Trotskyism echoes across the valley of Kashmir, while a deep political silence haunts the place
Report by Adil Khan, former general secretary of the JKNSF (Jammu Kashmir National Student Federation)
The Marxist opposition of the JKNSF (which is now known as JKNSF-Marxist, becaue this name is being used by the bourgeois press to differentiate the Marxist faction of JKNSF from the official one) held a series of three days of activities from September 1st to 3rd in Rawlakot (Pakistan occupied Kashmir).
On September 1st a motorcycle rally was organised from Rawlakot to Madarpur. On September 2nd a Torch lit procession was held in Rawlakot and on September 3rd the Awami Haqooq Conference (People’s Rights Conference) was held in Hajera in defence of peoples rights.
The recently initiated peace process between Pakistan and India, which has started due to big pressure on the part of the imperialist institutions, to some extent depends on the Kashmir question. Many solutions and formulas have been put forward by both sides and there has been a lot of lip service on the part of the ruling classes in both countries including their local stooges in Kashmir. In spite of this they have failed to present any solution which can be acceptable to all parties. This failure of the ruling classes of the Subcontinent reveals the inability of their system to solve any of the problems. Therefore, despite all the efforts for peace there is no peace possible under capitalism for the downtrodden masses of the sub-continent in such conditions.
There is no other force in Kashmir which could expose the impotence of the rulers to the masses and could offer a way forward, apart from the JKNSF(Marxist). The JKNSF is actually a student organization but its Marxist wing is gaining the sympathy of the masses because of its correct programme and methods based on scientific socialism (i.e. genuine Trotskyism).
The Marxists of the JKNSF are not only waging an intense political and ideological war against the narrow nationalism, the reactionary Stalinism of the state sponsored leadership of the JKNSF and the religious fundamentalists, racists and the state itself. They have also been facing physical attacks after the huge rally of July 7th (see The Red Storm – Largest student rally in the history of Kashmir). The reactionary and terrorist forces formed an undeclared coalition against the JKNSF(Marxist). They launched a brutal propaganda campaign against the Marxists to sabotage their programme, but they have failed. The Marxists, despite all the difficulties successfully organised a series of activities and this success will prove a base for new and bigger successes. Below we give a the detailed report of these activities.
Motor Cycle Rally
On September 1st more than 50 motorcycles, decorated with red flags travelled 36 kilometres from Rawlakot to Madarpur the nearby town close to the line of control. The purpose of the motorcycle rally was to raise the issue of the basic rights of the people that have been violated, and in particular of those victims of regular shootings by both Pakistani and Indian armies. There are many towns located between the army posts of both countries on LOC (Line of Control) in which hundreds of poor people have been forced to live a miserable life under the bayonets of these armies since the criminal division of subcontinent and Kashmir in 1947.
The armies of Pakistan and India often used this area as a firing training ground and as a result many peoples are killed ,disabled and many houses are devastated. Nobody knows when a bullet may kill him or her, either fired by the Pakistani army or the Indian. There are tens of army check posts attached right next to people’s homes. Hundreds of families are divided and have not been able to meet again. The purpose of the motorcycle rally was on the one hand to express solidarity with these victims and on the other hand a preparatory campaign for the September 3rd conference. The people of these towns warmly welcomed the participants of the rally and they raised the victory sign to them and waved to them as this was the first time ever during the last 58 years that any political force has raised their demands.
Torch lit procession
On the night of September 2nd more than three hundred youth and students organised a torch lit procession. They carried torches, red flags and chanted revolutionary slogans. They marched throughout the city and the echo of “socialist revolution” broke the deep silence of the valley and the light of the torches illuminated the darkness of the night.
People’s Rights Conference
On September 3rd hundreds of youth and students started a march from the grounds of the Degree College of Rawlakot. When the procession of more than 800 youth entered the city the routine life of the place was paralysed. A poster had been printed and pasted throughout the country and more than 20 thousand leaflets has been distributed in all the main cities of Azad Kashmir. They decorated the city with hundreds of red flags, banners and wall chalking. When the procession with flags and banners passed through the city every thing was enveloped in the colour red.
There were two important elements, that were seriously observed and noted by the public: our banners and slogans. Through these slogans and banners the Marxists raised the genuine issues of the working masses and they demanded the unity of the working class and class struggle. This differentiates the Marxists from all other political groups. The comrades carried a huge banner of the "Hands off Venezuela" campaign expressing solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution. This was noted widely and it provoked a new debate on the validity of socialism in the present time and about the Bolivarian revolution. They also launched the Hands off Venezuela campaign in Kashmir under the title "In Defence of the Venezuelan Revolution".
The procession marched throughout the city and after completing a full tour, the rally of more than hundred small and large vehicles decorated with red flags, moved forward to Hajeera, where, the conference was being organised. When the rally entered the city a huge gathering of working people was present there for the reception. They welcomed the participants of the rally. After passing through the city they reached the grounds of the Degree College of Hajeera and went to the huge conference hall with a seating capacity of more than 1200. Hundreds of working people were listening to the speeches, some sitting on the roofs of houses and buildings, as the conference hall was packed and many people were standing.
Comrade Shujjat Kazmi, the former president of the JKNSF was the chief guest of the conference, while comrade Adil Khan, the former general secretary of the JKNSF was presiding the conference. Among the speakers there were Abbas Kasher, Abid Hussain, Qamer Abbas, Tufiq Kazmi, Azher Shujah, Asad Nawaz, Ajmal Rasheed, Taswer moswi, Yasir Irshad, Sikander Ali Qamer, Wahid nawaz, Rashid Shah, Amjad Shahswar, Sermad Butt, Kamran Baig, Abdul Sattar Advocate from NAP, Sardar Naiz, Ejaz Nisar of JKPP, Mashal, Javed Chaudhary Advocate of the PPP and Qader Naqvi.
Comrade Shoaib Sham, the deputy general secretary of the JKNSF, said in his fiery speech that the working class and the youth has been facing endless problems under capitalism including the problems of the people near the LOC (Line of Control). In this situation the only way of solving these problems is to change this cannibal system. There is no solution to the problems of the working class under capitalism.
Comrade Shughat Kazmi said that capitalism was based on division. Capitalists divide the working class on the basis of territory, religion, language, nationality, race and colour of skin. The working class of Kashmir and the world is under the direct attack of the capitalists because of these divisions. If we want a durable and long lasting solution to these problems we have to fight against each and every kind of division of the working class of the world and only Marxism can provide such a basis of class solidarity and a way forward out of this hell of capitalism. It started raining when the last speaker, comrade Adil, came to the stage, but despite the rain the comrades and other working people remained seated, keenly listening to his speech.
Comrade Adil said that it was Marxist theory that gave us the insight to be able to address such a sensitive issue. That’s why we are spreading our ideas widely and starting a serious campaign and struggle for a solution to these problems. But we can't win this battle without the massive support of the working class.
There were many comments about these activities of the JKNSF-Marxist, but one particular comment on what has happened during the last few months has considerable importance. The official leadership of the JKNSF expelled more than 15 comrades from the JKNSF and the news of the expulsions was widely published in newspapers and discussed in political circles. But after these recent activities the general opinion has changed and now people see that the real force of the organisation is only the JKNSF-Marxist, not only ideologically but also numerically.