Resisting Fascism, Building Solidarities: India, Kashmir and Beyond. An afternoon of international speakers and discussion, followed by an evening of music and poetry.
5 October 2018 at SOAS University of London
KAVITA KRISHNAN (CPI-ML) Indian left and feminist activist, co-author of the recent expose ‘Kashmir Caged’
Dr NITASHA KAUL (University of Westminster) Kashmiri academic and writer
SATPAL MUMAN (CasteWatch UK) Campaigner for anti-caste discrimination legislation
RAJRATNA AMBEDKAR, activist, great-nephew of Dr BR Ambedkar
SAJJAD HASSAN (Together4Good) anti-mob lynching and human rights activist
Dr ADAM ELLIOT-COOPER (The Monitoring Group) anti-racist anti-colonial researcher and activist
MARIYEH MUSHTAQ (Kashmir Solidarity Movement)
ZEENA ALHASSAN & ABD ALRAHEEM OMER (Madaniya – Sudan Diaspora Global)
MUSHEIR AL-FARRA (Palestinian activist and campaigner from Gaza)
The last five years have seen a slide into fascism in India. Pursuing the long-stated goal of the Hindu supremacist far-right to turn India into a Hindu state, Narendra Modi has overseen an epidemic of horrific mob-lynchings of Muslims and Christians, an escalation of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis, and arrests and assassinations of those who have dared to dissent.
On 5 August, in a dramatic intensification of the continuing occupation of Kashmir, the Modi government removed Kashmir’s special status guaranteed by the Constitution. The Kashmiri people remain under lockdown, denied communication with the outside world. Young men and children as young as 10 are being arrested, abducted and tortured by security forces and women are facing violence and sexual assault. Kashmir now faces Israeli-style settler colonialism and corporate plunder of its resources.
Meanwhile in Assam, August 31 saw the publication of the National Register of Citizens from which 1.9 million people have been excluded and face potential statelessness. Thousands have been detained and more gigantic detention camps are under construction. The attack on citizenship rights is planned to be rolled out in other states too and is expected the lead to a crisis of statelessness and suffering on an even bigger scale than that of the Rohingya in Myanmar.
The Hindu supremacist forces in the UK have also been further emboldened, intensifying caste discrimination and intersecting with and heightening global forms of Islamophobia.
These are the recordings (in 4 parts) of the first panel of our event yesterday “Resisting Fascism, Building Solidarities, India Kashmir and Beyond. There are must-watch contributions from Kavita Krishnan, Sajjad Hassan, Rajratna Ambedkar, Satpal Muman and Nitasha Kaul. At one point pro-fascist Hindutva supporters tried to disrupt the event, imitating Israeli strategies as ever with a woefully unconvincing attempt at ‘pinkwashing’: claiming to be the defenders of LGBTQI rights! This is all the more ridiculous given the acute and open homophobia and misogyny of BJP leaders, and the particularly acute impacts of the lockdown in Kashmir (which the disrupters were defending) for sexual minorities. After the Sanghis resorted to setting off the fire alarm, the entire meeting reconvened temporarily outside the SOAS building, slogans against Modi and for a free Kashmir were enthusiastically shouted, speeches continued, and we returned inside with increased numbers!