Protest against Biased letter sent to UN against Hindus

Shravan Krushna Shashthi

Dr. Angana Chatterji & others have written biased letter to UN against Hindus on the Amarnath Issue. Hindus should protest against this & should also write letter to UN in response to anti-Hindu letter written by Dr. Chatterjee.

To Read Model letter to write to UN by Pro-Hindu, Click here

Following is the anti-Hindu letter written by Dr. Angana Chatterji and others.

Source: www.sacw.net

Justice Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner
Dr. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner
Ms. Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Subject: Humanitarian Crisis in Jammu and Kashmir

August 12, 2008

Dear Justice Pillay, Dr. Kang, Ms. McDougall:

We write to bring to your attention the profound humanitarian crisis continuing in the Kashmir Valley due to the ongoing blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu highway by religious nationalist groups from India. This has resulted in severe shortages in the Kashmir Valley of food and other vital provisions. We are reliably informed that petrol and essential medical rations, including blood, are in critically short supply, as well as newsprint, and that communication services and infrastructure are severely disrupted.

The situation in Jammu, where the Muslim minority is facing violence on a scale that can be described as ethnic cleansing, is alarming. The Government of India and the military and paramilitary forces have shown themselves unable and/or unwilling to take any effective action, either to end the blockade or to stop the violence against Muslims in Jammu. Meanwhile, military and paramilitary forces have opened fire on counter-demonstrators in Kashmir, using live bullets and mortar. A communiqué from the Kashmir Valley states that:

"The situation here on ground is that essential commodities have started getting dried up, diesel is already out of stock and petrol at its verge of end. The people here are very much concerned as if the same continues for next few days there will be nothing left to eat with the people of Kashmir. And on the other side the Army is supporting the mobs who have allegedly beaten up the drivers stranded on the national highway. The drivers who were beaten up reported that they asked Army to help them but all went in despair and the Army people in return handed them over to the mobs. The target is only the Kashmiri Muslims and some sources from Jammu say that it is the outsiders who have come to Jammu and are doing such attacks on the Muslims and it is quite evident that the Hindu fundamentalist groups viz. BJP, RSS VHP, etc., are all sponsoring the planned attacks onto the Kashmiris like it was done in Gujarat. Here in Kashmir we feel the history seems to be being repeated by the Hindu fundamentalists who had earlier in 1947 killed about 250,000 Muslims in Jammu."

On August 11, 2008, approximately 100,000 Kashmiris, including fruit growers and others gravely affected by the blockade, marched toward the Line of Control toward Pakistan markets in protest. They were met with gunfire and tear gas from the military and paramilitary forces, and Sheik Abdul Aziz, an All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader, was shot dead, intensifying the situation. Police reports stated that three others were killed and over 200 injured, enervating health systems already low on supplies. Other sources we contacted stated that as many as 18 others may have been killed in Kashmir on August 11. By early evening of August 12, as we write you, reports stated that as many as twelve persons were killed in Kashmir on that day as armed forces fired on demonstrators. Other reports stated that civil society groups, students, and labor unions participating in non-violent civil disobedience and peaceful protests are being targeted by the forces, as curfew conditions prevail.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway is the only land route linking the Kashmir Valley to India and the sole conduit for essential supplies as well as for exporting horticultural goods, which are among the Valley’s chief products. News updates on the state of the blockade and situation can be found from leading Kashmiri newspapers, which are online at www.greaterkashmir.com; www.kashmirtimes.com; www.risingkashmir.com; www.etalaat.com/english/.

About 95-97 percent of the population of the Valley is Muslim, while Muslims are a minority in India. This has made Kashmir the target of increasingly aggressive campaigns by Hindu nationalist groups since 1947, despite guarantees of autonomy written into the Indian Constitution. The Government of India has failed to take measures to prevent these campaigns, consisting of marches and demonstrations, and culminating in the current blockade. Since 1989 there has been an armed pro-independence struggle in Kashmir, together with other and non-violent movements for self-determination. Indian counterinsurgency operations have resulted in grave abuses of human rights with social, economic, psychological, political, and environmental consequences, which meet the definition under international law of crimes against humanity. To a population suffering the effects of nineteen years of armed conflict, the economic crisis caused by the blockade comes as the last straw.

We urge that you respond expeditiously to this situation in accordance with the mandate to uphold human rights as enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.

Recommendations:
1. The Government of India should immediately end the economic blockade and ensure that goods and services, including emergency medical and food supplies, can move in both directions along the Srinagar-Jammu border.
2. The Government of India should open the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, a promise repeatedly reiterated by successive governments of India and Pakistan, though never implemented. This would ensure that the current crisis situation is not repeated as well as mark a concrete step forward in addressing injustices and the peace process.
3. Take immediate action to stop the violence against the Muslim minority in Jammu and bring those responsible to justice.
4. Put an end to ongoing human rights abuses by Indian forces and pro-India militias as repeatedly promised by the Indian Prime Minister and expected of democratic governments.
5. Take steps for a long-term resolution of the conflict by beginning talks with all sections of the Kashmiri leadership and civil society.
6. Take steps to hold the Indian state accountable under the provisions established by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Constitution of India, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and International Laws and Conventions.

We, the undersigned, are academics, social activists, writers, filmmakers, artists, lawyers, and concerned citizens. Our work and conscience connects us to Kashmir and its people. We hold no political affiliations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may be of further use.

Contact persons:

  1. Dr. Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, Office: 001-415.575.6119, Mobile: 001-415.640.4013, E-mail: [email protected]
  2. Dr. Haley Duschinski, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University, Office: 001-740.593.0823, E-mail: [email protected]
  3. Dr. Shubh Mathur, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Office: 001-347.404.2238, E-mail: [email protected]

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco

Sample Letter you may want use with your own views to United Nations

To: Justice Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner
Dr. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner
Ms. Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Dear Sir/Madam

I am an activist working to bring attention to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who are living as refugees in their own country for last 18 years in sub-human homes.   I read the letter below submitted to international body such as United Nations with concern.  My concern is not with raising the issue of hardships to Kashmiris due to agitation, but not putting this whole thing into perspective.   In my brief discussion with Angana Chatterji, she mentioned that we need to look at the current issue but I doubt we can solve any issue without looking into the whole picture.

Also Angana mentioned something about RSS and their activities.   But, this is not about RSS, it is about half million Kashmiri Pandits who are thrown away at the point of the Gun and the simmering frustration accumulated over long period.   It is frustration over not allowing a small piece of land for few weeks in an year in their own country, adding insult to injury.   From what I understand, it is only 1% of Kashmiris who are trying to speak for all Kashmiris.   Should we not raise issue about those who are perpertrating this?  RSS may be playing a role in expressing and directing it.

However, this release looks like there is an agenda other than the welfare of all of Kashmiris, an agenda against RSS.   I request you to look at the welfare of all Kashmiris, Hindus and Muslims and ask the question why has not United Nations has not done anything about Kashmiri refugees for 18 years.  It is the most shameful in any country and a blot on our nation.   If we can dare, challenge the separatists who cannot spare a small piece of land after driving away half million people.  Who is sponsoring them? 

Please take little time to talk to refugees talk about how they never could go to their home, how those lucky lived in a small place under charity of relatives,  but for most, it is a shackled tent for 18 years.  If our hearts feel so strong for those who are affected by Jammu agitation, how may times more should we feel for the Kashmiri refugees.  Have you taken any action about that during last 18 years at United Nations.  Speak to your conscience.

Only if we focus on overall picture can we have any hope to solve the problem.  As Indian Americans we can play a role in that. I think all we are interested in is a strong India.

Sincerely
Your name


P. Deivamuthu’s good reply to anti-Hindu letter sent to UN

Letter sent by Shri. P. Daivamuthu, Editor, Hindu Voice to Dr. Angana Chatterjee and others, who sent letter to UN against Hindus on Amarnath Issue.

Letter written by Shri. P. Daivamuthu

To,
Dr. Anjana Chatterjee,
Dr. Haley Duschinski,
Dr. Shubh Mathur

Subject: Your letter to UN on J&K

Dear Sir/Madam,
 
I have come across your letter to the UN dated August 12, 2008.
 
Your point no.3 says: "Take immediate action to stop the violence against the Muslim minority in Jammu and bring those responsible to justice." Since you are talking about Human Rights, my simple question to you is: Do the 4 lakh Hindus driven out from Kashmir have Human Rights? Have you anytime taken up this matter with the UN? Does this mean that your Human Rights concern is only for Muslims and not for Hindus?
 
Many Temples have been demolished. Many times, worshippers at temples have been killed by terrorist attacks. Many of our Security Forces too have been ambushed. Many tourists have been killed by terrorists. Did you ever raise the question of Human Rights for all those innocents killed by terrorists in Kashmir?
 
If your work and conscience connect you to Kashmir and its people, why are you talking only for Muslims and not for J&K people? What is your stand on the 4 lakh Hindus driven out from Kashmir? Do they have a say in Kashmir? – in view of your statement  that "the Indian state (is) accountable under the provisions established by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Constitution of India, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and International Laws and Conventions."
 
The so-called economic blocked was caused not by any government action, but by the people of Jammu, who felt offended at the revocation of the land allotted to Amarnath Yatris. As people concerned with Human Rights, Don’t you feel that Amarnath Yatris deserve better amenities? – considering the amenities provided to Haj yatris by the Govt. of India. In fact, Amarnath Yatri did not demand better amenities. It was the J&K Govt. which came forward with the decision which is , of course, based on humanitarian considerations. It is surprising that your letter is completely silent on this issue, which is the real cause. Please give me a straight answer: Do the Amarnath Yatris deserve better amenities? If yes, why should Kashmir Muslims oppose this? If no, should Hindus be deprived of basic necessities – i.e. Human Rights?
 
You have talked about Hindu fundamentalist groups, such as BJP, RSS, VHP, etc. Even a man of ordinary prudence would understand that none of these organisations have a sway over Jammu Hindus. It is a People’s Movement for Human Rights for Amarnath Yatris. If you are really Human Rights Activists, you should support this movement. On the contrary, you have joined hands with those who oppose Human Rights for Hindus.
 
If you can send me your answer quickly (say before 25th of this month), I can publish it in my September 2008 issue. I hope you will oblige me. 
 
P. Deivamuthu
Editor, Hindu Voice
(A Monthly voicing the concerns of Hindus)
210 Abhinav, Teen Dongri
Yeshwant Nagar, Goregaon West
Mumbai 400062.
Tel: 022-28764418, 28764460.

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