Statement from the Concerned Citizens of India on Kashmir

We are deeply concerned at the recent media reports of possible cases of ‘sedition’ to be levelled against some of the speakers at the public convention on Kashmir held in New Delhi on 21 October 2010 titled “Azadi: The Only Way” organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners(CRPP) with sections of political forces fomenting jingoistic feelings.

We are appalled to find how impatient sections of the Indian society have become, and how attempts are consistently being made to silence voices of dissent by the Indian government by branding such voice crying for justice as ‘seditious’—a term the new Indian state borrowed from the days of the British raj.

We strongly believe that freedom of speech and expression is an in-alienable  fundamental right guaranteed under the Indian constitution which can never be curbed in a country which boasts of ‘having the largest democracy in the world’.

We also strongly feel that the Kashmir issue is a political issue which has a history since the late 1940s and that history makes it amply clear that the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir would have to be decided through a plebiscite under the supervision of the United Nations as testified also by the existence of a UN office at Srinagar since then.

We strongly demand that instead of trying to gag the voices of sanity and justice through violent means, the Government of India should come forthwith in addressing the most vital political issue—the issue of exercising the right of self-determination and openly invite the people of all parts of Jammu & Kashmir to come forward and decide their own future through plebiscite under United Nations supervision as accepted by the Nehru-led Indian government itself.

Dated, Kolkata, 27 October 2010.

1. Amit Bhattacharyya, Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University.
2. Sujato Bhadro, Civil Rights activist.
3. Meher Engineer, Former Director, Bose Institute.
4. Sudeshna Engineer, Reader, Department of History, Jadavpur University.
5. Tilottama Mukherjee, Lecturer, Department of History, Jadavpur University.
6. Ranjan Chakrabarti, Professor of History, Jadavpur University.
7. Kalyan Roy, Professor, Department of Instrumentation, Jadavpur University.
8. Himadri Sankar Banerjee, Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University.
9. Sanjeeb Acharyya, Reader, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jadavpur University.
10. H.N.Toppo, Lecturere, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University.
11. Rupkumar Marman, Reader, Department of History, Jadavpur University.
12. Aveek Mazumdar, Lecturer, Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University.
13. Subha Chakrabarty, Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University.
14. Debashish Goswami, Associate Professor, Indian Statistical Instutute, Kolkata.
15. Sanjeeb Mukherjee, Professor, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University.
16. Abhijit Roy, Reader, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur Unuiversity.
17. Sanmitra Ghosh, Lecturer, Department of Economics, Jadavpur University.

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