India: Human Rights Crusader ignores Kashmir

The indefatigable efforts to his credit Vijay Mehta, a South African of Indian origin based in the United Kingdom, the founding Trustee of Fortune Forum Charity and author of "The economics of killing" shows concern expending diligent care to highlight the role western governments play in perpetuating conflicts around the world.

Kudos for a stupendous task; Vijay Mehta delving into an area of the working of complex Industrial Military Network, and its links with the global financial crisis described painstakingly and the "economics of killing" that fuels wars and poverty in the developing world a subject many world-over do not even perceive intuitively. Due to a large number of trouble spots a sizeable number of people get killed on daily basis and the magnitude of the daily flowing unpleasant messages simply filter through and people at large remain insensitive.

Vijay Mehta’s You tube video "4D for World Peace" is quite revealing; especially the mention of USA being the only country on the face of earth dropping nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when around 140,000 people perished and then crying the wolf about imaginary threat of "terror weapons of mass destruction" possessed for instance, by other western countries, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea or, for that matter, in foreseeable future perhaps by Iran or Syria.

It is commendable that Vijay Mehta endeavours to impress upon the world body to follow "Gandhian principle of non-violence" which he suggests can be the only practical solution to resolve all outstanding issues facing the world today. Indian "democracy", as he mentions, is a good example to follow; when even Dr. Martin Luther King motivated by the non-violent principle of Gandhi was inspired and believed the principle to help him achieve the goals he so cherished and aspired for. Anna Hazare or his Lieutenant Prashant Bhushan's campaign for rooting out corruption in India; use of non-violence as a weapon which Vijay Mehta urges the world community to adopt and believes is widely supported, a popular process showing positive results. It is needless to mention that not in the distant past, second-in command Prashant Bhushan was thrashed and physically manhandled by a Bajrang Dal Hindu fundamentalist stalwart as Bhushan spoke out for the legitimate rights of Kashmiri people.

Grabbing the opportunity it would be ideal to draw Vijay Mehta’s attention to the fact that the most volatile situation that can trigger a global nuclear war is Kashmir imbroglio and no one has a doubt in believing that it is definitely a serious matter that the world body should worry about. Without going into the gory details of human-right violations in Kashmir, the dedicated noble souls the likes of Vijay Mehta and other like-minded should ponder over this human problem and help create awareness to find a solution and allow people of Kashmir live in a politically free and peaceful environment.

It would perhaps help to remind Vijay Mehta to freshen his memory about situation in Assam, Christian belt of North-East, Naxalite problem, Mao rebels, unrest in Punjab and threatening growth of Hindu fundamentalist forces antagonistic belligerent attitude towards Muslims and Christians. It would also benefit to dig into Indian archives to retrieve data about resultant killings and human-right violations.

In its issue of September 19, 2012; Hindustan Times through its correspondent in Kashmir, gave the following new details of human right violations:

- For every four militants killed in Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, one army man and three civilians became victims of the bloody violence.
- A report with Hindustan Times reveals that 40,127 people (militants, civilians and army) were killed, followed by 13, 853 civilian killings; deaths recorded daily from 1990 to July 31, 2012.
- Human rights groups in Kashmir and separatists put the toll of killings in between 70,000 and 100,000 with claims of 8,000 disappearances. A large number of unidentified graves unearthed recently and the reluctance of people in power to allow any investigations speak volumes. The pleas of effected families for some clues or information of their disappeared loved ones, in a brazen manner, are turned down.

Kashmir experiences routine curfews, almost daily "hide and seek" playing underage STONE PELTERS and above all isolated armed encounters. The situation continues for the last 65 years unabated and some populist measures or any carrot and stick policy arguably might lead to a change of heart amounts to burying the head in sand. To understand Kashmir problem one has to reverse the clock and go back in time when Kashmir rose against Maharaja Hari Singh’s despotic rule and the common man in the streets aspired for an independent Kashmir ruled independently by Kashmir Kings who fought many wars with invading outside forces to maintain the sovereignty. A common Kashmiri makes it known that a basic right of seeking independence cannot be compromised with and this ongoing struggle will continue till the cherished goal is accomplished.

The topic "Economics of Killing" highlighted by Vijay Mehta to create awareness as to how the Military Industrial Complex works, its links with the global financial crisis and "the role Western governments play in perpetuating conflict. The west that fuels War and poverty in the developing world for financial gains, an eye opener and exposes the powers that with one pretext or another usurp a huge percentage of world resources that leaves hardly “peanuts” for the developing third world.

The September 10, 2012 meeting held in London and Edinburgh explored ideas, strategies and solutions for preserving peace and achieving a just and fair world, especially a focus on the underlying themes:

- The work of UN and its urgent reforms
- Peacekeeping and peacemaking solutions
- How to implement Responsibility to protect doctrine
- How can the world be disarmed and demilitarised
- How to find ways for completion of Millennium Development Goals

The keynote speakers JAN PRONK a former Development Minister of Netherlands, a Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD and Assistant Secretary General of UN and Vijay Mehta a known humanist stressed the need to achieve goals earmarked so that the world at large can be peaceful and free from hegemony, political and economic exploitation.

Vijay Mehta, perhaps, nostalgically attached to his roots inadvertently promotes India, Indian democracy and Gandhian principles to convey a message that overshadows anything unpleasant that may be happening in the largest “democracy” of the world.