Protests continue in Kashmir following the July 8 killing of Burhan Wani, a leading figure of Hizbul Mujahideen, by Indian security forces. The Indian government has predictably responded to demonstrators with violent crackdown. It is estimated that at least 45 people have been killed and more than 2000 injured thus far. In Outlook, Arundhati Roy writes on the larger stakes of the insurgency.
The people of Kashmir have made it clear once again, as they have done year upon year, decade upon decade, grave upon grave, that what they want is azadi ["freedom" or self-determination
]. (The “people”, by the way, does not mean those who win elections conducted in the rifle sights of the army. It does not mean leaders who have to hide in their homes and not venture out in times like these.)
In a recent Guardian interview with Stuart Jeffries, Tariq Ali despairs of Westminster and the ‘extreme centre’ that dominates politics today. His solution? It’s not to trust Ed Miliband – it’s to follow the principles laid out by his father.
‘You can’t just wait for something to happen. You have to do something’ … Tariq Ali. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian.
Tariq Ali is recalling a party for the late Tony Benn on the House of Commons terrace shortly after Labour’s 1997 election victory. “Edward Miliband, as he was known then, came up to me, eyes shining, very excited, asking: ‘Tariq, what would you do if you had just won?’ I said: ‘The first thing I would do is to renationalise the railways. Between 70 and 80% of the people want that, it would be very popular.’ And he rolled his eyes in despair at me.”