A group of revolutionary socialists in Kashmir have decided to set up the Campaign for a Socialist Kashmir, arguing that the solution to national oppression in Kashmir lies in the struggle for socialism, and the extension of this struggle to the whole of the South Asian subcontinent.
Kashmir a paradise in peril
Conflict and conflagration stalks the mountains, the valleys and the plains of Kashmir. In the last twelve years 72,218 people have been killed, 67,900 houses were burnt, 7,500 women raped and 40,000 people have been made disabled. Tragedy and trauma has struck every household one way or the other. Yet this is nothing new for the people of Kashmir. The whole history of Kashmir is littered with oppression and brutality. Form the Greeks to the British, from the Sikhs to the Dogras and from the Indian ruling class to the Pakistan State, Kashmir has been ravaged by foreign aggression. The betrayals and treachery of the chiefs of various clans, and the political leaders of the Kashmiri elite have further added insult to injury. Apart from the bloodshed and aggression being inflicted upon them the people of Kashmir on both sides of the cynical 'line of control' are faced with extreme hardship and misery. Poverty, unemployment, disease, mass migration and state brutality are tormenting these oppressed peoples.
A huge cross section of the Kashmiri People have had to leave their homeland and migrate to Britain, the Middle East, cities of Pakistan and India and elsewhere around the world, perhaps for ever. The British left Kashmir as a pestering wound in the South Asian subcontinent after criminally dividing the living body of one of the oldest, vibrant and colourful societies in the world. Ever since then the ruling classes of India and Pakistan have used Kashmir as a political ploy to divert the rising tides of mass revolts in their own states. Their direct brutal aggression and proxy wars have devastated Kashmir and further added to the sufferings of its peoples. The leaders of the Kashmiri elite have played as agents of these barbaric states. The resurgent Islamic fundamentalism is only the other side of the brutalities of the Indian State. The real victims of this whole saga are the oppressed classes of Kashmir. They are the ones who really are deprived of a representation. From the United Nations to the NGO's, from US imperialism to the Islamic fundamentalists, from the pro Pakistan political parties to the leaders of the Kashmiri elite calling for an Independent Kashmir, they all represent different sections of finance capital and exploiting classes.
Yet these deprived and oppressed classes of Kashmir have demonstrated unprecedented resilience, courage and valour in their struggle against all forms of oppression. For a whole epoch they have carried out an immense struggle, which has jolted the rulers in the corridors of the echelons of power from Delhi and Islamabad to Washington and London. All the options being presented are utopian or farcical. The occupation of the rest of the Kashmir by India would provoke a horrendeus revolt which will shake India itself. The handing over of Kashmir to Pakistan would only boost fundamentalism and the sagging Pakistani state. It would end up in civil war and dis-integration. This would destabilise and fragment the whole of South Asia where only barbarism and anarchy would prevail. The present division of Kashmir can neither be sustained nor made permanent. Simply the people of Kashmir would reject it outrightly and they would never let their struggle go in vain.
On the other hand the option of an independent Kashmir is another utopia. The Kashmir autonomous state can neither survive the pressure of the IMF or the devastations of the crude globalisation or the crushing domination of the world market. In reality Imperialism has no interest in such an option. All those dreams of Kashmir being a Hong Kong or Singapore are futile. The Imperialists are desperately looking for markets. The dwindling US economy and a looming slump force them to bow before the 200 million strong Indian middle class market. That is another delusion. They will desperately fail there also. The obtuse illusion that Clinton would solve Kashmir was more than proved wrong during and after his visit. The story is over. There is no other way out. The people of Kashmir will have to link their war of liberation to the class war, here in the Subcontinent and beyond. Hence the only option left which is feasable and practical for the people of Kashmir is to carry through a Socialist Revolution. All other hopes are deceptions and delusions. Although no struggle ever goes in vain, without a clear and well-defined goal and destiny, the path, tactics and strategy of the struggle cannot be clearly envisaged and devised. It becomes protracted and results in unnecessary bloodshed and losses.
The main aim of the launching of the "Campaign for Socialist Kashmir", is precisely to put the real interests and the struggle of the oppressed, deprived and exploited peoples of Kashmir on the horizon and work out a clear programme strategy and methodology to ensure its victory. The emancipation of these down trodden masses lies in a Socialist Kashmir, which will inevitable become a precursor of a Socialist Revolution throughout the south Asian subcontinent giving rise to a voluntary socialist federation. This will be the only guarantee for the economic, social, cultural and national rights of the oppressed classes, nationalities and minorities of the subcontinent from this prison house of capitalism and landlordism under the yoke of imperialist stranglehold.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The main aim of the Campaign for Socialist Kashmir is to mobilize support and solidarity for the struggle of the peoples of Kashmir,
- Against the aggression and atrocities of the Indian State.
- Against the stranglehold and oppression of the Pakistani ruling classes and their state agencies.
- Against the imperialist exploitation and the crushing domination of the world market.
- Against the dark forces of fundamentalism and obscurantism that have desecrated and raped the struggle of the oppressed people of Kashmir.
- Against the leaders of the Kashmiri elite, who have treacherously betrayed and sold the struggle for their personal gains, perks and privileges. Who have acted as stooges of capitalism and the repressive states?
- The release of all the Kashmiri political prisoners languishing in the Indian, Pakistani British and Kashmiri jails.
- To attain proper health, education, roads, transport, water supply, electricity, sanitation, jobs, all the basic essential services and decent living standards.
- The formation of an elected revolutionary constituent assembly comprising of the genuine representatives of the workers, youth and poor peasants from both sides of the divide which should decide the further plan of action.
- To step up the struggle for the self determination of the oppressed Kashmiri people, linking it to the class struggle in the rest of the subcontinent and the world over.
- To carry through a Socialist Revolution in Kashmir, leading to a Socialist Kashmir and a voluntary Socialist Federation of the Indian Subcontinent.
To achieve these the Campaign for a Socialist Kashmir will embark upon the following activities.
- Launch the Campaign in different cities of India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Britain and other countries to explain the dynamics and the practical conditions of the struggle and to increase the awareness of the Kashmiri workers and youth who are living in these cities.
- Develop solidarity and direct links with the workers youth and the oppressed of these countries and areas to gain support for the struggle in Kashmir. Intervene in the different trade unions, workers parties and other progressive forums to highlight the atrocities and torture being inflicted upon the movement and struggle in Kashmir. Enlist practical support in form of Solidarity Resolutions, donations and recruit individuals who can further expand this Campaign. To forge a class unity and solidarity to achieve the actual socioeconomic liberation and emancipation of the exploited peoples of Kashmir.
- Organise protest rallies and demonstrations within Kashmir, on both sides of the divide, against the national and the class oppression of the peoples of Kashmir, for the release of political prisoners and the attainment of the day to day demands of the downtrodden and the oppressed of Kashmir.
- Unite the struggle of the people of Kashmir both within and abroad on a class and Socialist basis to make it effective and gain support of the workers of the world.
Contact the Campaign for a Socialist Kashmir
PO Box 2626
London N1 7SQ