My Dear Countrymen,
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
It is He who enabled this small, unarmed people to stand up to the violence and aggression of a mighty military power that occupies our land with brute force; it is He who turned the arms of the enemy useless against the valiance of our unarmed courageous people. And it is to Him that we turn to for the final victory for the freedom from the clutches of the arrogant Hindu imperialist.
The current phase of our freedom struggle has completed 100 days and these have been 100 long days of a historic victory for us. At the same time, it has been an even greater defeat for India, whose occupation of our land has been stripped of every façade; their words of democracy, development and rule of law are once again crushed under the boots of their own million soldiers. It is only those soldiers with their guns that stand between us and our freedom. And by Allah, the Indian state is afraid; even though they have a million guns they are afraid of us because we are armed with truth, and no guns could ever kill the truth.
These three months have been the reiteration of that truth, the simple truth that freedom is the right of every human being and it is a right we are destined to achieve. If ever a people have made themselves deserving of freedom, it is us who never lost the sight of our goal of freedom.
The Indian stooges in Kashmir- NC, PDP, PC, Congress and some other apologists and opportunists- have unleashed a vicious propaganda that is aimed at dismissing the ongoing phase of the struggle. These sellers of their souls will undoubtedly tell us that we achieved nothing from either these 100 days of courageous resistance or from our decades of unceasing struggle. They will say India gave us nothing in hand. They cannot say anything else because all their lives these people have been selling their souls for material benefits. They sold Kashmir’s sovereignty in installments for petty things that India put in their hands.
Even though they understand fully well that our struggle for freedom is far above these material considerations, they will never accept it because it will reduce their lives to nothing.
They know well what we have achieved because they have lost everything in these 100 days. They had to mobilize their entire nation to create war hysteria in a bid to distract attention from the heroic freedom struggle in Jammu & Kashmir. They might deceive their nation forever but they could not and will not deceive us and the world. It also showed us how their entire political spectrum is united in their hatred against us.
They feign empathy and concern for our children and their education while they blindly go on presiding over their murders and maiming. They say that the education of our children has suffered; but let us tell our people that our education has not suffered but instead blossomed.
Education is the ability to discern between right and wrong and education endows people with the courage to take the right path; education is the power to differentiate between justice and injustice and then stand up for justice.
Education is not mere literacy. It is the light by which we distinguish truth from falsehood, it is the consciousness of the wretchedness of slavery and the virtue of the struggle for freedom. Where does this light come from? The light comes from the memory of our struggle for freedom. The light comes from the blinded eyes of our boys and girls. The light comes from the dark dungeons where our youth languish. The light comes from the heavens our martyrs inhabit.
We have all been educated in these 100 days. Our children even more so; they see without exception the hollow men that these collaborators are. Education is not making one’s self available at the service of a foreign Hindu fascist aggressor against one’s own people. Education doesn’t numb a person’s conscience but awakens it to the sufferings of people and suffering of the self. It is a shame that those schooled in the art of slavery and collaboration are teaching us the virtues of education.
Had any of these collaborators been truly educated, they would have shuddered at the fact that they are presiding over a massacre of children. How could these people go on sitting on these thrones of blood, rationalizing and justifying the absolutely unjust military occupation of India?
Demonstrations of students across Kashmir are a slap on the faces of the collaborators who want to use our children as a tool to crush the uprising. Can’t these collaborators read the placards these students parade through the streets? What is written on these placards? That “we will sacrifice our careers for freedom”. That “you cannot blind a child and ask him to sit for exams”. That “blood and ink cannot flow together”. These kids have seen their friends and family members being killed, maimed, blinded, tortured and arrested.
More than ninety people have been killed, 16000 people have been injured, 10000 arrested. More than 1000 people have been hit by pellets in eyes, the majority of them students. A war has been unleashed on Kashmiris. In the middle of such savagery, holding examinations is another form of collective punishment, like ransacking of homes, destruction of transformers, destruction of orchards, and standing crops and custodial torture of detainees.
Besides education, the collaborators feign concern about our economy. They are weighing the blood of our martyrs against the monetary loss suffered by our businesses. Our businessmen and traders have borne these hardships with exemplary dignity. They have not opened their shops. Our people who earned their livings by driving autos, sumos, buses, taxis and selling vegetables and fruits and other merchandise on streets have been the backbone of the struggle. People who depended on tourism such as hoteliers, shikara wallas, pony owners, tour and travel operators have sacrificed an entire business season.
They know it is the price every oppressed nation must pay to attain freedom and we have been paying it. Freedom is a pre-requisite for real progress, not the rhetoric of development peddled by India and its stooges. The Indian model of development has been designed to disempower us and consolidate the military occupation.
This occupation intends to wipe out our very existence as a distinct people. The current uprising has thwarted their sinister plans to affect demographic changes through construction of sainik colonies, Israeli-type settlements or creating zones of exception under the garb of religious mythologies.
The current uprising has thoroughly exposed and isolated PDP, which now stands alongside the disgraced and decimated NC. It is the place where they always belonged but the Indian state had invested heavily in the PDP to confuse the aspirations of the people. It is a success of this uprising that this formation of collaborators, which had managed to confuse even some of the seemingly well-meaning people, now stands exposed in its true form as spineless collaborators presiding over the diffuse genocide of their own people for power.
The current uprising obliterated the artificial divisions India had manufactured over the years to weaken the resistance. This uprising is the collective call of freedom from Kishtwar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Poonch, Rajouri, Gool, Reasi, Ramban, Banihal, Kulgam, Islamabad, Shopian, Pulwama, Budgam, Srinagar, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara to Kargil. Our unity has defeated our enemy. Our unity is our victory.
Like every oppressor in history, India also tried to tell us that we can’t live independently and govern ourselves. The current uprising has demonstrated that we are living independently through solidarities people forged in the institutions of Bait-ul-Maal, community schools, community kitchens, medical and relief efforts that were initiated, despite massive state repression.
The way people helped each other in the midst of barbaric repression is a sign of the maturing of our resistance and flowering of free, although fledgling, institutions. These solidarities are more powerful than all of the Indian military and collaborative structure imposed on us. Their defeat, as we have already seen, is in our unity.
These 100 days of our struggle have brought Kashmir back on the world stage. Despite Indian state’s hectic efforts to deflect attention from its brutal occupation, international community has refused to buy India’s lies and once again stressed upon resolution of the dispute. UN General Secretary, OIC, UNHCR, Amnesty International, NATO, European Union and many other world bodies voiced their concerns strongly in their own ways. Pakistan, our ally in the freedom struggle is exhibiting moral and diplomatic support more responsively than ever before.
All our achievements in this uprising have not been given by India. We created them through our struggle against India. Yet many of us wittingly and unwittingly and often in earnestness ask the simplistic question: Will India give anything? Pre-1953 position? Self-rule? Autonomy? Right to Self Determination? Independence?
India will not give us anything. No occupier has ever given anything to the occupied except killing, maiming, raping, exploiting and humiliating them. India is an occupier. India would not even have given us the consciousness for freedom that we have, India has not given us the space where we stand together and cry out for our freedom, India did not give us the strength to fight a mighty military occupation for the last 70 years. We have achieved this ourselves.
India wants to raze to the ground our very desire for a life of dignity and freedom. We must understand clearly that India is an occupier and aggressor and it will not give us what we want and deserve. Our greatest victory in our struggle for freedom and especially these months of uprising is that we have stopped to look toward India for our freedom and have started to look toward ourselves. Our fight for freedom is the fight to liberate our minds from the Indian control and we are successfully doing it. The liberation of our territory is inevitable.
The reality has begun to dawn upon the Indian defense and security establishment who are in charge of the Indian occupation in Jammu & Kashmir. It is reflected in the recent pronouncements by Lt Gen D. S. Hooda, the GOC of their Northern Command and M. K. Narayanan, India’s former National Security Advisor. General Hooda recently said that India has lost the narrative in Kashmir; he advocated stepping back and putting heads together and admitted that military alone cannot hold on to Kashmir. M. K. Narayanan, in a recent article published in the Indian Daily The Hindu, admits of Indian defeat and talks of the need of engaging social scientists and psychologists to hold on to Kashmir.
These victories in disparate domains – local and international, diplomatic and moral, educational and political, self-reliance and perseverance – are the elements and the tools that shall ensure the final and ultimate victory in the coming phases of our long march toward freedom.
Freedom is not an overnight occurrence; it is a process, a long journey of people and of nations. We have been on that journey for decades, and like all travelers on the road of truth and freedom, we have our flaws and we have made our mistakes; but we have always been steadfast in our fight for freedom. We have and never will surrender to Indian occupation. India is not our fate; our destiny is freedom and we are walking toward that freedom, hand in hand; and the fact that we are becoming free people in our minds bears witness to the approaching destiny of freedom. The approaching dawn of freedom will end the night of our slavery. We shall soon live as free people.