On September 25, United Kingdom’s Labour Party at its conference in Brighton passed a resolution that supported “international intervention in Kashmir and a call for UN led-referendum”. The motion was submitted by the Blackburn, Dudley North, Keighley, Stockport and Wakefield constituencies of the Labour Party. It condemned “The recent actions of the Government of India to revoke Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the special status” granted to Kashmir.
It called on the Labour party to clearly and vocally support the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination and for international observers to be sent to the region immediately. The resolution also sought the party’s intervention at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Reacting to the development, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The government has noted certain developments at the Labour Party Conference on September 25 pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. We regret the uninformed and unfounded positions taken at this event.” He also declined any engagement with the vote-bank driven politics of the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party, which sits in the opposition and whose position is in conflict with the official stance of the British government that considers Kashmir a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and Article 370 as an internal matter of India.
The High Commission of India in London cancelled the customary dinner reception to the Labour party and withdrew invites, a senior official said.
Jeremy Corbyn, 70, looks like the younger brother of Bernie Sanders on the other side of Atlantic, who in his speech, had made similar references to Kashmir.
Addressing the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America in Houston on September 21, Sanders said he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in Kashmir and asked the US government to “speak out boldly” in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution to resolve the issue.
This 77-year-old leader also penned an article in the Houston Chronicle at the same time when the highly successful ‘Howdy Modi’ extravaganza was taking place about. He wrote: “When President (Donald) Trump meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston, we will hear much about the friendship between the American and Indian peoples. However, there will be a deafening silence on the human rights crisis in Kashmir.”
The bad news is neither of them knows anything about Kashmir; the good news is both of them are well past their sell-by date and have no chance of winning office. Both are pandering to Muslim voters, more so in the case of Corbyn since London has become ‘Londonistan’ and Mirpuris from Kashmir are a significant vote bank.
Actually there are many commonalities between Corbyn and our own Rahul Gandhi. Both are leaders of a declining party with a dismal future. Both are college failures and full-time politicians with no other qualifications or expertise. The only difference is Corbyn is aged, married thrice and sometimes accused of being an anti-Semite.
After comments by Naz Shah in 2014 and Ken Livingstone in 2016 resulted in their suspension from membership pending investigation, Corbyn established the Chakrabarti Inquiry, which concluded that the Labour party was not “overrun by anti-Semitism or other forms of racism”, although there was an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” and “clear evidence of ignorant attitudes”. This exactly is apt in their comments on Kashmir — the occasionally toxic atmosphere and clear evidence of ignorant attitudes.
Someone needs to tell Corbyn that under his party, India became Independent and Pakistan itself is a gift of colonialism and a policy of divide and rule. This Kashmir mess is a British creation to keep a toe hold in the affairs of the Indian sub-continent.
Article 370 was obnoxious in denying rights to Scheduled Castes/nomadic tribes and women marrying non-Kashmiris. Women in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) can now buy real estate and transfer property to children, even if they get married to a non-resident as Article 35A has automatically become void with the scrapping of Article 370.
Article 35A gives the J&K government the right to decide who qualifies as a ‘permanent resident’. The permanent resident is subject to special rights as only he can acquire land, settle and get government jobs and scholarships in the state. Does Corbyn know that Pakistan has to fulfill certain conditions for a plebiscite — like withdrawal of its troops from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir?
Much water has flown down the Jhelum and the global situation has changed. If Corbyn is a chit-reading leader like Stalin in Tamil Nadu, then he is a great loser. He must start studying history and acquaint himself with the geography of the Jammu and Kashmir.
Interestingly, the British labour leader is rather quiet about Uighur Muslims who are denied freedom and kept as prisoners by China in its western region. That is the irony of Left Liberals. Attack democratic societies like India and uphold theocracies like Pakistan and dictatorships like China.
Of course, the UK itself is in dire straits economically, socially and politically and may request India to take over their country and rule them! After all, they did rule India for two centuries.
They are a failed country and sick child of Europe wanting to get out of the continent, but not knowing how to do so. The UK has become the butt of all jokes: Boris Johnson wants a poll, but does not want to resign and Corbyn wants Boris to resign but does not want a poll! The UK should take care it is not pushed out of Commonwealth because of its tantrums.
Corbyn has to be informed that his party may pamper and appease their Islamic constituency as much as they like, but there is no need to involve himself in India’s affairs. The Queen does not rule us any more — fortunately.