If I were the avatar or reincarnation of merciless Irish polemicist Jonathan Swift, the Indian government’s attempt to suspend me from Twitter would make sense & golly in a moment of vanity gone amuck I could let that go to my head. But my feet are solidly grounded & I try to harbor no delusions, especially if they could embarrass me. My honest explanation for why Indian Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba requested my immediate suspension from Twitter along with seven others is that I’m neither Hindu nor Muslim, nor from Kashmir, India, Pakistan. I’m a western political writer & activist with no vested interests in the Kashmiri freedom struggle except its claims to justice, its struggle against colonialism & occupation, its historic importance to the future of all suffering humanity, including the oppressed castes & Muslims of India.
What that tells me is not that I’m so damn important–& golly don’t I wish I could pretend I was–but that my links to political activists, my commitment to build a solidarity movement, my work to get other activists to #GoRedforKashmir & to educate about that struggle threaten the ability of the Modi regime to present it as a communal conflict or a ‘jihadi’ thing. Maybe the Indian government isn’t as confident of its policies in Kashmir succeeding as it pretends if it needs to shut down voices of support outside India & Kashmir.
Being banned in Delhi is better than the compromised Nobel Peace Prize. I shall strut & wear this honorific like a peacock & encourage others to also get banned by Delhi for #standingwithKashmir. Because if India is rankled & threatened by a handful of bloggers & political writers, we need to go for them en masse in the interests of Kashmiri solidarity & the victory of #Azaadi.