[INDOLOGY] latest AI report on India

Piotr Balcerowicz p.balcerowicz at uw.edu.pl
Thu Jul 2 17:02:28 UTC 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Even though the following does not rise questions concerning the past of India, in a way it is relevant to Indological research as one of background factors. 
Here’s a link to a highly interesting discussion on serious human rights violations, crimes perpetrated by the Indian armed forces and their impunity in the Indian-administered state of Jammu & Kashmir:
(emblematic is the Hindutva-saffron T-shirt not to be missed...).

The background for this discussion is the recent report by Amnesty International on human rights violations in Kashmir:

The full text of the report:

Strange as it may seem, most Indologists are not aware that India-administered part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir is the most militarized place in the world with the population of approx. 12 million people and approx. 750,000 - 850,000 armed forces, even though such heavy military presence has no real strategic justification. According to conservative estimates approx. 70,000 people were killed there at the hands of the Indian army (other sources put the figure of 100,000 civilians). More than 7,000 mass graves of civilians have been discovered in recent years, in only five districts (out of a total of 25 districts -- no such searches have so far been conducted in the other districts; one of the earlier reports: http://www.kashmirprocess.org/reports/graves/toc .html)). There are at least 8,000 documented abductions and killings of civilians by Indian armed forces. Lawyers in Kashmir have reported crimes in more than 15,000 cases of alledged crimes committed by the Indian armed forces, but all such police investigations and court proceedings have been consistently blocked by the Indian authorities. Numerous inverviews with Kashmiris conducted on the spot reveal that virtually within every Kashmiri family there is someone who has become a victim of repressions and torture. No even a single case judicial proceedings has been been brought to an end (except for two cases before military courts, but they do not dislose any further information about the actual outcome), which is absolutely shocking in a country that aspires to be governed by law. That also calls into question the myth of Indian democracy.
Information on the crimes and human rights violations in Kashmir very rarely reach the public, and even Indologists are barely aware of not only the scale of these crimes, but even of their existence. These appalling crimes and the scale of human rights violations is something which is quite difficult to ignore, also for Indologists. Dealing with South Asia and doing research on Indian past should not make Indologists immune to such news concerning Indian modernity, who should be critical in such cases. That is also a part of India we do research on, unfortunately. Unbiased criticism of India’s policies is by definition constructive and is in the best interest of India and its citizens, too. 

With best regards,
Piotr Balcerowicz

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