India’s ruling Hindu Nationalist government revoked Kashmir’s special status in September 2019, a move regarded as the most blatant reversal of democracy in the disputed region. Ever since, Indian occupied Kashmir has been under lockdown, with several prominent Kashmiri leaders incarcerated and numerous civilians dead.
A growing cohort of renowned academics, literally personalities, and celebrities have condemned India’s “illegal and inhuman” occupation of Kashmir.
Renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy has been a clear opponent of Modi’s government and her stance on Kashmir’s illegal occupation is clearer.
“In Kashmir, traditionally, normalcy has always been a military declaration. It’s not the people that decide what is normal, it’s the establishment that decides. And so for them, normal seems to be to keep seven million people under a complete communication blackout. And that is beside the terror, besides the reports of the thousands who are being arrested, who are being picked up, tortured, all of that.”
Noam Chomsky, an American philosopher and political scientist, said that he believed Kashmiri autonomy is being undermined.
“The whole institutional structure of India, plus the great mass of the Hindu population, is evidently very supportive of the undermining of Kashmiri autonomy and opening up to Indian settlement. Kashmir is a prison right now, but it is supported in India. I don’t think people know what is happening.”
Labour Friends of Kashmir shared the speech of Naz Shah – Member of UK Parliament for Bradford West – telling the British Prime Minister to “act now, while there is still time, or history will not be so forgiving.”
Roger Waters, an English singer, and co-founder of the band Pink Floyd called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘fascist’, speaking out against his ruling government’s misdemeanors. At a protest in London, Waters read out an excerpt from Delhi student Aamir Aziz’s ‘Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega’, targeting especially Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which seeks to legally establish Muslims as second-class citizens of India.
Aziz’s original poem in Urdu can be watched (here)
Several Pakistani celebrities have also spoken out against the atrocities carried out in Kashmir, terming them ‘unacceptable’. Mahira Khan said, “This is beyond lines drawn on sand, it’s about innocent lives being lost!”
Shaan Shahid, a veteran Pakistani actor, believes the illegal occupation will ‘fuel the fire of freedom’.