PAKISTAN APTUF (All Pakistan Trade Union Federation) India’s decision to revoke Article 370 is just another chapter in Kashmir’s long history of imperial oppression.
All Pakistan Trade Union Federation hold a protest rally to liberate Kashmiris by the attack extremist political party BJP. More than 500 workers gathered and raised slogans against the Modi government brutality on Kashmiris Children’s, women’s and youth and issued a surprise executive decree stripping away the autonomy that the state of Jammu and Kashmir was granted in exchange for joining the Indian union after independence in 1947.
While speaking to the workers gathering Rubina Jamil, Anwer Gujjar, Mirza Zafar, Malik Humanyun, M. Ilyas, Saeed Gujjar, Ashraf said that we protestors condemned Indian authorities imposed an unprecedented lockdown in the region, cutting off all communication lines, restricting movement and putting prominent Kashmiri politicians under house arrest.
The government’s decision to revoke Article 370 of India’s constitution, which ensured the Muslim-majority state its own constitution and independence over all matters except foreign affairs, defence and communications, was undoubtedly the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in the last seven decades. However, neither the Indian government’s decision to impose direct rule from New Delhi, nor its attempts to silence the Kashmiri cries for freedom and dignity is anything new.
Speakers further narrated that the discrimination Kashmir’s Muslim majority is still facing to this day also came to the fore for the first time during the Sikh rule. Back then, the murder of a native by a Sikh was punished with a fine of 16 to 20 Kashmiri rupees to the government, of which 4 rupees would go to the family of the deceased if the victim is a Hindu, and only 2 rupees if the deceased is a Muslim.
While speaking with protestors Rubina said that the workers’ resistance against the Dogras kicked off as early as in 1865, when Kashmiri shawl weavers agitated to improve their work conditions. The regime brutally crushed the uprising and in the three decades following the protest, the number of Kashmiri shawl weavers decreased from 28,000 to just over 5,000. Despite the setback, however, Kashmiri workers continued to fight for their rights. In 1924, workers from a Srinagar silk factory went on a strike for better working conditions.
While the suffering of the Kashmiris working class was immense under the Dogra rule, their situation did not get any better following Britain’s departure from the Indian subcontinent and partition of colonial India into two nation-states.
One such example was the case of Maqbool Bhat, one of the founder members of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and proponent of organised armed struggle for the liberation of Kashmir. He was hunted down and hung by the Indian state, but the state of Pakistan also caused every trouble they could to stop Maqbool from organising a liberation movement for Kashmir that does not aim to pull the region into Pakistan’s zone of influence.
Despite the best efforts of the imperialist forces to silence and subdue them, the Kashmiris have been fighting for selfdetermination for hundreds of years. Today, imperial efforts to control the valley continue albeit quite ironically in the garb of nationalism. India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status thus is nothing other than yet another act of shameless imperialist aggression.
At worst, August 5, 2019, will be remembered by future generations as just another chapter in Kashmir’s long history of imperial oppression. At best, this latest attack on the dignity of a long-suffering people will mark the beginning of an era of unprecedented resistance and struggle towards freedom for the Kashmiris.
At last workers raised anti Modi slogans and disperse.