhati Roy has to say:

To expect matters to end there was of course absurd. Hadn't anybody noticed that in Kashmir even minor protests about civic issues like water and electricity inevitably turned into demands for azadi, freedom? To threaten them with mass starvation amounted to committing political suicide.

This was a fairly well publicized piece of article throughout the world that can be found in various newspapers and has been discussed on this forum in a somewhat limited way. So I am surprised at you missed it given that your username is "Reporter". However, here is the link for you:

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/22/kashmir.india

And by the way, I don't appreciate your personal attacks regarding "anti-muslim" and "Hinduvata". If you have an objection against what I am saying, isolate a particular phrase or sentence and contradict it using your own sources or point to a different reasoning or different interpreation - instead of blowing up in anger and threatening. As far as I can see the problem is not my "Hinduvata" or "anti-muslim" stance, but your own inability to accept divergent viewpoints.

Best wishes.
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Chinaar
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PostSubject: Denial of self determination   Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:00 pm

@liberalMarathi

Bro, the onus is on all of us, if we wait till all of us get roti, Kapda n makaan then the hawks will have a field day on all sides. This has the potential of developing into a serious conflict again. What I am worried about most at the moment is that if BJP comes to power again in New Delhi, our sufferrings will increase manifold and therefore all of us have to continually raise awareness of how to go forward on this issue.

In other words, before another major war erupts and leads us to more catastrophy, we all need to act now.

Take care Very Happy
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LiberalM
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PostSubject: Denial of self determination   Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:46 pm

@chinaar,
Quote :
chinaar wrote:
Bro, the onus is on all of us, if we wait till all of us get roti, Kapda n makaan then the hawks will have a field day on all sides. This has the potential of developing into a serious conflict again. What I am worried about most at the moment is that if BJP comes to power again in New Delhi, our sufferrings will increase manifold and therefore all of us have to continually raise awareness of how to go forward on this issue.

In other words, before another major war erupts and leads us to more catastrophy, we all need to act now.
The onus is really on Kashmiris - that is the party that has the complaint about the situation. It is not the Indians that want freedom from Kashmir.

So no matter how fast Kashmiris want independence, I seriously doubt it is going to happen that fast. It will take decades of peace and patience. First there are the legal issues: there are no legal avenues in which Kashmiri independence can be quickly worked out. We know now that UN resolutions are useless for this purpose as they don't have anything in them for Kashmiri independence. Indian constitution is useless for that purpose as well as it does not allow secession for any state (Hotel California Problem). So that leaves very few workable options on the table as of now. Some options may become available in the future but as of now there are no legal avenues for achieving full independence, nor is Kashmiri independence feasible given the overall security situation in the neighbourhood.

One thing is certain: a path of confrontation with India (either violent or non-violent) will be asymetrically detrimental to Kashmir's and Kashmiris' future well being. A sensible leadership will see that and guide Kashmiris in the coming decades in a spirit of friendship and cooperation with India. The last one is a hard pill to swallow given how Kashmiris feel about India at the current time - but that is exactly where a sensible leadership, a leadership that has the ability to make calm and rational decisions and not emotional ones, will make all the difference.
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Kilo
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PostSubject: Re: Denial of Self determination   Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:00 am

Quote :
One thing is certain: a path of confrontation with India (either violent or non-violent) will be asymetrically detrimental to Kashmir's and Kashmiris' future well being. A sensible leadership will see that and guide Kashmiris in the coming decades in a spirit of friendship and cooperation with India. The last one is a hard pill to swallow given how Kashmiris feel about India at the current time - but that is exactly where a sensible leadership, a leadership that has the ability to make calm and rational decisions and not emotional ones, will make all the difference.

Depends on a person's viewpoint. A typical Indian would hold the above view. Whereas a typical Kashmiri would reword the above paragraph as follows:

One thing is certain: a path of confrontation with Kashmiris (either violent or non-violent) is already detrimental to Indias and Indians' future well being. A sensible leadership will see that and guide Indians in the coming decades in a spirit of friendship and cooperation with Kashmiris. The last one is a hard pill to swallow given how Indians feel about Kashmiris at the current time - but that is exactly where a sensible leadership, a leadership that has the ability to make calm and rational decisions and not emotional ones, will make all the difference.

Rolling Eyes
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LiberalM
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PostSubject: Re: Denial of self determination   Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:40 am

@kilo,

You can believe in what you want to.

The key words in my version of the statements are "a path of confrontation with India (either violent or non-violent) will be asymmetrically detrimental to Kashmir's and Kashmiris' interests".

I did not say it will not be detrimental to India's well-being. But India is much larger - has a far larger resource base. So in a confrontation with India, Kashmir and Kashmiris have far more to lose than India or Indians. That is the reality of it and neither I nor anyone else can change it.

I hope one day Kashmir will get its freedom but I believe it will only come by co-opting the liberal minded people in India who believe in the humanist ideals behind the wish to go free. That set of liberal-minded people in India at the current time is very small. It will take decades for that tribe to grow to a meaningful size where it can start having an impact on Indian politics. In the interim, a wise leadership in Kashmir will avoid confrontation with India at all costs in the larger interests of the Kashmiri people.
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Chinaar
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PostSubject: Denial of self determination   Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:15 am

@ Liberalmarathi,

I agree that Indias resource base is much larger but u have to understand that J&K has two other major stake holders besides Kashmiris n Indians i.e China n Pakistan. The involvement of these major powers in this imbroglio will certainly push India to act much more quickly.

As a common Kashmiri, I agree that we need to find some common ground for obtaining peace but the policies of the Indian government on the ground are all geared towards continual alienation. To summarise my point, This is how a layman thinks on the streets of Srinagar : "If the Indian army is going to kill me and rape my land anyway, why don't I just go out there n do something wortwhile and then die an honourable death"

Now for an individual from outside Kashmir, this may seem a bit too gross but for a people who have been pushed against the wall, its now or never.......doesn't matter how much time that NOW takes.

Logical reasoning when it comes to your mere survival is suddenly taken over by primitive instincts of total defiance.

As a person who has studied Kashmir n its psycho-social phenomena for practically all of my life, I do not foresee the people of J&K accepting Indian sovereignty for a long time to come unless the Indian army sets up a concentration camp and gases all the Kashmiris into oblivion.

Sorry for a touche' of Melodrama but this is the truth and sadly we (especially Kashmiri Pandits who r loosing out on their homeland with each passing day) Kashmiris will bear the major brunt of this chaos.

I do thank you for all your kind words and views.

Take care Crying or Very sad
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PostSubject: OIC meet supports right of self-determination, decries rights abuses in JK   Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:06 pm

New York, Sep 26: The secretary general of Organisation of Islamic Countries, Professor Ekmeledin Ihsanoglu reiterated support to the people of Kashmir at the OIC’s Kashmir Contact Group meeting chaired by him at United Nations headquarters on Friday.
“After the new developments in Jammu and Kashmir, we reiterate the continued support of the organization to the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination. I condemned the use of force against the Kashmiri people and I called the Indian government to take immediate steps to end violence against innocent Kashmiris,” Prof. Ihsanoglu said.
He referred to the visit of OIC’s special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Ezzat Kamal Mufti, who visited Azad Kashmir as a mark of the OIC’s solidarity with the Kashmiri people.
He said the OIC will continue to encourage India and Pakistan to sustain and push forward the peace process and resolve all the outstanding issues in association with the Kashmiri people in a result oriented dialogue.
Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi urged upon the international community to help the Kashmiris achieve the right of self-determination promised them, as the benefits of the solution will be gigantic not only for India and Pakistan but for the region as well.
Turkish foreign minister Ali Babajan pleaded for lasting settlement of the Kashmir problem and he hoped that India and Pakistan would engage in fruitful talks and find lasting solution in accordance with international legitimacy. He extended complete support to the fifth round of talks between India and Pakistan.
Saudi Arabian delegate reminded the group that his government supports implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions and respect for human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. He expressed great concern over the alleged human rights violations taking place in Kashmir.
The Ambassador of Niger on behalf of his foreign minister endorsed the viewpoint of the Secretary General of OIC. He urged the Secretary General to use his good offices and ask India not to use excessive force.
Prime Minister of A, Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, thanked the OIC for its consistent support of the Kashmir cause. He pleased with the OIC Contact Group to review the ground situation as well as the developments impacting the Kashmiri people.
Syed Faiz Hussain Naqashbandi, representative of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference said India was denying the human frights organizations the access to Kashmir.
“He said the land transfer to Amarnath board and subsequent economic blockage of Kashmir and killing of Sheikh Abdul Aziz and more than 50 unarmed, peaceful protesters was yet another demonstration of Indian policies to crush the indigenous struggle of Kashmiris with state violence,” he said.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center, Washington, hailed the statement of the OIC Secretary General for expressing concern over use of “brute force on peaceful protesters in the Valley.”
Professor Nazir A. Shawl, Executive Director, Justice Foundation, London has appealed to OIC to prevent further bloodshed in the Sate, and convey to “India that violence on peaceful protesters was unacceptable.”
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PostSubject: Kashmiris deserve the right to self determination   Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:10 am

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Reflections on Dynamics of Change

By Richard Shapiro | ZNet, Aug 8, 2009

Richard Shapiro’s ZSpace Page

What are the various roles that diverse constituencies must play to facilitate political processes that undo militarization and subjugation in Indian administered Kashmir? How can systemic structures that institutionalize violence, cultural annihilation, economic impoverishment, and political disempowerment be countered through non-violent, ethical resistance? What alliances are necessary to allow hope for overcoming cycles of oppression and breaking with histories of domination? How can international, national, and local actors and institutions work together to disrupt socially unnecessary suffering and ameliorate the conditions of existence? What forces must cohere to enable a just peace to emerge in a democratic Kashmir in the foreseeable future?

Numerous obstacles present tremendous challenges to movements for social justice. The current world order is predicated on systems of inequality that hierarchically divide countries, peoples, cultures, classes, genders, sexualities, ethnicities, and faith traditions to the benefit of the few and the detriment of the many. Dominant powers prescribe the rules of the game to their advantage and utilize knowledge, technology, and markets to structure social relations in their interests. The new global order presents itself as the best of all possible worlds in which sovereign nation-states organized through representative democracy, rule of law, free markets with government regulation, Enlightenment rationality, and human rights are promised as the solution to the problems of poverty, war, ecological devastation, genocide, and terrorism.

This dominant narrative of progress through the spread of capitalism organized in nation-states and guided by knowledge has attained hegemony as it has captured the imagination of postcolonial nations like India. Postcolonial nations have largely reproduced the structures of colonial oppression and organized themselves to become players in the existing global order as militarized, hyper-masculinized, nuclear powers measuring their worth on the basis of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Emerging middle-classes of massive proportion in postcolonial nations like India buttress this process of nation building that mirrors and enforces dynamics of globalization through the production of unparalleled poverty, massive and multiple dislocations, genocide of indigenous peoples, ecological disaster, and abundant psychological malaise. India is embraced by the international community, meaning largely the United States and Western Europe, precisely because it marches in step with the new world order. India amasses great cultural capital as “the world’s largest democracy” in spite of the fact that it is home to 40% of the worlds most economically destitute, and seeks to constitute itself as a nation through policies that disregard the needs of the vast majority of its population.

India is inventing nothing new in its self-constitution as a powerful nation-state. National identity is being fabricated through the equation of India with Hindus, in blatant form in entities like the RSS and BJP, and in more subtle form in the Congress and progressive Indian citizens for whom nationalism linked to ‘Hindu cultural reassertion’ is an unreflective response to a colonial past. The equation of Hinduism (unity in diversity) and Christianity with tolerance for difference, and Islam with terrorism, backwardness, and fanaticism, functions as a global trope supportive of unleashing disproportionate violence on Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, as well as within the territory of India in Gujurat, Orissa, and in the ‘disputed territory’ of Kashmir. India forms itself as nation with unexamined Hindu majoritarianism at its base, just as unexamined Christian cultural dominance organizes the United States, rendering explorations of the links between religionization, nationalism and particular secularisms close to impossible. India is also typical in its self-formation as nation in fashioning internal and external enemies as crucial to defining itself, and super-exploiting its most proximate ‘others’ to fuel its prosperity. European nations had the Jew as internal enemy. The United States is founded on the backs of its twin others – enslaved Africans and massacred Native Americans.

India has as its main ‘internal other’ the Muslim, who can take no solace in also occupying the role as external enemy in India’s dominant narrative. This double site is what the state uses to legitimate the brutalization of the Kashmiri people. Firstly, there is India’s need for a majority Muslim state within its borders to legitimate itself as a progressive, pluralistic, secular nation. Without a Muslim majority state within India, India cannot as easily legitimate itself as a progressive member of the new global order. Secondly there is India’s need to establish national identities that take precedence over regional, local, traditional identities. As a nation, India is in the process of seeking: (1) to establish territorial dominion over the current boundaries of the nation, (2) attain a monopoly on the means of violence, and (3) organize human and natural resources to enhance the productivity and power of the nation. Every nation that has achieved the normative status of modern democracy has utilized sustained and prolific violence to realize these three imperatives and in the process establish its identity. India is in a very vulnerable moment in this process as is evident from an examination of the myriad territories and forces fighting for autonomy in some form from the Indian state. Part of the strategy to foster national identity, simultaneous to providing very little to the vast majority of its population, and in fact fostering mal-development that impoverishes and displaces poor, rural ‘citizens’, is to fabricate an ‘us’ that must protect itself from ‘them’. Without internal enemies India cannot unify itself as a nation.

This internal enemy is also resolutely claimed as integral to India. The state and its loyal subjects repeat the same refrain: ‘Kashmir is an integral part of India.’ ‘Kashmir is integral to India.’ Kashmir is the other that is integral to the self, a difference that is integral to the identity of India. How then does India treat this other, this integral difference? To debase, devalue, disrespect, destroy the people, culture, history, land, waters, aspirations, imaginations, passions, thoughts, of this other that is claimed as integral to self reveals much about India’s current state of existence. What other measure is available to us to assess ourselves as ethical entities than how we treat the other, how we engage the differences to which we are ethically obliged to respond? What nation has satisfactorily answered to this call? If a day arrives when Kashmir is ‘a nation unto itself’, independent and sovereign, an equal to all other nations, will Kashmir point the nation-state in a new direction? Will the differences integral to Kashmir be respected, affirmed, heard and engaged? Will ‘the other’ be the call to ‘the self’ to practice hospitality? Will the Gujur, the village woman who buried loved ones and waits in silence for words of/from other loved ones, the atheist, the ardent believer, the Shia, the Sufi, the pundit, the Buddhist, the differently abled, the homosexual, the beggar, the prostitute, be welcomed as participants in constructing a nation that will be ‘a light unto other nations’? Will the other be welcomed without the demand or structural incentive to assimilate, to mirror/mimic dominance to be recognized as human? These questions are too much, perhaps even unfair. Yet, is it not necessary to raise them?

Kashmir occupies a literal and imaginary border as inside and outside of India in ways that structure an impossible predicament. The state (and its elites and middle-classes) does not trust Kashmiris whose allegiance is always presumed to lie with Pakistan as an Islamic Republic, thus denying Kashmiris the rights of citizens of India, while asserting the inviolability of its sovereignty over Kashmir as a secular, democratic nation governed by equality under rule of law. The distrust legitimates military rule organized through special laws as necessary to provide law and order as a matter of internal security. Thus, on the basis of being part of a democratic state, the rights granted citizens of such a state are denied to Kashmiris. Inclusion in nation is coupled with dispossession from historical memory, rights, and life. India legitimates its mistreatment through a logic originating with European nation-states. This denial of civil and human rights, rule of law, and the freedoms of citizenship to Kashmiris is because the state must protect itself from forces within itself that threaten its character as a lawful, democratic nation. India must violate what is most inviolable, through a state of exception (the use of law to suspend law as definitive of sovereignty), to protect itself. The discourse requires the allegiance of the Kashmiri people to India, as proof that Kashmiris are not what the nation suspects – traitors and terrorists, as precondition to access to the rights of citizenship. These same rights of citizenship provided by the nation, while denied to Kashmiris, are used by India to justify its claims to being a legitimate state entitled to act as it does in Kashmir. As a legitimate state, India is predicated on civil rights and rule of law that it may legitimately suspend in the name of national security. Kashmiris must align with India given this legitimacy, while living as subjects without rights in so far as the state defines them as a threat to its sovereignty. India must violate what gives it legitimacy in order to protect itself from the internal enemy integral to it. India must destroy itself to protect itself. The state of exception produces a state of autoimmunity. India is also asserting itself as superior to other regional nation-states, and an emerging player in relation to Western Europe and the United States. Like other powerful democracies, India is entitled to do whatever is necessary to fight terrorism and strengthen itself as a powerful, sovereign, capitalist nation, aligned with the movement of progress (dominance).
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PostSubject: Kashmiris deserve the right to self determination   Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:11 am

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Kashmiris are placed in a situation where allegiance to India as prerequisite to participation in a lawful democracy involves allegiance to a state that has no rational basis to demand or expect allegiance from the people of Kashmir. India needs to exaggerate the degree of cross-border infiltration and armed Islamist militancy to rationalize 500,000+ troops, blurred boundaries between police and army, and massive intervention in daily life through systematic surveillance, land seizures, checkpoints, torture, disappearances, gendered and sexualized violence, fake encounter deaths and countless daily humiliations calculated to break the spirit of the Kashmiri people. This reality is currently resisted through mass demonstrations, regular protests, strategic use of elections, strategic boycott of elections, navigating restrictions on ‘free press’, civil society mobilizations, legal cases, an International Tribunal, and regular acts of dignity, courage, and faith that characterize the present in Kashmir. India demonstrates the persona all too common in the ‘league of nations’ – to act with impunity and disregard for international law and local demands for justice. India uses this fiction of the Kashmiri as existing in the shadowy space of inside/outside the nation to legitimate an occupation that ignores the historical particularity of Kashmir and the promises made to the people of Kashmir to determine its own future. The plight of Kashmiri pundits also becomes an opportunity for the state to legitimate regularized violence and systematic oppression of Kashmiris. Were all Kashmiris, whether currently residing in the state of Jammu/Kashmir or elsewhere, to be given voice to express their will, free from coercion, retribution, and manipulation, the outcome would not be in doubt.

Kashmir is the longest standing disputed area in the United Nations, the most militarized spot on earth, and a drain on the hopes for prosperity, peace and freedom for people throughout the subcontinent, and the world. There is no moving toward peaceful coexistence between India and Pakistan, no stabilization of the region, no possibility for global nuclear disarmament, no hope for forms of development that prioritize sustainability and cultural survival over militarization, urbanization, and middle-class consumerism, no space for the impossible healing through mourning/memorializing the trauma of Partition, without granting self-determination to the people of Kashmir.

The realization of that which is demanded by rationality in service of justice and emancipation is always against the odds. In relation to Kashmir, a more peaceful future requires at least four interrelated movements: (1) Massive, non-violent, ethical dissent within Kashmiri civil society must continue and expand, attentive to alliances that build stronger relations between men and women, youth and adults, various faith communities, urban and rural, rich and poor, facilitative of inclusive forms of polity that enable a diverse, pluralistic movement for freedom. (2) Leadership must form a unified coalition that activates and learns from the multiple constituencies that make up Kashmiri society. Divergent desires and imaginations regarding the future of Kashmir should be encouraged and discussed, outside the search for homogeneity or conformity. A Kashmir free of subjugation should enable multiple forms of life through participatory democracy, just governance, and economic practice promoting health, education, and individual and collective prosperity. Natural resources, like water, should be both safeguarded, and utilized for sustainable development. Cultural heritage should be understood as an inheritance of all Kashmiris to fashion a unique society nurturing hospitality, innovation, and multicultural polity. (3) Education and mobilization to shift public opinion in India must be undertaken throughout civil society to expand pressure on the Indian state. Citizen delegations from the various states and communities of India must visit Kashmir to learn first hand about the atrocities, resistances, hopes, and concerns prevalent in Kashmir. Such delegations must bring their new understandings to their neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and places of worship to facilitate discussion and reflection that expand the voices of those who demand that illegal and immoral action in Kashmir done in their name immediately cease. Institutions in India must sponsor delegations from Kashmir, composed of diverse peoples who constitute Kashmiri society, to share the realities they have suffered and the need for alliance toward justice. Hindu faith communities must forge relationships with social justice movements in civil society in Kashmir to oppose Hindu majoritarian dominance and insist that the Indian state demilitarize the state of Jammu & Kashmir, become accountable to international agreements, rule of law, and human rights as the first step on the road to affirming the right of Kashmir to self-determination. Universities and the press must play a strong role in addressing the history and present of Kashmir to empower students and the citizenry of India to participate as informed members of a democratic republic, whose resources and conscience are systematically misused and violated by their government. (4) International solidarities from citizens, governmental and non-governmental organizations, students, workers, professionals, public intellectuals, faith communities, and all interested parties must be organized to educate, inform, advocate, and mobilize for the liberation of Kashmir. International institutions must be both utilized and strengthened as legitimate sites able to hold nation-states legally accountable for their actions. Research, education, and publication on the reality of present-day Kashmir and its modern history must be supported by and within universities, think tanks, and civil society forums. Campuses must become sites where students mobilize themselves to exert public pressure to ethically resolve the situation in Kashmir. Resistance in all four ‘sites’ must struggle to establish alliances, clarify goals, mobilize resources, deconstruct desires, and carve out space where different forms of polity and community, promoting ethical dissent, may live.
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PostSubject: Kashmiris deserve the right to self determination   Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:12 am

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To commit to these practices secures no guarantees. The process must draw from the resolve of Kashmiris to struggle for justice and strengthen this resolve through principled alliance that breaks the isolation and despair that accompanies any people subjected to brutal mistreatment. The multiple legacies that inspire and haunt us must become the very sustenance that, through sharing, nurtures our struggle. Allow me to conclude by drawing from a source common to the three Abrahamic traditions, and of universal relevance in the present, Deuteronomy 16:20, Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue.

Richard Shapiro is Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
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Denial of Self determination
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