Thousands of people of Kashmiri origin from all over Britain converged in front of the Indian High Commission in London, UK, on August 15, 2019, to protest against the withdrawal by the Indian state of special status of Jammu & Kashmir. The massive mobilisation resulted in traffic in the area coming to a complete standstill. The protesters included people of all ages including women and children. Many of them took a day off from work to participate in the protest on a working day, showing their deep concern about the complete lock down in Kashmir. The protestors raised slogans such as “What we want, freedom”, “Indian forces go back”.
Ghadar International and Indian Workers Association participated in the protest action to show their solidarity with Kashmiri people. Hundreds of leaflets issued by the Ghadar International were distributed amongst the people. Below, we reproduce the leaflet.
The Kashmir problem will not go away by making Kashmir a union territory of India
On August 5, the BJP led government withdrew the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories to be ruled directly by the centre. Jammu and Kashmir will have its legislature and Ladakh will be without a legislature. Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution were abrogated, which allowed the Kashmir legislature to decide the status of permanent residents of the state. Only permanent residents could own immovable property in Kashmir.
Before announcing the changes to the constitution, hundreds of leaders in Kashmir, including those belonging to pro-India parties were arrested or put under house arrest. Prime Minister Modi declared that withdrawing of special status will benefit the Kashmiris, it will create jobs and all the benefits available to the people of rest of India will be open to them as well.
At the time of granting independence to India, the British colonialists partitioned India in two separate countries, India and Pakistan and gave right to the princely states to join India or Pakistan or to stay independent.
But the Anglo-American imperialists had different designs for Kashmir. They wanted their own control over it for using this important strategic area against the spread of communism, as the people of former colonial countries had great respect for the Soviet Union, the country which led the war against fascism and defeated it. They wanted to join or be friends with Soviet Union. The imperialists did not want them to join the socialist camp. That is why they wanted to create their military bases in the Kashmir valley, from where they could target various important industrial centres in Soviet Union and China.
As Pakistan was close to the colonialists, they organised the tribal people of North West frontier to attack and take over Kashmir. The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, scared of losing his kingdom, signed partial accession with India. So, Kashmir was divided in two parts, one occupied by Pakistan and the other by India.
Ever since then, the imperialists have kept India and Pakistan at loggerheads. Recently the US imperialists are trying to bring India into their orbit to encircle China, in their strategy to dominate Asia as well as the world. The Indian capitalists want to become an imperialist power in South Asia by getting closer to US. This move of Indian government might have the backing of US imperialists in their bid to get India to support them against Iran.
The capitalist state of India has treated the people of all the nations comprising Indian Union, including Kashmir, with disdain. They have exploited and looted the natural resources and wealth belonging to various nationalities in India just like the British colonialists did before independence.
The Indian state never tires of talking about how India is a biggest democracy and a secular state. But the reality is this is a state of the biggest capitalist monopolies. Everyone, including Kashmiri people, demanding and waging struggle for their rights is brutally attacked. Lakhs of people fighting for their national and humanitarian rights are incarcerated in jails.
This state only implements the agenda of the biggest capitalists to facilitate the loot of land and labour of various nations in India. That is why they have kept the anti-people laws of the colonial state and enacted further black laws against the working class, the peasantry and nationalities of India. This change of law about the special status of Kashmir also has the aim of making the loot of resources of Kashmir easier for capitalists.
In spite of India making tremendous progress in fields of science, including space science, medicine, IT, agriculture etc. crores of people are living in abject poverty, forced to lead a life of indignity and misery.
Actions speak louder than the words. As far as the working people of India are concerned, the governments of the capitalists including BJP have always been making promises which they have no intention of keeping. They promised to remove poverty, they promised to double the income of peasants, they promised to create jobs but have only increased the wealth of the capitalists.
The solution to the problems facing the Kashmiri people as well as rest of India and Pakistan is to create a new system in which people are the decision makers and the direction of the economy is set towards the welfare of people. This will be a voluntary union of nations and nationalities constituting India, where rights of all constituents are respected and wealth is used to raise the material and cultural level of society.
Indian workers Association and The Ghadar International