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An appeal by citizens of West Bengal against warlike situation between India and Pakistan

17 October 2016

print version of this article print version - 17 October 2016


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 in India 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.

1. Ranabir Samaddar, Vice-President, Pakistan India 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, Jadavpur University
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 Jadavpur University & Former Vice-Chancellor of
Vidyasagar University
21. Amiya Bagchi, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata and
Adjunct Professor, Monash University
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, Jadavpur University
35. Nilanjana Gupta, Professor, Jadavpur University
36. Mallarika Sinha Roy, Asst. Professor, JNU
37. Baidik Bhattacharya, Asst. Professor, University of Delhi
38. Samita Sen, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
39. Soma Roy Karmakar
40. Trina Banerjee, Asst Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
41. Samantak Das, Professor, Jadavpur University
42. Parthasarathi Bhaumik, Asst.Professor, Jadavpur University
43. Abhijit Roy, Professor, Jadavpur University
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, National University of Juridical Sciences and Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh
55. Shampa Sengupta, Disability & Gender Rights Activist, Kolkat
56. Sutanuka Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Jadavpur University.
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, Jadavpur University
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, Jadavpur University
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, Vidyasagar College & 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