Braving pouring rain, hundreds of Canadians from diverse backgrounds joined a rally at Dundas Square in Toronto to commemorate the 40th day of lock down in Indian colonized Kashmir.
Organized by Friends of Kashmir Canada, Kashmir Global Council and the Canadian Council for Justice and Peace, the rally on September 15 drew much interest from onlookers at the busy intersection opposite Eaton’s Centre.
There was a vast array of speakers among them Karen Rodman of Just Peace Advocates, Barry Weisledder of NDP Socialist Caucus as well as Ali Mallah, former vice president of the Ontario Federation of Labour (Toronto branch).
A large number of Kashmiri sisters from both sides of the ceasefire line also addressed the rally.
Some of them have family members in Srinagar and other cities in Indian occupied Kashmir. They have not been able to speak to them since Indian occupation troops imposed a total lock down on the night of August 4.
The fascist regime of Narendra Modi unilaterally abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abolishing articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution.
These articles had conferred special status on Kashmir until its final resolution through a referendum.
India maintains an army of occupation of nearly one million in Kashmir, making it the most militarized region in the world.
Since August 4, some 25,000 Kashmiri youth have been picked up from their homes by the occupation troops.
There are grave fears for their well being, indeed their survival.
Indian occupation troops are brutal and have tortured thousands of people to death in their relentless campaign to crush the aspirations of the people.
India has not had any success. In fact, its brutal campaign has only strengthened the resolve of the Kashmiri people that have continued their struggle for self-determination against enormous odds.
Under Modi, India has become a fascist state. Muslims and other minorities are also targeted.
Videos of Hindu mobs lynching innocent Muslims have emerged on the Internet.
These anti-human murderers claim to be protecting the cow that they consider to be their mother. And for this, they are prepared to kill innocent people.
They are at liberty to consider the cow to be their mother and the bull to be their father, but Muslims should not have to pay the price for such idiotic beliefs.
The people of Kashmir do not wish to have anything to do with India. They are struggling to throw off the yoke of Indian colonialism and have vowed to continue the struggle until liberation.
It is the moral duty of people in the rest of the world to support them in their just struggle.
Before ending the rally, the organizers announced a huge rally to be held at Nathan Philip Square on Saturday October 19, two days before Canada’s federal elections.
The aim is to send a strong message to all candidates that the rights of the Kashmiri people cannot be ignored in this election.
The rights, dignity and honor of the Kashmiri people must be respected and supported.