Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE public meeting: The political issues at stake in the Indian government’s savage Kashmir lockdown

By the Socialist Equality Party and IYSSE (Sri Lanka)
25 September 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) are holding a public meeting in Colombo on October 11 to discuss the grave political implications of the Indian Modi government’s brutal crackdown in Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India’s only Muslim-majority state, has been under a security lockdown and communication blackout since August 5, imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) government. All mobile and internet connections have been shut down. Tens of thousands more troops have been deployed in the state by New Delhi, adding over half a million troops in occupied J&K. Thousands have been arrested without charge.

The brutal repressive measures have been implemented by the Modi government to suppress any popular opposition to its anti-democratic and anti-constitutional abrogation of the semi-autonomous status of J&K, and its bifurcation and downgrading into two union territories. The central government has placed them under its own direct rule.

The moves by Modi’s government in Kashmir are aimed at boosting India’s geo-political position in the region against its rivals, Pakistan and China, and whipping up Hindu chauvinism to divide the working class. These repressive actions in Kashmir are unprecedented, yet they are being supported by the entire Indian political establishment, including the major parties—both ruling and opposition—the mainstream media and the courts.

Most significantly, all the western powers, above all, the United States, have backed the government’s crackdown in Kashmir. All of them regard India as a major military-strategic partner against China, and are preparing similar repressive moves against the growing resistance of the working class in their own countries. The Sri Lankan ruling and opposition parties have also expressed their backing for the Modi government’s moves in Kashmir.

The Colombo meeting will discuss the historical roots of the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, i.e., the 1947 communal partition of then-British India into a Muslim Pakistan and a Hindu-dominated India. Divided between India and Pakistan following the partition, both states have claimed authority over the whole of Kashmir since then. The current moves of the Modi government in Kashmir have intensified geo-political tensions between India and Pakistan, posing the danger of war between the two South Asian nuclear powers.

These developments have powerfully exposed the utterly reactionary nature of the 1947 communal partition, and the urgent necessity of fighting for a unified movement of the working class in the region in order to establish a Union of Socialist Republics in South Asia, and to overthrow the historically unviable state system there.

We urge workers, youth, professionals, intellectuals and readers of the WSWS to attend the Colombo meeting and participate in this important discussion on the political perspective required by the working class, highlighted by Modi’s brutal crackdown in Kashmir.

Date and time: Friday, October 11, 4 p.m.

Venue: Public Library Auditorium, Colombo.

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