Why should we all care about the Kashmiri & Palestinian freedom struggles? Why do they matter to all of us? Other than the fact that they are human beings? Because they are on the front lines of the struggle against the legacy of colonialism & if their freedom struggles are victorious, all of suffering humanity will be strengthened in the epic battles against inequality, racism, tyranny.

The similarities between the Palestinian & Kashmiri struggles have never been made more apparent than in nationalist response to Pulwama. Like Zionist vilification of Palestinians as terrorists to justify genocide, Indian nationalists are engaging in pogroms against Kashmiris using the rhetoric of the war on terror. There can be no equivocations or weaseling out of steadfast support for the Kashmiri freedom struggle. There can be no compromise with colonialism.

Indian troops out of Kashmir. End the occupation.

“Just watched some horrible videos containing violence, threats, abuse and vandalism against Kashmiris in Haryana, Bihar, Jammu and elsewhere. I have decided against sharing the video footage. In one such video a Kashmiri mela is attacked by a group of goons in Bihar, who damaged shawls, blankets and abused Kashmiris and gave them 24-hour ultimatum to leave Bihar. In another video, through a public address system all landlords were ordered to kick out Kashmiri tenants within 24 hours. In Jammu we all know what they have done to Kashmiris. Despite such horrors of violence we must exercise restraint and show tolerance and grace. Their hatred will devour them. Our grace and civility will prevail. We are on the right side of history.”

–Gowhar Geelani on the violent nationalist assaults against Kashmiris

“Haven’t been this worried in a long time; not even when they were terrorizing us in our own homes while the world looked away. Kashmiri expats are being hounded all over India. Wish no Kashmiri ever needed to travel to India for anything at all, be it business, job or studies. Wish Kashmiris were able to fly into and out of Kashmir without having to land in any of their stinking cities, ever!”

–Aamir Hussain on the nationalist frenzy in India against Kashmiris.

“their overwhelming hatred is matched only by their colossal stupidity. fellow kashmiris prepare for even harder days ahead. take care of each other, be patient and wise, and above everything else never forget your own humanity.”

–Mir Laieeq on the nationalist furor over the Pulwama incident

If you are denouncing the “dastardly act of terror” at Pulwama but haven’t uttered a peep against pellet guns or the other many barbarities of the occupation, you may be what is called ‘a Progressive except on Kashmir’ (PeK).

The response of too many Indian progressives to Pulwama reminds me so much of the corrupted US antiwar movement on Syria. The latter is against war except in Syria where they support Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians who they refer to as “jihadi terrorists.” Indian activists are progressive on war except for Kashmir where they support their government against “Islamist terrorists.” Buying the ideology of the war on terror would explain the weakness, near absence, of an antiwar movement in either country

Now Indian nationalists are claiming Pulwama was an inside job. By whom they do not say. Resorting to conspiracies allows them to ignore that the teenage suicide bomber was deeply resentful after he had been publicly humiliated by Indian forces. Such is the character of the occupation at its most benign. But mostly conspiracy-mongering allows nationalists to go off half-cocked & ignore the presence of nearly a million Indian troops in Kashmir. The only response to Pulwama should be to demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all Indian troops.

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