Madhu Purnima Kishwar
Profile of Madhu Purnima Kishwar

Madhu Purnima Kishwar is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)—a social science research centre, based in Delhi. Director of the Indic Studies Project based at CSDS aimed at the study of diverse faith traditions and cultures in the Indic civilisation. She is the ...

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    Madhu Purnima Kishwar’s Blog
    “I have a horror of all isms, especially those that attach themselves to proper names”.
    -- M. K. Gandhi --
    Posted on: August, 27, 2010
    Express Solidarity With the People of Kashmir
    An Appeal to all Concerned Citizens
    First Published in : August 27, 2010

    Manushi: Citizens First Forum requests you to join a citizens delegation to present a memorandum to Smt Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA on the unprecedented crisis in Jammu and Kashmir and participate in a candlelight vigil in the memory of the innocents who have lost their lives in the current phase of violence in the state. We also urge you to sign the Resolution given below.

    Date: September 3, 2010
    Submission of Memorandum: 5.30 p.m.
    Venue: AICC office, 24 Akbar Road, New Delhi
    Candle Light Vigil: 7.00 p.m with Sufi music by Madan Gopal Singh and Youth Expressions from Kashmir
    Venue: India Gate
    Kashmir is again on fire. The Kashmiri people are living out what may well be the worst nightmare in their history. In the last 75 days sixty four young men and school going children have lost their lives to police bullets. Hundreds more, women, children and security personnel, are grievously injured. Those killed or injured are not militants or cross border terrorists- just ordinary young men aspiring to live an ordinary life of dignity. All they have done to deserve the ferocity of the State’s coercive might is to protest against the killing of their innocent brethren and to express their rage for having to live under the shadow of the gun, under conditions of unending, relentless fear, security pickets, at every few yards, in every street and mohalla, search operations, arbitrary arrests, crackdowns and deaths due to custodial violence.
    Similarly, the men of security forces who have lost their lives or limb working under the most hostile and stressful conditions are paying the price of political mismanagement.
    What began as a simple protest against the killing by the state police of an innocent schoolboy, Tufail Mattoo, and an expression of disenchantment with a regime which had failed to live up to the hopes placed on it by the people just 20 months ago, has now turned into an overwhelming anti India upsurge because of the indifference of the Centre and its desire to defend and endorse a regime marked by insensitivity, aloofness and arrogance.
    What should have been dealt with as a normal, legitimate expression of popular discontent has through sheer political and administrative mismanagement given new life to the call for separation from India. What the separatists and ISI trained terrorists failed to achieve in 20 years has been delivered to them on a platter by 20 months of misrule. The only face of the Indian State now visible to the Kashmiri people is one of repression, violence and brutality. The cry for ‘Azadi ‘, as yet a plaintive appeal for freedom from this life of fear, may rapidly burgeon into an irretrievable movement for secession. The situation is worse than it has been ever before, and worse than in any other part of the country, including those areas that harbour secessionist desires. We ignore it at great peril.

    In such an explosive situation, the Kashmiri people’s sense of isolation worsens the problem. There is a widespread perception that no one else in India seems to care about the living hell they face everyday - a life dominated by guns and bullets, and the graveyard. There are no protest marches or candlelight vigils for them. They feel they are alone in their suffering and that Indian democracy or Indian Civil society does not care to offer to them any gesture of support or solace.

    It is time that we, as citizens of India, show that we stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their hour of grief; that they are an inseparable part of the unique tapestry of diversity and plurality that is India, and that - ‘We Care’. We need to demonstrate visibly that, citizen-to-citizen, people to people, we want to understand what is going through their hearts and minds, create a conducive and convivial environment for them to communicate their feelings and legitimate aspirations.
    Our failure to build bridges of understanding will only lead to further communalization, brutalization and the militarization of state and civil society in Jammu and Kashmir.We appeal to all of you, as concerned citizens to join us in our efforts to prevent this from happenning..We also appeal to you to sign the attached Resolution as a gesture of your support.
    We look forward to your presence on September 3, 2010 at 5.30 p.m. outside 24 Akbar Road and at 7 p.m. at India Gate.

    Madhu Kishwar (Professor, CSDS), Amitabha Pande (IAS Retd, Former Secretary Govt of India), Major General (retd.) Lakhwinder Singh, Sanjay Tikkoo ( Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti), Mohammad Yaseen (social activist, Srinagar), Wahidur Rehman (Himalyan Broadcasting Network, Pulwama), Imtiyaz Ahmed Bazaz ( freelance journalist, Kashmir).
    On Behalf of MANUSHI--Citizens First Forum
    We, the signatories to this resolution, wish to convey our deep concern over the worsening situation in Jammu and Kashmir and offer our sincere condolence to the families of those who have lost their dear ones in the ongoing spiral of violence in J&K.

    We mourn the untimely death of all the men, women and children as well as security personnel who have become victims of needless violence--a violence which is the consequence of gross political mismanagement on the one hand and the pursuit of divisive political agendas on the other. We wish to convey that we stand by our brothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir in this their hour of grief. We believe that they are an inseparable part of the unique human tapestry of diversity and plurality that is India and we want to say as Indians that “We Care”.

    We resolve that as citizens we will do all that we can to create a conducive and convivial environment for restoration of normalcy in their tragically disrupted lives.

    We also pledge to build bridges of understanding to prevent the communalization, brutalization and militarization of state and civil society in J&K.

    We wish to reach out to join hands with the people of J&K to find ways of seeking a permanent solution to the prolonged conflict in the region through the peaceful and constructive engagement of all the stakeholders.

    Name................................Institutional Affiliation.....................Phone Number


    GOI is not given to make dramatic, ongoing statements and gestures.
    Kashmir and its depradations may be a good time for the parliamentarians to turn out in full to put the different aspects of the problem before the people in Kashmir.
    Madhu Kishwar is absolutely correct in asking for delegations to walk the streets in a mass contact programme.

    With every man briefed to the hilt ofcourse so as to not make statements of promises, offers, justto meet and listen.
    Ofcourse followed y discussions and suggested alternatives, all in public glare.
    Enough of back room deals and overlordship.
    It is not working.
    Way to go Madhu Kishwar.
    Posted By : BinduTandon, On Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010
    Respected Madam,
    I was watching your argument on Times now today (25/01/2011) and was appalled by your opposition
    for the flag hoisting planned by BJP on Lal Chowk. Your argument was that this will instigate the Kashmiris. The Pandits of Kashmir who were driven out of there houses are also Kashmiri's. Have you ever bothered to talk for them. You only talk about 70 death of stone pelter. The tragedy in India is that we have intellectuals who think its fashionable not to be nationalistic. Its ok to ignore a community that does not give you much publicity. Just dont understand how would hoisting a flag in India instigate some one and if at all some one gets instigated by our national flag then why should that be tolerated.
    Appreciate if you show the same concerns to Kashmiri Pandits also.
    Posted By : Niranjan, On Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011
    I stand for the cause and m sure there would be so many other's who would definitely join this cause of extreme importance .

    But , I have few questions which may be irrelevant in the context u mention above but is of urgency and vital status .

    What do u expect people, to do other than signing the memorandum ?( should I get my friends along, spread dis news??? )Also , how/what would dis memorandum serve the purpose ??( Is Mrs. Gandhi unaware about the situation there?? )

    what are your views on the current status ?
    what do u really want for people of J&K people - a separate country , special status or merger with disastrous neighbors -- what ??

    I do agree that the views of one person cant decide the fate of people but your views would help people like me to decide whether to join your cause or not because we don't want another Roy blurring out hatred against this country.

    Jai hind !!
    Rest peace !!
    Posted By : Tushar Mittal, On Date: Sunday, July 24, 2011
    well ,u have missed a key point:every cesmotic attempt made by india to lure kashmiris to give up their aspirations has met a failure,ur democracy,ur booming economy,ur development all has been is not an aftermath anger that u r dealing with but the the reappearence of a sentiment which every kashmiri has,which u tried to silence sometimes at point of gun,sometimes by ur money,or whatever u could.u just dont realise that kashmir is an independent nation by every means-geographically,culturally &religiously.ur question of us not withstanding with the world around us is a forge ,we have been independent ,though as slaves,just 60 yrs before now.the world has not changed any thing more than a pin.our trading routes r yet there.we can still be the greatest hub of trade for for central asia ,china ,middle east and south east .our landscape still has the power to earn for greater than what we need .our hydroelectricity still is s base for ur industrial development.even if it were not to be so,our future should still be with us .nobody ,because of his imperialistic designs should teach us where we r leading.we r a brain hub ,we produced iqbal and nehru ,we have chosen our leaders ,our azaaadi and our future. it may be hard to digest for a cesmotic state like india but it is the destiny
    Posted By : Darre, On Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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