Palestine and Kashmir: Brothers in Sorrow

What all of us are experiencing first hand with the widespread networking of social media are the excruciatingly brutal effects of one nation’s attempt to oppress another through widespread bombing of mothers and children, schools, hospitals, and playgrounds.  Israel’s murderous campaign against Gaza expresses something much larger than either of them, which is that this world is clearly divided along lines that offer authority and dignity to some at the expense of others.  Some of us are in one camp, some in the other.  It’s the 1%ers vs the 99% of the rest of us.  Most of us sit back and think, gee, too bad about you guys. Wish we could do something,  not realizing that the wolf is at our doorstep too.

In the case of Kashmir, those same lines appear, drawn around the borders of Kashmir in much the same way that they are drawn around Gaza.  Gaza is notoriously known as an open air prison, where its infrastructure lies shattered in ruins, where there is no water and almost no electricity, and where 100s of thousands are now homeless and suffering the wounds of war inflicted by Israel, a lawless non-state with power that far extends its ability to intelligently comprehend its use and ramifications.

And curiously Kashmir has suffered a similar fate drawn out over the same lifespan and historic period as Palestine due to the inept withdrawal of the British from both territories in 1947.  It is also now an open air prison.   In both cases, an alien invader has taken up occupation of the land and laid claim to it.  In both cases, 100s of thousands have died as victims of useless purposeless slaughter, rapes,  disappearances, and imprisonment, and the persistent terrorizing of the entire nation,  where racism has been stirred up where it did not exist before, and where the means to live in dignity as normal human beings has been completely removed.  In both cases, the intelligentsia, the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the doctors and lawyers, and all those who could bring wealth to the people, have been driven out, and what is left is an underage population of people stricken by poverty and helplessness.   In both cases, Israel plays a role in the criminal brutalizing of the population with the consequent radicalization of peoples who would not take this lying down.  In both cases, international agreements establishing the rights of both parties have been ignored.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness, in his submission to the United Nations Working Group which is meeting this week at its headquarters in New York, raised the issue of India’s oppression of Kashmir again, as he has done repeatedly in the past in his long career as Kashmir’s ambassador with the hope that the United Nations will look at its own resolutions made time and time again on the conflict since it began in 1947.  A somewhat detailed statement of his presentation examining the history  follows, and takes the view that a deeper consideration of economics would bring sense to the issue and help heal the bitter strife .  An oppressed nation cannot contribute to the wealth of the oppressor, and the oppressor would stand to gain much by a return of health and vitality to the people allowed to freely govern their own affairs.

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