Eighty years ago, on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and initiated the start of the Second World War in which 70 million people died. Germans implemented their’ final solution’ under Adolf Hitler’s coterie and killed over 6 million Jews in concentration camps alone because they were not racially pure.
Europe was devastated, and Japan lost hundreds and thousands from the nuclear attack at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The new world order we see today, under the aegis of the UN, rose like a phoenix from the ashes; the shattered countries standing, promised, to ensure that an event like that never ever happened again.
Yet, standing today, almost one month after India annexed the areas of Jammu and Kashmir, where it has now close to 900,000 soldiers in the territory; it brings to mind the evocative words of the post-war confession first made in German in 1946, by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller:
First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
It was a condemnation of those who appeased Hitler, and those who stayed quiet when they knew what was happening was wrong, but for their self-interest or lack of interest, let it continue. Hitler was voted in through a democratic process and overtook the system, quietened opposition, and we know where it ultimately headed.
Narendra Modi, India’s fascist prime minister, who believes in the ethnic purity and superiority of the Hindus, has sent in his forces and RSS stalwarts to cleanse the only Muslim majority area that India had control over.
There is open talk of the ‘final solution,’ they are to take revenge on the Kashmiris for being Muslim, for their Muslim ancestors, who ruled over India for a thousand years. Their revenge is to take ‘fair’ Kashmiri women and Kashmiri land. Over 250,000 people have died in Kashmir since 1947, mass graves have been found with tens of thousands in them, and now it is under a blackout, curfew and communication blockade.
Shame on the many Prime Minister Neville Chamberlains, sitting at the helm of nations! Shame on the UK for its pusillanimous statement given its historical responsibility for this situation, and shame on France for forgetting its role in World War 2, forgetting its philosophical underpinnings of Voltaire and Rousseau on human rights, and only thinking of its Rafale jets.
Calling a closed UNSC meeting on Kashmir, the first in 50 years, is not a solace for the Kashmiris who are undergoing a genocide. In our special feature this month we look at the pain that is Kashmir.
The President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan explains how Modi, since 2014, has pursued a muscular policy towards Kashmir, played with its institutions and is trying to change its demography and is implementing a scorched-earth policy to silence the voices for freedom forever.
Ambassador Munir Akram, a consummate diplomat for over 40 years, served in the UN as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative, eloquently argues that the Kashmiris will not take this annexation lying down; they are now more than ever, likely to call for the gun solution, and there are only four factors that may pull India away from the disastrous course it is set upon.
Hassan Aslam Shad, a lawyer at a leading Middle East law firm, argues August 5 took Pakistan’s policy off from autopilot; now it needs to focus on ‘people’ and the potential threat to international peace and security, posed by a reckless Indian regime. He cautions against the ultra-nationalistic Pakistani media calls for ‘Kashmir Hamara Banega’ and says this is precisely the message that Pakistan should not be giving out right now.
Dr. Moeed Pirzada, Editor of Global Village Space, shares his private story of the genocide of his aunt and other relatives, as they left Kashmir for Pakistan in 1947. Finally, we are very grateful to Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay from Delhi for writing for us during this challenging period – when anyone opposing the Modi government’s line is categorized as a traitor.
But, author of Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times and The Demolition and India: At the Crossroads, writes that in his second term, Modi is taking India in the direction of electoral authoritarianism; where everyone is being coerced into accepting the idea of Hindutva. He points out, contrary, to the government’s claims that everything is normal in Kashmir, smoldering lava is flowing through the state and is being contained, currently, only because it is a virtual security state.