A Letter of Support, from Gujarat to Kashmir

Posted October 15, 2019 from India

A group of over 250 activists, academics, students, artists and concerned citizens of Gujarat wrote this letter to declare solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have been silenced and held captive in their own land. We call for a complete lift on the media and communications blockade (including restoration of internet services), the release of political prisoners detained without trial since August 5, the demilitarisation of Kashmir, and the initiation of a meaningful dialogue with the people of the region on their future. 


A Letter of Support, from Gujarat to Kashmir

On August 5, the Indian state unilaterally and without consultation with the Jammu and Kashmir  legislature revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s right to self-governance. It brought the region under the direct control of the New Delhi government. In doing so, the central government displayed a blatant disregard for the nation’s founding principles of democracy, secularism and justice. 

This was followed by a military blockade and an unprecedented media and communications shutdown, which has lasted more than two months. The blockade has plunged the people of Jammu and Kashmir into fear and uncertainty and initiated a humanitarian crisis in the region. Kashmiris have been denied the basic civil liberties and freedoms of expression, information, assembly, movement and religion. Eid and Ashura passed as the clampdown continued, and Kashmiris both within and outside the state were unable to wish their family members. Even when an earthquake hit Mirpur, killing 38 and injuring hundreds, there was no media coverage of damages, injuries and fatalities on the Indian side of the LoC, leaving Kashmiris across India unable to contact their loved ones.

Despite mounting and credible evidence of human rights abuses and a healthcare crisis from numerous international media sources and independent fact-finding missions, the Indian government continues to insist that everything in Kashmir has returned to ‘normal’. 

Military forces have detained thousands of people, among them politicians, leaders, lawyers, journalists, teachers, students, and children as young as ten. Civilians, including children, are being tortured and ruthlessly beaten and subjected to electric shocks. 

In a report from BBC News, a civilian is quoted saying, “we told them we are innocent. We asked why they were doing this to us? But they did not listen to us. I told them don’t beat us, just shoot us. I was asking God to take me, because the torture was unbearable.” 

Meanwhile, medical reports and hospital admission logs are being manipulated in order to keep casualty reports low. Doctors report being under pressure not to issue death certificates. 

On August 15, as the rest of India celebrated independence from colonial rule, Kashmir went into an indefinite lockdown imposed by the Indian government. As India celebrated freedom won through years of protest, civil disobedience, and a commitment to self-rule, Kashmiris were being denied those very liberties. 

With each passing day that this is allowed to continue, India inches closer to fascism, and further from democracy. 

While thousands protest outside the United Nations in New York, here in Ahmedabad the police refuses permission to protest. Gujarat is where the very spirit of dissent has been crushed under the weight of a state actively and tacitly supported by the majority. The state has attempted to control the media narrative, shuttered places of protest, and stifled age-old democratic institutions like the Gujarat Vidyapith and the Mehdi Nawaz Jung Hall. The Sabarmati Riverfront, touted as a monumental reclamation of public space, does not allow for public assembly and dissent. 

Despite this, we assert that there are still voices in Gujarat calling for change, voices that some have tried their best to quell, but that refuse to remain silent. Among civil society leaders, there is a sense of fear, uncertainty and helplessness. And yet, and still, there is dissent. 

The Indian state has decided that the value of land is greater than that of human life. We cannot let this stand. We the undersigned stand in solidarity with Kashmiris, and demand that Kashmiri voices be heard. 

Now, more than ever, is the time to remember those who fought for our freedom, B.R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, among so many others. These freedom fighters had a dream for this country, a pluralist democracy composed of states and peoples who willingly came together to preserve the idea of India. This dream of a free state did not and could not have included shutting an entire people out of the democratic process and imprisoning them. 

It is imperative today that we remember their vision of a state in which justice, equality and peace could reach everyone, and in their memory, fight for freedom once more, from those who wish to usurp the very idea of what this country stands for. 

We urge the Indian government to lift the communication and media blockade, restoring fundamental human rights to freedom of movement, assembly and information.

We call for the release of all political prisoners - leaders and young people - who have been detained without trial since August 5.

We call for the demilitarisation of Kashmir, and the initiation of a meaningful conversation with the Kashmiri people on the future of the state. 


In Gujarat

Dev Desai, Social Activist, Anhad

Maansi Shah, Teacher, CEPT University

Sharik Laliwala, Researcher

Maya Ratnam, Teacher, Ahmedabad University

Akshaya Vijayalakshmi, IIM Ahmedabad

Navdeep Mathur, Teacher, IIM Ahmedabad

Inayat Singh Kakar, Researcher, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan

Ishu Gupta, Researcher, IIM Ahmedabad

Hiren Gandhi, Activist, Samvedan Samsritik Manch

Aziz Minat, Concerned Citizen

Shraddha Kulhari, Concerned Citizen

Fr. Cedric Prakash, Activist

Rakesh Basant, Concerned Citizen

Dhaval M Chauhan, PhD Student, Gujarat University

Parth Trivedi, Activist

Poornima Varma, Academician

Prasad Chacko, Social Worker

Swati Goswami, Writer, Artists Unite Ahmedabad

Rachana Mudraboyina, Transgender Rights Activist

Anilbhai, Concerned Citizen

Aparajith Ramnath, Academic

Shyam Shah, Architect

Jignesh Sengal, Banker 

Nitish, Student, SFI

Sonia Mishra, Concerned Citizen

Bhargav Oza, Researcher

Kavan Gediya, Student

Dixit Kumar Parmar, Activist, RDAM

Ikram Beg Mirza, President, Welfare Party of India, Gujarat

Navdeep Mathur, Teacher, IIM Ahmedabad

Mohammed Marfatiya, Concerned Citizen

Maneksha Varghese, Concerned Citizen

Suahila, Concerned Citizen

Sejal Dand, Activist

Atish Indrekar Chhara, Theatre Activist, Budhan Theatre

Ghanshyam Patel, Concerned Citizen

Rathore Rameezkhan, Teacher, Azad Foundation

Krishnakant, Volunteer, NAPM

Prashant Patel, Photojournalist, Amar Photography

Ketan Satish Deshmukh, Student, IIM Ahmedabad

Svati Shah, Concerned Citizen

Nirjhari Sinha, Activist, Jan Sangharsh Manch

Ghanshyam Shah, Retired Professor, JNU

Abbas Ghulam Mehdi, Teacher

Persis Ginwalla, Concerned Citizen

Firoz Rangrez, Politician

Daud N. Kitharia, Activist, Action for Juhapura Infrastructure Movement (AJIM)

Rohit Prajapati, Activist

Nimmi Chauhan, Independent Development Communications Practitioner

Aruna, Concerned Citizen

Neha Shah, Teacher

Danish Qureshi, Legal Activist, Democratic Minority Forum

Varadharajan Ramakrishnan, Software Entrepreneur

Rachana Varadharajan, Pharma Industry - Operations

Balendra Vaghela, Concerned Citizen

Huma Nizami, Teacher

Riaz Motiwala, Concerned Citizen

Divya R., Concerned Citizen

Najir Patel, Activist, Ahmedabad Task Force

Adil, Concerned Citizen

Kadir Shaikh, Concerned Citizen

Ammar, Teacher

Salman Mansuri, Concerned Citizen

Salim Mansuri, Concerned Citizen

Aslam Langha, Social Worker

Tofik Kazi, Android Developer

Naeem Ansari, Service

Murtaza T Madraswala, Versatile Designer

Saiyed Mohsin Saiyedali, Tailor, SDPI / ATF

Saiyed Mohammedyunus, Police Service

Shabana Patel, Activist

Mirza SoyebBeg YashinBeg, Student 

Mohammadfarhaz Shaikh, Student

Ansari Akib Ali Akbar Ali, Student

Javed Gori, Self Employed

Vhora Alfaz, Concerned Citizen

Zakwan Mansuri, Data Scientist

Ashraf Husen Liyakat Husen Shaikh, Student

Gautam Priyadarshi, Student

Ali, Concerned Citizen

Tausifahmed Diwan, Underwriter, Star Health

Isharahmad Khalilullakhan Pathan, Manager

Gulammohiyuddin Muntazimoddin Kazi, Engineer, Tuv Sud South Asia Pvt Ltd

Azhar Saiyed, Architect And Social Worker

Natasha M., Concerned Citizen

Sumaiya, Government Servant

Leepi Agrawal, QA Engineer, Automation Anywhere

Mridul Gupta, Student

Dishant Lodaliya, Concerned Citizen

Nachiketa Desai, Freelance Journalist

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani, Editor, Gujarat Siyasat Newspaper

J.S.Bandukwala, Concerned Citizen

Munawar Hussain, Journalist

Shamshad Pathan, Lawyer, Alp Sankhyak Adhikar Manch

Imran Bhohariya, Social Worker

Sameer Yadav, Academic Associate, Anant National University

Neha Patel, Student 

Bhavesh Jain, Gandhinagar Institute of Technology

Amaani Vaniya, Concerned Citizen

Manav Sumara, Concerned Citizen

Abdul Qayyum, Concerned Citizen

Joseph Mattam, Emeritus Professor

Reetika Khera, IIM Ahmedabad

Payal Ganga, Student

Salim Hafezi, Concerned Citizen

Terrin Manjila, Student

Navnath Baliram Sonwane, Student

Prof Mehboob Desai 

Nikhil Sharma, Teacher

Rajan, Business Owner

Ayush Patel, Student

Sneha Jain, Student

Renu Khanna, Development Professional

Stalin K., Concerned Citizen

Uttam Parmar, Activist 

Vishal Rajput, Student

Sulekha, Student

Rafi Malek, Activist

Anurag Shukla, Doctoral Student, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Farooq Abdulgafar Bawani, Freelancer 

Utpal Anish, Research Scholar, Gujarat Vidyapith

Malek Atik, Student

Akki, Student 

Sameer Yadav, Academic Associate, Anant National University

Simran Mulchandani, Student

Raghavan Rangarajan, Professor

Viral Shankarbhai Konkani, Social Worker, Adivasi Ekta Parishad

Karthik Rao Cavale, Assistant Professor, Ahmedabad University

Manas Kandi, Research Scholar, Central University of Gujarat

Jay Patel, Student

Svati Joshi, Academic, Activist

Hiren Patel, Concerned Citizen

Harsh Kinger, Student, MSU


In India (outside Gujarat)

Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Anhad

Sathya S, Consultant and Activist

Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health Doctor

Jimmy Regina C. Dabhim, Navsarjan, Xavier's Cell for Human Development

Saravanan V, MPhil Scholar, Delhi

K. M. Shrimali, Former Professor of History, Delhi University

Kamayani Swami, Concerned Citizen

CB Choudhary, Activist, Samajwadi Jan Parishad

Anand Teltumbde, Teacher, Goa Institute of Management

Jagmohan Singh, Activist, General Secretary Association For Democratic Rights (Punjab)

Tushar Parmar Marxpriya, Communist Party of India (RP)

Mohd Abuzar , Activist, Anhad

Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health Doctor and Researcher

Dr. Batul Hamid, Principal, Viva College of Law

Manjusha Bhagade, Lawyer

Dr. Swati Lavand, Professor, Sardar Patel College of Engineering

Runu Chakraborty, Activist

Prasad Chacko, Social Worker

Bindu A Karedan, Concerned Citizen

Owais Afzal Khan, Indian National Congress Volunteer

Laboni Singh, Activist

Shanmuga Pillai, Concerned Citizen

Chinmoyee Roy Chowdhury, Concerned Citizen

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Insurance Advisor, Atheist Republic Kolkata Consulate

Arun Prasad Sinha, Activist

Balaji Gurude, Farmer 

Dr. Dev, Shayar, Writer, Teacher

Akash Debnath, Concerned Citizen

Dr. Manchala Gangadhar, Chief Editor, Democratic Teachers' Federation

Amar Nath Parcha, Activist

Ritesh Nath Tiwari, Concerned Citizen

Amitabha Basu, Retired Scientist

Jasvir Singh Arora, Concerned Citizen

Dimple Oberoi Vahali, Concerned Citizen

Atul Mhase, Software Professional

CMRB India, Consultant

Rachana Desai, Homemaker

Harishchandra, Activist, Anhad

Sokat Malik, Social Worker

Saify Saraiya, Life and Wellness Coach, ZVM

Monalisa, Professional

Armaan, Concerned Citizen

Talaha Nandoliya, Civil Engineer

Dr. Shaheen Ansari, Program Coordinator, Arkitect India

Sujata Patel, National Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study

Nazim Shekh, Senior Citizen 

Vimal Bhanot, Retired Professor

Bharat Chitale, Advocate

Amrita, Researcher, Wildlife Institute Of India

Antonio Jose F.X. Colaco, Retired Banker

Teesta Setalvad, CJP

Chitransh Saxena, President, Padbank

D. Parthasarathy, Teacher

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Activist

Jitendra, Student 

Mahesh Kumar, Freelance Journalist

Sudhir Chopra, Retired Joint Director 

Asha D'Souza, Consultant on Development and Labour Rights

Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, JNU

Ranjeet Kindo, Director, Tribal Research and Training Centre

Tapan Bose, Filmmaker, Writer & Human Rights Defender

Dr. Lubna Sarwath, Telangana State General Secretary, Socialist Party(India)

Arun Kumar, Concerned Citizen

Ms. Rahman, Professor

Harshit Mitruka, Concerned Citizen

Hussain A Babat, Compliance Officer, IMS

Ritik Raj, Student, Law College Dehradun

Prakash Louis, Teacher

Ameer, Concerned Citizen

Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, Teacher

Madhu Bhaduri, Retired Ambassador Of India

Kalpana Kannabiran, Concerned Citizen

Tehzeema, Concerned Citizen

Irfan Engineer, Concerned Citizen

Faraz Ahmad, Freelance Journalist

Asha Ahmad, Retired Ophthalmologist

G. Thiraviyam, Concerned Citizen

Subhasis Bandyopadhyay, Faculty, Iiest, Shibpur

Pamela Philipose, Journalist, Public Editor, The Wire

Sannybhai, Activist

R. Govinda, Professor, Council For Social Development

Bianca, Concerned Citizen

Appanasamy, Journalist

Ram Naresh Jha, Retired School Teacher, PUCL

E. Donald Xavier, Director, Green India Foundational Trust

Nidhi, Concerned Citizen

Abhinav Jain, Co-founder, Oye24

P. Kerketta, Activist

Anjali Noronha, Concerned Citizen

George K., Concerned Citizen

Preeti, Development Worker

Sr. Sudha, Social Worker, Arpanam Trust

Samuel Asir Raj S., Professor



Arul Anthony, Australia 

Malik Malik, Data Analyst, United States 

Nikeeta Shah, Student, United States 

Rishi Doshi, Doctor, United States 

Pooja Doshi, Physical Therapist, United States 

Fatima Hassan, Student, United States 

Elle Davidson, Student, United States

Aaron Dickinson, United States

Heena Shah, Physician, United States

Arul Pandian, Australia

Apurva Shah, Physician, United States

Samir Shah, Student, United States

Ghazia Shamim, Student, Canada

Nagarajan V., Student (Studying Abroad), Germany

Saifuddin Mohd, Activist, United States 

Tina, Attorney, United States 

Neel Doshi, Physician, United States 

Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Sr. Research Fellow, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Germany

Zeelan Bahsha, Accountant, UAE

Rimsha Chaudhry, Student, United States

Prof. Ismail Poonawala, Professor Emeritus UCLA, United States

Rao Rampilla, Actor, United States

Stephen Perenara Marr, Maori, Councilor Local Government, New Zealand

Shaukat Ajmeri, Canada

Sarah Kuo, Environmental Scientist, United States

Comments 16

Log in or register to post comments
Hannah B
Oct 16, 2019
Oct 16, 2019

Hello Maansi,
Thank you for sharing this with us!
I hope that you will find support and sisterhood on World Pulse, and that you will continue to update us on the situation in Kashmir and also share more about yourself so that we can get to know you.
Kind regards,

Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Thank you, I certainly will. We are hoping to continue to build a larger movement here in Gujarat.

Jill Langhus
Oct 16, 2019
Oct 16, 2019

Hi Maansi,

Welcome to World Pulse:-) Thanks for showing solidarity for Kashmir. I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you and learning more about you, your passions and goals.

Hope you're well, and having a good week!


Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Thank you! I'm heartened that this received such positive reactions.

Jill Langhus
Oct 18, 2019
Oct 18, 2019

You're very welcome, dear:-)

I hope to hear more about the Gujarat movement!

Hope you have a great weekend!


Anita Shrestha
Oct 16, 2019
Oct 16, 2019

Thank you for sharing

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Hello, Maansi,

Welcome to World Pulse! It's such a joy to know that another voice from India is rising up. Your first post is much appreciated. Thank you for being the voice for the voiceless people in Kashmir.

We have a World Pulse sister here who keeps on writing her poems in anguish as she keeps hoping that the crisis in Kashmir will end.

You might want to connect with her. This is her profile https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/sumera-reshi

Thank you again! I'm looking forward to reading more from you.

Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Dear Maansi,
Welcome to our wonderful platform. I agreed with Karen, your network with Sumera will be amazing. She is a sweet sister.
Congrats on your first post.

Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Thank you both! I will definitely reach out.

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Oct 21, 2019
Oct 21, 2019

You're welcome, dear sister. :)

Sumera Reshi
Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Dear Maansi,

Thank you so much for standing up for Kashmir and Kashmiris. None knows other than us what we are going through, We are the victims of fascism. However, thank you so much. We need saner voices like you.


Oct 17, 2019
Oct 17, 2019

Thank you, Sumera. Each day under this fascist regime is newly devastating, and I cannot imagine what you have all been going through. My heart is with you.

Sumera Reshi
Oct 19, 2019
Oct 19, 2019

Dear Maansi,

I am grateful to you for supporting us. Very few people from India support us and our cause. My people are really suffering and that aches my heart. Can you imagine 75 days of siege and no respite?

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Oct 22, 2019
Oct 22, 2019

Hello Maansi,
Thank you for sharing and you are most welcome to World Pulse. Looking forward to learning more about yourself and your passions and goals.
Have a blessed day.

Alina Chaudry
Nov 02, 2019
Nov 02, 2019

I am from Pakistan and i really appreciate the actions you took and the words you wrote. Women are most effected community in such situations. Wish a peaceful world

Rahmana Karuna
Apr 06, 2020
Apr 06, 2020

Thank You Maansi. heartbreaking.