‘Political situation in J&K a blot on democracy in India’
New Delhi: Students of Jamia Millia Islamia have protested the varsity’s invitation to J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, for inauguration of J&K hostel.
A statement issued by the students on Friday said that conferring the “honour and magnanimity” to the invitees was a “scurrilous attack on the integrity and culture of our University”.
The statement said that “our conscience” does not allow us to welcome on our campus Rajnath Singh and
Mehbooba Mufti—“a person who purports to be a representative of the people of J&K but whose consistent effort has been that the people should change their aspirations and succumb to the demands of the Indian state.”
Citing reasons the statement said that for the last 70 years, the political situation in J&K has been “a blot on the democracy in India”.
“Successive Indian governments have committed mistakes in their quest to control a territory where people have for all these years expressed their desire, through various means possible, to break free from the ‘idea of India’ and imagine a future of their own—but the people of J&K have had to bear the heavy costs of these mistakes.”
“In order to further their control over the territory, India has used all means at its disposal—divide and rule, massive propaganda campaigns within J&K to confuse and mislead the people, equally humongous disinformation campaigns against J&K’s struggle for self-determination in India and abroad, trying to buy the populace with promises of economic prosperity, demographic changes and, when all else failed, a brutal, bloody counter-insurgency programme against the people to try and make the costs of defiance prohibitive. Installing puppet local governments through the flimsy charade of “elections” has been one of the foremost tools of India’s rule in J&K. Mehbooba Mufti is the latest addition to a long list of rulers in J&K who help India to control Kashmir against the will of Kashmiris,” the statement said.
It added that the people and government of India know in their hearts that the “struggle in Kashmir is a just one” and for that reason they often try to raise “myriad specters”, from the of lack of coherence in the political narratives in J&K, the internal divisions within the state, cross-border interference from Pakistan, to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits.”
By refusing to recognize the unalienable right of Kashmiris to decide their own future, India has only managed to lose its own moral compass, the statement said. Politics based on the principle of might is right ultimately comes home to roost.
Holding BJP and PDP responsible for the killing of more than a 100 Kashmiris in 2016, and blinding of hundreds more, the statement also castigated BJP for giving a “free hand to Hindu groups in India to operate with impunity resulting in mob lynching of Muslims and Dalits and giving rise to an atmosphere of fear among social, gender and religious minorities.”
“They have criminalized all forms of dissent, forced University spaces into submission through administrative coercion, attempted to delegitimize political ideologies that do not adhere to their idea of nationalism, adopted anti-poor economic policies and helped the capitalist class in increasing their clout in media and business. This is not the India of our dreams.”
“We, as students with a critical outlook, want to reclaim and proclaim a better idea of India. Territorial aggression and display of military strength are not values which define our ‘idea of India’”.