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Statement Released by Women and Mothers on Killings in Kashmir Valley

15 August 2010

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The Mothers of India on August 6, 2010 released the following statement on the killings in Kashmir.

There is a sound in Kashmir that resonates longer than the staccato of the gun. There is a sound in Kashmir that wants the violence to stop. There is a sound in Kashmir that doesn’t care about politics. There is a sound in Kashmir echoing: STOP, Enough! It is the sound of mothers crying as they wait for their children to return knowing that they may not. Wailing, as they wonder why their young ones were killed.

The Mothers of India calls out to the mothers all over India to make sure that no child is killed in Kashmir; that no mother cries in silence; that violence does not beget more violence.

Mothers all over the country need to demand answers, why has Kashmir lost 17 children to a conflict they don’t even understand? We, the mothers, must raise our voices against any kind of extremism. After all, we do not give birth to our children to see them killed brutally by bullets. How can we justify the violence on either side? How long can we be mute spectators and not respond to the pain of our sisters in Kashmir?

With 45 lives lost in the last few weeks we cannot sit back any more. We need to raise our voices for dialogue and debate. We need to look at a peaceful resolution to this mindless violence. The blame game should stop and mothers can do this.

The Mothers of India believes that the situation in Kashmir may yet be retrieved if the Government acknowledges that young people are feeling alienated. Treating it as a law and order problem will only deepen conflict and alienation.

This is a call to the mothers of Kashmir, of Manipur, of Assam of Chhattisgarh, of all the conflict zones to rise and come together for the future of our children. If we don’t stand up now and call for peace we will never be able to face our children whose future we are allowing to be destroyed.

This is not a problem of just the Kashmiri mothers alone. We are all impacted by the situation in Kashmir. Don’t our children deserve to live with dignity? Don’t they deserve a secure future? Don’t they deserve to grow feeling free and safe? We the mothers need to stand in solidarity against violent extremism. We need to permeate the corridors of power with a call for peace. Our voice has to be heard. Our voice will be heard!

Released on behalf of:

Aasma Khan [Kriti Sansthan, MP]; Aasma Parveen [Navdisha Sahar Mahila, Chanderi, MP]; Amandeep Kaur [Punjab]; Amrita Nandy Joshi [Sangat]; Anju Dubey [Centre for Social Research]; Annie Raja [NFIW]; Anuradha Marwah [Ajmer Adult Education Association (AAEA)]; Aparna Dwivedi [Human Rights Law Network]; Astha Ranjan [ANHAD]; Balwinder Kaur [Punjab]; Bansanti Behera [Orissa]; Barkha Lakra [Jharkhand]; Bharti Sonkar [Bhopal, MP]; Bimla Bardhan [Orissa]; Bondita Acharaya [Assam]; Chandrakanta Bharti [Dalit Foundation, New Delhi]; Charu [Punjab]; D. Sharisa [Tamil Nadu]; Damyanti Tambay [Secretary, War Widows Association]; Dr V. Rukmini Rao [Gramya Resource Centre for Women, Secunderabad]; Dr Jyotsna Chatterji [Joint Women’s Programme]; Dr Nasreen Jamal [Jharkhand]; Dr Rose Kerketta [Orissa]; Dr Shanti Khalko [Jharkhand]; Dr V. Mohini Giri [Chairperson, Guild of Service and War Widows Association]; E. Ezhil Caroline [Tamil Nadu]; Farhat Amin [Orissa]; IGSSS; J. Gurmeet Singh [President War Widows Association]; Jamila Nishat [Hyderabad]; Jayanti Ahirwar [Amantran Mahila Mandal, Khajuraho, MP]; Johani Xaxa [Orissa]; K. Shangnaidur Tontang [Manipur]; Kamala Valli [Tamil Nadu]; Kamala Bhasin [Sangat]; Kamini Attawaele [NAWO, Chattisgarh]; Khairun Nisan Ibrahim Pasta [Ahmedabad, Gujarat]; Koely Roy [Kolkata, West Bengal]; Lalita Missal [Orrisa]; Leena Gajbhiye [AIPWO, Nagpur, Maharashtra]; M. Narmadha Devi [Women Initiative in Development, Tamil Nadu]; Mahfuza Rehman [Gawahati, Assam]; Manisha Trivedi [ANHAD, Gujarat]; Manju Rai [Rajasthan]; Manjula Pradeep [Navsarjan, Gujarat]; Mansi Sharma [ANHAD, New Delhi]; Mary G. Bage [Orissa]; Mehjabeen Pathan [Gujarat]; Meristella Wahlang [Meghalaya]; Monisha Behl [North-Eastern Network, Assam]; Mousumi Gupta [YWCA of India]; N. Naseema [Tamil Nadu]; Nanom Jamoh [Arunanchal Pradesh]; Navneet Kaur [Punjab]; Nazhat H. Shaista [Gujarat]; Neelu Parmar [Gujarat]; Nonitala Narengbam [Manipur]; Noori Parveen [Jharkhand]; Nusarat Naqvi [Ajmer]; Padmini Kumar [Joint Women’s Programme]; Pamela Philipose [Women’s Feature Service]; Prabhawati [Sakhi Kendra, Kanpur, UP]; Premwati Dhumketi [Mandla district, MP]; Priyanka Jaiswal [ANHAD]; Prity Bohidar [NAWO, MP]; Promilla Swain [NAWO, Orissa]; Qamar Azad Hashmi [Delhi]; P.V. Sathyabadan [Hyderabad, AP]; Rajni [NAWO, Chattisgarh]; Resly Abraham [Anvashi Dalit Women Centre, Thiruvalla, Kerala]; Rosa Wahlang [Meghalaya]; Rose Mary Dzuvichau [Kohima, Nagaland]; S. Kamala Deva Mani [Tamil Nadu]; S. Ramzan [Tamil Nadu]; Sabiha Naaz [Jharkhand]; Salge Mardi [Jharkhand]; Samina Begum [AYESHA, Suberpur]; Sania Hashmi [ANHAD Media]; Savitri Dhumketi [Mandla district, MP]; Shabnam Hashmi [ANHAD, New Delhi]; Shabnam Sen Gupta [NAWO, MP]; Sheba George [NAWO, Sahrwaru, Gujarat]; Shipra Devi [Chattisgarh]; Smriti Minocha [HRLN, Delhi]; Sonam Gupta [ANHAD]; Subhashini [Mahila Manch, UP]; Sudha Sundararaman [General Secretary, AIDWA]; Suneeta Dhar [Jagori]; Sunila Singh [Jagori]; Sunita Macwan [Gujarat]; Supriya Mallik [Orissa]; Sushila Goyal [NAWO, MP]; Swapna Majumdar; Tarini Manchanda; Thulasi Munda [Orissa]; Urmi Chaluna [Tripura]; Vasavi Kiro [Jharkhand]; Vidya Sharma [Jhansi, UP]; Vinita Nagar [Delhi]; Women’s Initiative For Peace In South Asia; Zulekha Jabin [Chhattisgarh]