Appeal to my Kashmiri brothers and sisters

Justice Markandey Katju-

The J&K Governor Satyapal Malik, that modern Nero, has announced that the Home Department’s advisory to tourists to leave the Kashmir Valley is being lifted from 10th October. But the prohibition on Internet, mobiles etc and curfew in several places and other restrictions continue.

Internet and mobiles are not luxuries today but necessities. If one is deprived of them for even one day life becomes miserable, what to say of 60 days. I was told by some of my Kashmiri brothers and sisters that earlier they could fill up many forms at home online, but now they have to go 20 kms to an office to get one and fill it in. Many Kashmiris find it very difficult to contact their relatives in Kashmir. Medical emergencies are often finding treatment difficult.

This latest gimmick by the fat caporegime in Srinagar adds insult to the injury.
I now appeal to all my Kashmiri brothers and sisters to do the following from 10th October, but without committing any act of violence:
1. Don’t serve any tourist in hotels, restaurants in your homes or elsewhere in any manner. Put a badge on your chest ‘ Tourists not welcome in Kashmir till further notice “. However, don’t commit any violence on them.
2. Put a black band on your left wrist as a mark of protest against the unwarranted and inhuman restrictions in Kashmir.
3. Print this leaflet, get it published in local newspapers, and distribute it widely :

” Abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 is only a desperate gimmick resorted to by a government beleaguered by a terrible economic crisis to divert attention from that crisis which it does not know how to resolve. It is like other stunts and gimmicks which it has been performing since long, e.g. Yoga Day, cow protection, building Ram Mandir, Swatchata Abhiyan, etc.

The test of every political system or act is one, and only one : does it raise the standard of living of the people ? Does it give them better lives ?

For instance, will building Ram temple in Ayodhya abolish or reduce poverty and unemployment in India ? Will it relieve farmers distress or child malnourished in India ? No, it will not.

Similarly, abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 will surely not raise the standard of living of Kashmiris and give them better lives. In fact the restrictions imposed after 5th August have made their lives miserable.

To say that now businessmen from outside Kashmir will buy land and set up factories in Kashmir which will provide employment to Kashmiris is talking nonsense. Businessmen are not fools, and will never set up an industry in a disturbed area where bullets may be flying around.”

4. Boycott socially Satyapal Malik, the modern Nero, and his advisers and don’t attend any function where they are present.


[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.]