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West Bengal peace activists call for dialogue with Kashmiri people

pakistan-india-peoples-forum-for-peace-and-democracyLahore : Eighty-five peace activists from the Indian state of West Bengal have deplored the attempts to “deny the legitimacy of the struggle of the Kashmiri people” for self-rule and called for negotiations involving the Kashmiris for lasting peace in the region. In a statement communicated to Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy today they said:

We the following signatories from West Bengal are deeply concerned about the escalating tension between the two neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan, and the jingoism in support of armed conflict as the method to resolve this tension.

The recent civil unrest in the Kashmir Valley has cost nearly 100 lives, even more are injured and those blinded by pellets include children. Yet the leaderships of the two countries have used the tragedy as a political weapon to berate each other in the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. The attempt is to completely deny the legitimacy of the struggle of the Kashmiri people for cultural, linguistic, and social identity and self-rule.

As a result of armed attacks across the international borders, and irresponsible threat of nuclear reprisal, a war-like situation has been drummed up. This has deeply vitiated the atmosphere in the region leading to the cancellation of the SAARC summit. Evacuation orders, forcing villagers to flee their homes in border villages, have already resulted in the displacement of over 5 lakh people inIndia alone, causing immense hardship; land mines are now being laid out here, destabilising the border region. The Indian government’s threat to scrap the Indus Water Treaty is a gross violation of the rights of the lower riparian state and its cancellation will create a massive humanitarian disaster, affecting innocent civilians and leading to the collapse of agriculture and supply of drinking water in several parts of Pakistan.

We appeal to the governments of India and Pakistan to emulate the spirit of the grieving father, Onkar Nath Dalui. On hearing the news of the “surgical counter-strikes” after the death of his son, Gangadhar Dalui, a soldier from West Bengal killed in the attack on the Indian armed forces camp at Uri, he said that though his son is dead, he fervently hopes more loss of life will be averted through reconciliation and peace between the two countries.

Wars are not known to resolve any issue, they only result in further devastation and misery for ordinary people.  We urge the leadership of the two countries to renew the process of dialogue as there is no alternative to normalise the situation. Let us as citizens of the two countries raise our voices for peace so that future generations can enjoy freedom from the sub human levels of poverty, ill health and unemployment inflicting South Asia.  Let us also resolve that if Kashmir is the cause of tension in the region, we will all shun war and carry forward on the path of dialogue involving the people of Kashmir for lasting peace.

The signatories include Professors Ranabir Samaddar, Sushil Khanna, Partha Chatterjee, Vidyanand Jha, Journalists, film-makers, and members of the West Bengal Chapter of Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy.

  1. Ranabir Samaddar, Vice-President, PakistanIndia Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD), W. Bengal and Chair Professor, Calcutta Research Group.
  2. Sushil Khanna, Vice-President, PIPFPD W.B. & Former Professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
  3. Prabir Sinharoy, Secretary, PIPFPD W.B.
  4. Rajashri Dasgupta, PIPFPD W.B. & Journalist
  5. Uttam Kr. Ray, PIPFPD W.B. & Advocate, Kolkata High Court
  6. Krishna Bandyopadhyay, PIPFPD W.B., Activist and Writer
  7. Amit Chakraborty, PIPFPD W.B.
  8. Nilanjan Dutta, PIPFPD W.B. & Activist
  9. Dr. Gita Chatterjee, PIPFPD W.B. & Medical Practitioner
  10. Kavita Panjabi, PIPFPD W.B. & Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  11. Salil Biswas, PIPFPD, W.B. & Author
  12. Subhashis Chatterjee, PIPFPD W.B.
  13. Dipankar Roy, PIPFPD, W.B.
  14. Swapan Sarkar, PIPFPD, W.B.
  15. Bharatjyoti Roy Choudhury, PIPFPD, W.B. & Writer
  16. Pulak Chanda,  PIPFPD, W.B. & Writer & Editor
  17. Raktim Ganguly, PIPFPD, W.B.
  18. Vidyanand Jha, PIPFPD W.B. & Professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
  19. Partha Chatterjee, Honorary Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
  20. Amiya Dev, Former Professor of JadavpurUniversity & Former Vice-Chancellor of VidyasagarUniversity
  21. Amiya Bagchi, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata and Adjunct Professor, MonashUniversity
  22.                                                                                                                                                                                                              Subhendu Dasgupta, Former Professor, Calcutta University
  23. Keya Dasgupta, Former Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
  24. Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Former Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
  25. Aniruddha Deb, Consultant Psychiatrist
  26. Antara Dev Sen, Editor, The Little Magazine
  27. Santosh Rana, Writer, Activist
  28. Dipak Piplai, Social Researcher
  29. Anuradha Kapoor, Director Swayam
  30. Samudra Dutta, Editor,  Sramajeebee Bhasa Patrika
  31. Anchita Ghatak, Secretary, Parichiti- A Society for Empowerment of Women
  32. Madhura Chakraborty, Researcher and Activist, Video Volunteers
  33. Aditi Roy Ghatak, Journalist
  34. Moinak Biswas, Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  35. Nilanjana Gupta, Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  36. Mallarika Sinha Roy, Asst. Professor, JNU
  37. Baidik Bhattacharya, Asst. Professor, University of Delhi
  38. Samita Sen, School of Women’s Studies, JadavpurUniversity
  39. Soma Roy Karmakar
  40. Trina Banerjee, Asst Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
  41. Samantak Das, Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  42. Parthasarathi Bhaumik, Asst.Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  43. Abhijit Roy, Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  44. Kalyani Chaudhuri, Former IAS Officer
  45. Sarmistha Dutta Gupta, independent researcher, writer and hon. secretary Ebong Alap
  46. Sanjib Mukhopadhyay, PIPFPD, WB & Medical Practitioner, Kolkata
  47. Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Professor Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
  48. Kirity Roy, director MASUM and PACTI
  49. Dolon Ganguly, Azad Foundation
  50. Madhuchhanda Karlekar, Founder- member of Sachetana, Women’s advocacy group
  51. Ratnabili Ray, Anjali
  52. Sipra Mukherjee, Professor, department of English, WB  State University
  53. Nisha Biswas, Activist, Women Against Sexual Violence
  54. Ruchira Goswami, NationalUniversity of Juridical Sciences and Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh Mancha
  55. Shampa Sengupta, Disability & Gender Rights Activist, Kolkat
  56. Sutanuka Ghosh, Assistant Professor, JadavpurUniversity.
  57. Srabani Sarkar Neogi, South Kolkata Hamari Muskan
  58. Sudeshna Banerjee, Independent Researcher, editor and publisher
  59. Rimple Mehta, Assistant Professor, school of Women’s Studies, JadavpurUniversity
  60. Anuradha Bose PhD retd. Academic
  61. Debolina Dasgupta. Teacher (retd)
  62. Achin Chakraborty, Director, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
  63. Saswati Ghosh, WSS, West Bengal
  64. Meher Engineer, Independent Scientist and Education Worker
  65. Biswajit Roy, Journalist
  66. Soma Marik, Associate Professor, RKSM Vivekananda Vidyabhavan
  67. Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor, JadavpurUniversity
  68. Amitadyuti Kumar, Rights Activist
  69. Manas Bhattacharya, formerly of The Telegraph
  70. Mandira Sen, Director, Stree Samya
  71. Sujato Bhadra, Rights Activist
  72. Sabyasachi Deb, Poet
  73. Ishita Chakraborty, Assoc. Professor, VidyasagarCollege & Writer
  74. Sitangsu Sekhar, Activist
  75. Sangram Banerjee, Activist
  76. Partha Banerjee, Activist
  77. Pranab Nayak, Editor-Ikshan
  78. Pritha Chatterjee, Singer & Activist
  79. Nirmalya Banerjee, Film Director
  80. Bolan Gangopadhyaya, Writer & Activist
  81. Promod Gupta, Documentary Film Director
  82. Prasip Das, Researcher
  83. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Former Professor,  Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
  84. Suleiman Khurshid, President, PIPFPD, WB Chapter


Issued by Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), West Bengal Chapter. Ccontact: Prabir Sinha Roy, Secretary, Phone: 983112338.

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