Kashmir Black Day

70 years after partition we, the children of the occupiers and the occupied, the grandchildren of the imperial powers and the nation-state, come together materially and in spirit all around the world to show our unstinting solidarity for justice for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir Black Day marks a moment when we remember how freedom and democracy was stolen from the people of Jammu and Kashmir and from their sons and daughters and their children, in turn, ushering in a new era of violence and state repression along with the exploitation of human and natural resources.

India’s petulant and persistent refusal to uphold the UN resolution of 1949 calling for a referendum on the future of the disputed territory demeans the very notion of democracy.

I have been following the case since my election in 2014, learning about the shameful colonial history of my own country in the process. I have given special attention to the women and young people of Jammu and Kashmir, innocent victims who have suffered unspeakable acts at the hands of the occupying forces. When visiting Azad Kashmir last January I also met the refugees and half-windows whose sorrow knows no bounds, and I have spoken about this twice at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The new resolution co-sponsored by 75 countries in the recent UN General Assembly affirms that the right to self-determination to the people is a fundamental condition for effective guarantee and observance of human rights.

India must now do the right thing and co-operate in the democratic process.