The political art of Kashmiri Masood Hussain

Gandhi with child's pellet hands (Masood Hussain)

The face of Gandhi covered by a Kashmiri child’s pellet-riddled hands:

–a 2016 digital work by Kashmiri artist Masood Hussain

In a published interview, Ather Zia asked Masood Hussain: “Do you remember the first painting you made, what was it about, what inspired it?” He answered: “Yes I remember the first painting that I made. It was the portrait of a man with a bandaged head. The bandage was slightly stained with blood near the temples. It was inspired by an incident of stone pelting that I witnessed as a child in 1960s.”

Ather then asked Masood: “Has it {the occupation} brought any change to your perceptions about beauty, considering there is so much bloodshed & violence?” He answered: “Personally experiencing the 20 years of bloodshed & violence has forced me to paint a series of paintings portraying bloodshed & violence because you can’t notice beauty when there is violence around.”

What do you think it means that leading Assad apologists including Vanessa Beeley & Eva Bartlett have exactly the same view of the Rohingya genocide as Ann Coulter, Steve Bannon, & Pamela Geller? They all support the fascist military junta & deny or justify the genocide. You want to know what I think in unvarnished language? They will all go down in the anals (no that is not a misspelling) of history as contemptible dirt-balls. There’s no nicer way to put that.

“In the early 1990s, young Kashmiris were angry but scared. Now they are angry & fearless!”

–an elderly Kashmiri woman to Andrew Whitehead, quoted in Greater Kashmir, Apr 26 2017

The barbarism of pellet munitions in Kashmir destroy young boy’s internal organs

16-yr-old Zahid Ahmad hit with pellets (Kashmir Reader) Nov 25 2017

There is an update on the condition of 16-year-old Zahid Ahmad who was hit by pellets at close range as he walked home from taking an exam last Friday. He was not engaged in stone pelting, though if he were that would not justify the use of pellet munitions. Doctors at the hospital which treated him report that after a four-hour surgery, they had to remove a kidney, his gall bladder, & appendix because they were so damaged by pellets. He remains in critical condition & under constant observation by a team of doctors.

Zahid’s father Manzoor Ahmad who is a pashmina weaver said his son worked as a part-time carpenter to contribute to his education & to his family. Beside Zahid recovering from the trauma of being assaulted so violently, being disabled will put an economic strain on the family since there is no social security under Indian occupation. They cannot file criminal charges against the soldiers since occupying authorities claim Zahid was involved in stone pelting & got ‘injured during retaliation.’

Our sincere wishes for Zahid’s full & speedy recovery.

(Photo of Zahid Ahmad from Kashmir Reader)

A Kashmiri social media activist who “regularly pelts tweets at Indian occupation, lies & propaganda” offers advice–based on his experience learning the hard way–to new Kashmiri social media activists against engaging in pissing contests with nationalists because “It’s like explaining quantum physics to a kindergarten student.”

“They have not lived our lives, not gone through what we go through, not seen the barbarism we have seen. They are blinded by hate, jingoism & media. They are ignorants, fools & blood thirsty. Don’t waste your precious time arguing with them.”

–tweeted by Muhammad Uzair‏ @MirUzair1

All the banal blithering against identity politics when the oppressed don’t want to call white racist & male supremacists class brothers & sisters. What is Trump’s appeal if not to white & male supremacist identity politics? Stuff the fake solidarity that requires the oppressed to grovel & subordinate.

Conditions for voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Arakan state

Rohingya child injured by Burmese or nationalist death squads Nov 25 2017

This is a cogent elaboration of the conditions required for voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Arakan state by Rohingya activist Abdul Munaf Novin who lives in Cox’s Bazar & translates for foreign journalists. I do take issue with Abdul’s call for UN peacekeeping troops because they function more as occupying army than peacekeepers. Their criminal conduct just in Haiti & DR Congo, for which the UN does not accept responsibility, disqualifies them as peacekeepers.

But the question remains: who will protect the Rohingya against the Burmese military if the Rohingya themselves are not militarily organized to defend themselves? The long term solution is the overthrow of the Burmese junta & its civilian facade headed by Suu Kyi by Burmese democratic forces–that is, a resurgence of the 1988 movement. The short term solution is to demand our governments impose economic & military sanctions on Burma, provide humanitarian aid to refugees, & provide asylum with full refugee rights to the Rohingya people.

We can not trust Burmese government for their repretration agreed with Bangladesh government. Burmese government or local state government not giving protection to Rohingya and their properties till today also they’re backing Rakhin along with military, police and security forces. We can not trust or believe their words or commitment unless we get our demands supported by UN and international communities as below;
1. Rohingya citizenship must be given by Burmese government at borderpost with Bangladesh by oral interview as majority of Rohingya population lost their proper documentation since 1982.

2. We can not accept living refugees camps or temporary/model camps inside Burma except living at their original places by rebuilding homes by Burmese government.

3. All cities or villages with Rohingya areas must be allocated as Safe Zone by UN and managed by UN Peacekeeping Forces till Rohingya find themselves they are in safe and rebuilding trust on local and Burmese government.

4. All Rohingya must have rights as same as all other ethnics from Burma for joining government duties, free education, free to travel along with national identity card and passport to travel overseas, free treatment in government hospitals and clinics and freedom of all religious activities and reopening Mosques and religious schools as well. All demolished religious buildings must be rebuilt by Burmese government.

5. All Rohingya must have free education including universities and further studies.

6. For ethnic cleansing or genocide attacks, concerned government department head or head of team or individual personal including religious personal must be arrested and taken to ICC.

7. Burmese government must allow UN inquiry commission team, NGOs, International Medias and all international communities government or non government to move in Arakan state freely and independently. Also Burmese government must take responsibility of their safety and security otherwise Burmese government must handedover to protect regional security and stability to UN Peacekeeping Forces without any objection.

8. All Rohingya Rights or repretration of terms and conditions must be accepted by all Rohingya and UN bodies as well including safe zone and UN Peacekeeping Forces to Arakan.

If no accepting above conditions that should have freedom rights and humanrights for Rohingya means still no safe place and it will be just a fake agreement as before those agreements were done by Burmese-Bangladesh government. In such conditions, it will be better for Rohingya keep living at refugees camps in Bangladesh untill it reached for a concrete solution for Rohingya.

Our trust level on Burmese government is still very much far away and ZERO tolerance and hopefully this is not the time for any Rohingya repretration back to Burma. It is still early to make such a deal while Burmese government is very much steps away to come to the point to understand the level of trust to be assured and to impliment with basic needs. Also still their failure and deny in fulfilling demands by UN and international communities.

Therefore, it is our concerns for our fundamental Rohingya Rights for all Rohingya from inside or outside Arakan, pease do not accept any conditions if there is no approval or certified by UN for our concrete solution where international communities are investing their time and working hard to build for our Rohingya future be safe and guranteed.

Thanks to all for your time and for your support.

Please also do not forget to support suffering Rohingya inside Arakan, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many parts of the world.

Your support by time and every single cent will be counted for the sake of humanity as we everyone love to keep value of dignity with ourselves.

Best regards,

Abdul Munaf Novin

(Photo is Rohingya child injured by Burmese military or nationalist death squads)

Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family & The Making Of Modern Indi by Sujatha Gidla

Caste isn’t easy to understand if you haven’t experienced it–although apparently if you’re upper caste, experience goes right over your head & you actually believe you’re superior. What’s most difficult to understand is not the superior/inferior rubbish but the interactions between caste & class. Class subordination is oppressive enough without the added complexities & subordination of caste.

This is an interview with Sujatha Gidla, a Dalit woman who grew up in Andhra Pradesh but now works in NYC as a subway conductor–a person who probably understands both caste & class. She authored a book on caste titled “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family & The Making Of Modern Indi.” It’s quite an interesting interview so the book may be a good place to learn about caste. According to her interview, many anti-caste Indians have found the book valuable.