TAMIL NADU: Seminar on Kashmir held in Chennai

V B Ganesan

TAMIL Nadu Platform for Peoples Unity has organised a public meeting in Chennai on April 28 on the burning issue of Kashmir and the recent Kathua rape. Yousuf Tarigami, MLA from Kashmir and CPI(M) Central Committee member spoke on “Why Kashmir is still burning?”. A large of concerned citizens participated in the programme.

Senior journalist N Ram presiding over the seminar said that the BJP government at the centre has not made any effort to create confidence among the people of Kashmir during the last four years and in equal measure, the PDP government in the state led by Mehbooba Mufti is also to be blamed for this fiasco.

Senior advocate R Vaigai said that the Kathua incident has made it clear to everyone that BJP’s intervention on issues such as Common Civil Code, Triple Talaq etc is not in the interests of the rights of women. She also said that declaring death sentence for rapists will not in any way reduce the crimes against women. It is necessary to bring out a central legislation to remove those who have been charged with sexual crimes from their positions in the party as well as the government.

Educationist Dawood Miakhan said that the rape of this Kashmiri child has stirred up the conscience of the people to build an alternative to these fascist forces.

While speaking on this occasion, Tarigami said that at the time of partition in 1947, while the north and east of the country was in flames, not a single crime was reported on religious grounds in Kashmir. The people of Kashmir have always believed that religion is a not a weapon to divide the people. With that intention, they joined with the secular India and only in that situation, Article 370 was incorporated into the Indian Constitution to develop strong relations between the people of Kashmir and other parts of the country.

However, since the detention of Sheikh Abdullah in 1953, the successive governments at the centre always reneged on its assurances and Article 370 was weakened over the years with 43 amendments to this section alone.

The people of Kashmir want to live with dignity and happiness. They have no intention to indulge in stone-throwing or to take up arms. But everyday people are getting killed. Children are losing their eyesight due to pellet bullets. The centre has not extended any relief to the people of Kashmir.

The centre is playing a divide and rule policy to divide people along religious lines, for the sake of votes, for the sake of politics. That’s the root cause of this problem, he said.

People of Kashmir are not indulging in violence on their own. The rulers should create a situation to provide proper education and employment. The people of Kashmir know very well that violence is not a solution. The people of other states should share this and understand their woes and needs. The united power of the people can do what the governments failed to do all along.

All sections of democratic forces, writers, artists should raise their voices to avert the danger of Kashmir getting away from India. They should urge the government to immediately stop the attacks, violence and violation of human rights by the army in the state.

The unfortunate incident in Kathua district was an atrocious act in order to drive out the nomadic tribe Gujjar Bhakkarwal community who have indeed proved their patriotism on many occasions. But the perpetrators of this heinous crime against a child are being shielded in the name of religion.

At the end of his speech, Tarigami exhorted the people to oppose those who are disrupting the unity of the Indian people for the sake of votes and said that the BJP should be defeated to save Kashmir. He also asserted that unity is essential to make our future better. For this, we should boycott the political ideology which is spreading communalism across the country.


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