Jamia Millia Islamia students on Friday held a sit-in protest against the invitation extended by the varsity authorities to J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to inaugurate a hostel.
The students holding placards held a sit-in protest in front of the central canteen.
The students said they believed that that conferring of this “honour and magnanimity” to J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti and Rajnath Singh is a “scurrilous” attack on the integrity and culture of the University.
They said that their conscience does not allow them to welcome Rajnath Singh and Mehbooba Mufti—a person who “purports” to be a representative of the people of J&K but whose consistent effort has been that the people should change their aspirations and succumb to the demands of the “Indian state”.
“For the last seventy years, the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been a blot on the democracy in India. Successive Indian governments have committed mistakes in their quest to control a territory where people have for all these years expressed their desire, through various means possible, to break free from the “idea of India” and imagine a future of their own—but the people of J&K have had to bear the heavy costs of these mistakes,” the students said.
The statement issued by the students said that in order to further their control over the territory, India has used all means at its disposal—divide and rule, massive propaganda campaigns within J&K to confuse and mislead the people, equally humongous disinformation campaigns against J&K’s struggle for self-determination in India and abroad, trying to buy the populace with promises of economic prosperity, demographic changes and, when all else failed, a brutal, “bloody counter-insurgency” programme against the people to try and make the costs of defiance prohibitive. “Installing puppet local governments through the flimsy charade of ‘elections’ has been one of the foremost tools of India’s rule in J&K. Mehbooba Mufti is the latest addition to a long list of rulers in J&K who help India to control Kashmir against the will of Kashmiris,” the statement added.
“But in their heart of hearts, the people and government of India know that the struggle in Kashmir is a just one. For this reason (and perhaps because it haunts their conscience), those opposed to Kashmir’s freedom in India try to raise myriad spectres, from the of lack of coherence in the political narratives in J&K, the internal divisions within the state, cross-border interference from Pakistan, to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits. Yet such arguments only end up making the case for self-determination stronger. No people can be denied freedom citing the absurd reason that they do not understand what it means; nor is it prudent to suggest that an entire society—children, adults and senior citizens—can be brainwashed by an external power. Only a free people can be held accountable for their actions, which is not possible as long as Kashmiris continue to be denied the right to self-determination,” the statement reads.
By refusing to recognise the unalienable right of Kashmiris to decide their own future, the statement said, India has only managed to lose its own moral compass. “Politics based on the principle of might right ultimately come home to roost,” it added.
Importantly, the Jamia authorities had invited Home Minister Rajnath Singh and J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti to inaugurate the newly constructed J&K Hostel for girls at the varsity on Saturday, November 18, 2017, but the university officials informed on Friday that inauguration of the hostel has been postponed due to some administrative exigencies.