The Tamil Solidarity Campaign (TSC) held a successful protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Thursday 4 November against the Indian government’s ongoing attacks on the Kashmiri people and the attack on the well-known activist and Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy. The South Asian Solidarity Group also participated in the protest. Many people stopped to show support and took away leaflets.
“This is only the beginning of our protest” said Emma Smith, a journalist who recently visited Kashmir. “We will come back again and in greater numbers and will continue our campaign against the brutality of the Indian government.
“I saw with my own eyes the actions of the bloodthirsty Indian government forces. Young people, as young as 14, are shot, tortured, and killed.
“Many more are denied freedom of movement and free speech. Those, like Arundhati Roy, who dare to speak out in opposition face government scrutiny and intimidation.
We hear a lot about ‘India Shining’, including from British politicians, but there is no shine in places like Niyamgiri, in the other parts of Orissa and in the other mineral-rich states where multinationals like Vedanta and POSCO are allowed to loot and murder”.
Explaining the reasons for the Tamil Solidarity Campaign’s involvement the international coordinator, TU Senan, stated that: “We initiated this campaign to highlight the Indian government’s brutal role in South Asia. The Indian government helped the warmongering Rajapakse Sri Lankan regime in its genocidal slaughter of Tamil-speaking people in the recent war. The Indian government now continues to work with that criminal regime and is one of the main obstacles to bringing Rajapakse, the war criminal, to justice.
“The right to self determination and other democratic rights of the Kashmiri people are denied by the Indian government. Similarly it plays a role in denying democratic rights of the people in other states and in Sri Lanka.
“The Indian state is an enemy of all oppressed masses in the region. We want a united fight against it.”
Another activist explained that: “Arundhati Roy is an outspoken well-known activist and writer. The Indian government’s threat of charges of sedition for merely participating in a meeting and the subsequent sparking of an attack by nationalist fundamentalist groups against her is not acceptable. Arundhati still faces danger as the RSS thugs announced that they will somehow ‘fix’ her. The Indian government should take responsibility; it should take action against those attackers instead of provoking them and pay compensation to Arundhati Roy. We also strongly condemn the pro-government media in India who shamelessly spin the government’s stories and act against the interests of ordinary masses.”
Khawaja Aslam, a Kashmiri journalist, who also participated in the protest gave a brief speech explaining the plight of the Kashmiri people and requested a united struggle against the oppressive Indian state.
“Tamil Solidarity campaigners will continue organising solidarity actions” said Danny Burn, a TSC activist at India House