by Kamran Shaikh (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 7, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1437)
Letter writer Kamran Shaikh takes heart from the fact that more than 850 academics have signed an open letter to condemn Indian State crimes in Kashmir.
It is heartening to see that a very large number of academics, writers, and novelists, among them many Indians, have expressed deep concern over the brutal killing of Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces. More than 850 academics published an open letter in the British newspaper, the Guardian on July 28 condemning what they termed “Indian state terrorism” and demanded India must stop committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Kashmir.
The signatories include Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus MIT (US); novelists Mirza Waheed and Kamila Shamsie; Nitasha Kaul from the University of Westminster (UK); writers Basharat Peer, Gillian Slovo, Meena Kandasamy, and Madhushree Mukherjee; and more than 850 others. This is perhaps the first time in the tragic history of Kashmir that so many leading academics have taken a bold stand against India’s crimes.
Many courageous Indian writers including Arundhati Roy as well as Latha Jishnu have also spoken out or written about the plight of the Kashmiris. These are encouraging signs and point to a realization among some educated Indians that things are not OK in Kashmir despite claims to the contrary by the Indian government.
More needs to be done to help the oppressed Kashmiris but it is a start.
Dearborn, MI, US