Kashmir : Punish the guilty not the people
PUCL is deeply concerned at the reported move of the government to take action against Ms Arundhati Roy and others for expressing their views on the Kashmir issue. It is not the people of India who are responsible for alienating a large number of Kashmiris and creating the present crisis but those who have ruled the country since 1947. They had ample time to win over the secular and peace loving people of Kashmir and provide them a life better than under any alternative arrangement. Instead, they have so alienated the people that thousands of unarmed men women and children defy curfew and do not care for embracing death in police firings.
PUCL believes that rise of terrorism in the state, which was unknown till 1989 despite our having fought wars with Pakistan and Kashmir too, is the result of the wrong policies of the government. After creating this mess , the political class appears determined to keep us – the citizens of the country- out of any discussion of the Kashmir issue by threatening us with legal action.
We strongly urge the government to desist from taking action against Ms Arundhati Roy or any other citizen for expressing any view-right or wrong- on the Kashmir problem, as it is our democratic right and also duty to apply our mind to reflect on the serious situation of unrest created by the rulers and not us. Besides, any legal action taken for expressing an opinion , apart from being a blatant attack on our democratic rights , will make India a laughing stock , as the whole world has been watching a large number of unarmed Kashmiris defying curfew and bullets for ‘Azadi’. We further urge the government to allow the people to speak freely on the Kashmir issue and listen to all shades of opinions of the people for the solution of the problem.
Prabhakar Sinha, President , PUCL
Pushkar Raj, General Secretary