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Academics and Activists Condemn Indian Diplomat’s Call for Replicating Israeli Model in Kashmir

The remarks by the consul general of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, come at a time when there is growing ideological and political convergence between the Hindutva regime in India and the Zionist regime in Israel
Academics and Activists Condemn Indian Diplomat

It's been over a 100 days since a political crackdown was imposed on the people of Kashmir.

In a private event held in New York City on Saturday, 23rd November, the consul general of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, made the outrageous remarks of following Israel’s model in Kashmir, in the context of return of Kashmiri Pandits [members of the Hindu Brahmin community who were forced to leave the State in the late 80s due to religious violence]. While he did not specify whether he is referring to Israel as such or the settlements in the West Bank, in his capacity as an Indian diplomat, Mr Chakravorty advocated for Israel’s policies i.e. apartheid, war crimes and ethnic cleansing to be implemented in Kashmir. Further, in his address, he also said that “Kashmiri culture is Indian culture is Hindu culture..”. The address was part of a private meeting between the Kashmiri Pandit diaspora community and Vivek Agnihotri, a film director whose brazen propaganda contributed to the coinage of the myth of ‘Urban Naxals’, a term now regularly used to persecute activists and human rights defenders in India.

While the government pretended that the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent crackdown in Kashmir, entering its fourth month now, was for bringing ‘development’ to Kashmir, Mr Chakravorty has inadvertently revealed the Hindu nationalist core behind this decision. It is deplorable that pain and trauma of the Kashmiri Pandit community is being weaponized for the communal agenda of the regime. It is further evident that the establishment has been permeated with its ideology, within India and outside.

The revocation of Article 370 and 35(A) was right from the beginning called out for being inspired by Israel’s settlement policy by progressive and secular voices. For the past five years, India has been the biggest importer of Israeli arms, deals that go up to $1 billion every year. Additionally, Indian companies are entering into joint ventures with Israeli weapons companies to produce drones and rifles. Israeli army delegations have visited Kashmir and Indian Police Services trainees are sent to Israel for a week as part of their program. The security cooperation between the two is elaborate and inevitably that means exchange of methods and tactics. Most recently, activists and lawyers were revealed to have been targeted by Israeli spyware Pegasus. The proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to confer ‘right of return’ to non-Muslims from India’s neighboring countries, just like Israel does to Jewish people across the world. There is an ideological collaboration of Hindutva and Zionism behind these arms deals and security cooperation.

The weapons and tactics that India receives from Israel are ‘field-tested’ on Palestinians. India’s arms purchases directly finance Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. Earlier this month, Israel killed 34 people in Gaza in air strikes, including a family of 8. Israel’s apartheid, occupation and colonialism derives its impunity from the support it receives from states like India. Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon us to combine our struggle for democracy and secularism with that of Palestinian liberation. By calling for a military embargo on Israel, we also call for ending the ties that are facilitating the current siege and crackdown in Kashmir. That will be an effective way to truly stop the implementation of the Israeli model in Kashmir.

Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor of International Relations, University of Delhi
Pamela Philipose, Senior Journalist
Githa Hariharan, Writer and Managing Trustee, Indian Writers Forum
Tapan Bose, Filmmaker and Human Rights defender
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPIML Liberation
Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA
Nandita Narain, Associate Professor, St Stephen’s College, Delhi
Apoorvanand, Professor, Department of Hindi, Delhi University
Nivedita Menon, JNU
Nuzhat Kazmi, Professor, Faculty of Fine Art, Jamia Millia Islamia
Vivan Sundaram, Artist
Sukrita Lahiri, PhD Scholar, JNU
Sukla Sen, Peace Activist, Mumbai
Marcy Newman, author of The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans.
Imrana Qadeer, CSD, Delhi
Uma V Chandru, Anthropologist and Rights Activist
Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker
Gautam Mody, General Secretary, New Trade Unions Initiative
Sudhanva Deshpande, Theatre Artist and Publisher
Aparna Sundar, Independent Researchers, Toronto
Dean Accardi, Assistant Professor of History, Connecticut College, USA
Raja Qaiser Ahmad, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Binish Ahmed, Ph.D. candidate, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Omer Aijazi, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto, Canada
Dibyesh Anand, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster, UK
Mirza Saaib Beg, Lawyer, London, UK
Mona Bhan, Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies, Syracuse University, USA
Emma Brännlund, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), UK
Angana Chatterji, Feminist Scholar, University of California, Berkeley
Farhan Mujahid Chak, Associate Professor, Qatar University, Qatar
Huma Dar, Adjunct Professor, California College of Arts, USA
Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor, Ohio University, USA
Iffat Fatima, Filmmaker, India
Javaid Hayat Khan, Ph. D. Independent Researcher and Analyst, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Serena Hussain, Associate professor, Coventry University, UK
Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh, Lawyer and Legal Researcher, India
Mohamad Junaid, Assistant Professor, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, USA
Hafsa Kanjwal, Assistant Professor of History, Lafayette College, USA
Nitasha Kaul, Associate Professor, University of Westminster, UK
Suvir Kaul, A.M. Rosenthal Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Fozia Nazir Lone, Associate Professor of International Law, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Laura Lucia Notaro, Consultant, Sustainable Development, Milan, Italy
Inshah Malik, Assistant Professor, Kardan University, Kabul, Afghanistan
Deepti Misri, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Preetika Nanda, Research Scholar, India
Immad Nazir, Research Scholar, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Goldie Osuri, Associate Professor, University of Warwick, UK
Idrisa Pandit, Independent Scholar, Waterloo, Canada
Samina Raja, Professor, University of Buffalo, USA
Mehroosh Tak. Lecturer, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
Nishita Trisal, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Saiba Varma, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego, USA
Ather Zia, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado, USA
Gautam Navlakha, PUDR and Newsclick
Sunaina Maira, Professor, Asian American Studies, UC Davis and a founding organizer of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)

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