The Unknown Abuses


I don’t really know what to make of this Tariq Ali piece, but this here is a provocative point:

Add to this the continuing sore of Kashmir which has for decades been treated as a colony by Indian troops with random arrests, torture and rape of Kashmiris an everyday occurrence. Conditions have been much worse than in Tibet, but have aroused little sympathy in the West where the defense of human rights is heavily instrumentalised.

I don’t see any point in trying to get into a Kashmir-Tibet oppression olympics, but problems in Kashmir are real enough according to Human Rights Watch:

Violence erupted in Jammu and Kashmir after a state government decision in May 2008 to transfer uninhabited forest land to a Hindu trust to build temporary shelters during an annual Hindu pilgrimage called “Amarnath Yatra.” Once the decision became public knowledge in June, Muslim Kashmiris protested against the land transfer and the transfer order was revoked. This sparked off anger among Hindu Kashmiris. Demonstrations in the Jammu region have paralyzed the state in recent weeks.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been in conflict for the last two decades, and tens of thousands of civilians have died, caught between separatist militants and Indian security forces. While militants have been responsible for human rights abuses, Kashmiris have long complained about violations by Indian troops who go unpunished for serious crimes including extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances. The violence had reduced since 2003, but the recent protests show that the Kashmir issue is yet to be resolved.

You hear basically nothing about this in the United States. And surely Ali is right that the “instrumentalization” of concern for human rights is part of the story.