The US House Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing on South Asia Human Rights unfolded along expect lines. As has become the norm in the United States of America, such hearings are not conducted with the intention of uncovering the truth of matters but are seen as an opportunity for moral grandstanding with an eye on gaining political mileage from them. Amidst all of this, the most disgraceful part of it all was the manner in which alleged Hindus, Aarti Tikoo Singh, Nitisha Kaul and Angana Chatterji, capitulated before the corrupt Democrat party while India was being demonized for its justified actions in Jammu & Kashmir.
The USA wouldn’t tolerate an Islamic state in its territory and yet, the very same expect India to tolerate one in ours. Through all of this, the ‘Hindus’ who participated in this charade only served as a controlled-opposition whose sole objective from the very beginning was to give the preordained conclusion an air of legitimacy.
Aarti Tikoo Singh, Nitisha Kaul and Angana Chatterji, two of whom are Kashmiri Hindus, disgraced their community and their people during the hearing. Ravi Batra, a community leader and chair of the National Advisory Council for South Asian Affairs, displayed the moral and intellectual fortitude that is necessary on such occasions. Despite the presence of Kashmiri Pandits in the hearing, the genocide that the community of Hindus suffered was allowed to be whitewashed without any rebuttal. The entire process was an exercise in consolidating the Radical Islamic voter base of the Democrat party and little more than that.
Shocking statements by Aarti Tikoo at the US House Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing
Aarti Tikoo Singh said, “Although I am one of the persecuted Kashmiris who grew up in destitution as a refugee in my own country, I do not represent my community here today. I am here as a conscientious journalist who believes that the role of a journalist is to be a watchdog of society and a voice for the voiceless and powerless.” What we see here is essentially an abdication of responsibility.
In order to compensate for this abject abdication, Singh takes on completely different mantles of responsibilities upon herself. ‘Watchdog of society’ and ‘voice for the voiceless and powerless’ are hollow words to fill the vacuum of moral integrity that the mainstream suffers from. If a ‘journalist’ does not have the courage to speak truth to power even after receiving an invitation to do so, when can she be ever expected to speak truth to power?
In her opening statement, Tikoo mentioned various victims of terrorism. But she could not bring herself to mention even a single Hindu victim of terrorism in the state, which has been many even apart from the Kashmir Pandit genocide. So much for being a ‘voice for the voiceless’, it was all about moral grandstanding from the very beginning. Empty words.
There were numerous other extremely problematic statements that Tikoo made which shows that she was trying too hard to appear neutral. In her written statement to the House for the record, she said, “What the foot-soldiers of the Pakistani military and ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) have done to ordinary Kashmiri Muslims in the last 30 years, pales in comparison to the human rights violations committed by the Indian state.
Aarti Tikoo has issued a clarification on this statement in her written statements. She said the last line of the paragraph was a ‘typo’. Following is the updated statement which she has submitted a correction. However, one wonders how the statement is better since she is still talking about ‘Indian state atrocities’.
“While they are rightly highlighting the instances of violations committed by the Indian security, the story is often presented without context and historical understanding and it also carries a lot of certitude and self-righteousness of a narrative that helps the perpetrators and not the human rights abuse in Kashmir,” she added.
After losing the battle in the hearing, Tikoo found the courage again to indulge in moral grandstanding on Twitter. She claimed that she was silenced for 30 years by ‘Hindu India’, whatever is that supposed to mean. She did say in the tweet that ‘Pakistani Islamists’ drove her and her community out of Kashmir in 1990. This is a complete and utter lie.
Pakistani Islamists drove me & my community (Kashmiri Hindus) out of Kashmir in 1990, Hindu India denied me voice for 30 years & Islamist @IlhanMN gagged me today under the chairmanship of Democrat Congressman @BradSherman. Is this democracy? No, it’s IslamoCapitalism talking.
— Aarti Tikoo Singh (@AartiTikoo) October 22, 2019
There was substantial anger even from the Kashmiri Hindu community over Tikoo’s remarks.
Hindu India did not deny me anything because I am the Hindu India that was driven out of Kashmir. https://t.co/HblvYNpcSs
— Ashish (@Infinitchy) October 23, 2019
“I will speak here nothing but the complete truth,” Tikoo said at the hearing. Well, she did not speak the complete truth at the hearing and on Twitter, she lied outright. It was not ‘Pakistani Islamists’ who committed the Kashmiri Pandit genocide, it was the Kashmiri Muslim community who did that. Again, so much for being the ‘watchdog of society’.
When attacked by Islamist Ilhan Omar, who allegedly married her own brother and committed adultery with her married campaign aide on the side, Tikoo in her attempt to prove her neutrality claimed that she was spoken out against ‘beef lynchings’ in India. Expecting her to provide proper context to the lynchings which occur against the backdrop of rampant cattle smuggling would have been too much given how she conducted herself in the hearing. Not a word was mentioned about cattle owners being killed, police personnel being killed by smugglers, or about the motivated ‘hate crime trackers’ that have now been pulled down after creating an international narrative based on dubious data. Beleaguered farmers, quite clearly, do to come under Tikoo’s definition of ‘voiceless and powerless’.
Tikoo didn’t stop there to prove her neutrality. She also said, “In confronting the Pakistan sponsored militancy, the Indian army and state police have also committed grave human rights abuses.” Unfortunately for her, she didn’t realize it didn’t matter how much concessions she made, she was always going to be slandered by the Democrats for it. She did slam the Pakistani establishment severely but she went the extra mile to confirm the prejudice of the Democrat establishment on numerous issues. Interestingly enough, Tikoo’s written submission did include the ethnic cleansing of Hindus in the valley, however, she seems to have lost her moral fortitude when it came to the actual hearing.
Nitisha Kaul at the US House Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing
If Tikoo was bad, the others were even worse. Nitasha Kaul, Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, claimed that there was a “humanitarian crisis” in Kashmir. She blamed the Indian state for the “mass migration” of Kashmiri Pandits, thereby, whitewashing the genocide by believers of Radical Islam.
“Indian state which has claimed sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir singularly failed to protect the minorities while suppressing the majority,” she said. “The denial of democratic rights in Indian-Administered Kashmir affects not only the residents but also those living outside in India and overseas,” she added.
In her written submission, Kaul stated, “Elections in Indian Administered Kashmir are deeply divisive with many people boycotting it since electoral participation is represented as the consent of Kashmiris to being ruled by India and thus making redundant the promise of the plebiscite that India and Pakistan made through United Nations Resolutions of 1947 and 1948. However, some Kashmiris do participate in elections since they believed in working within the Indian system. Even those pro-India leaders are now under indefinite arrest. This illustrates that the Indian government is fully aware of the erasure of autonomous statehood as being deeply unpopular and thus its action lack democratic consent. To repeat, an imposition of a landmark change in governance while keeping the entire population locked is a sign of authoritarianism and not democracy.”
Apart from referring to Jammu & Kashmir as Indian Administered Kashmir, Kaul also accused India of acting like a ‘colonial power’. She went further and said, “BJP is avowedly Hindu nationalist and its leaders and activists have repeated their resolve to convert India into a Hindu nation where Hindu supremacism will reign. While the Indian government pays respect to Mahatma Gandhi when in the West, the ruling party has senior politicians who celebrate the murder of Gandhi and valorise the assassin, Nathuram Godse.”
Of course, the slander didn’t stop there. It continued, “Muslim and Christian minorities are seen as enemies and obstacles in the agenda. Various rights organisations, scholars and news commentators have highlighted the spike in everyday discriminations, prejudices and violence that religious minorities have to endure. The primary focus is on demonising and marginalising the largest religious minority – Muslims. Several Muslims have been lynched and instead of calling for the punishing of the culprits, members of the ruling party have justified the acts and sometimes valorised the culprits.” While the BJP and RSS were slandered, as expected, Kaul totally whitewashed the Kashmiri Pandit genocide.
Angana Chatterji at US House Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing
Angana Chatterji, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, went a step further and blamed Hindu majoritarianism for it. The BJP and the RSS’ “Hindu majoritarianism — the cultural nationalism and political assertion of the Hindu majority — sanctifies India as intrinsically Hindu and marks the non-Hindu as its adversary,” Chatterji claimed.
The farce of the hearing and the rampant Islamist agenda
All in all, the US House Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing was an utter disgrace and an exercise in genocide denial and moral grandstanding. People who have been following American politics for some time wouldn’t be surprised by the turn of events at all. The hearing wasn’t a quest for truth, it didn’t even pretend to have an air of objectivity to itself. The objective was simple, to consolidate the Democrat party’s Radical Islamic voter base and slander the Indian state.
Even Kashmiri Hindus did not accurately portray the situation on the ground. When the people whose community suffered most gravely and who personally suffered as a consequence either abdicated their responsibility to bring out the truth or actively participated in the whitewashing of the genocide, there’s hardly any legitimate response to that. We could only perhaps blame it on the susceptibility of such people to western indoctrination and rigid forms of extricating ideological conformism.
What India is fighting in Kashmir is Radical Islamic Terrorism, something US President Donald Trump called out during his address at the Howdy Modi event in Houston. The most hilarious aspect of it all is the fact that the hearing was conducted by the politicians of a country that is guilty of committing a great many human rights violations.
The US does not have a moral authority to pontificate on matters of Human Rights violations. And yet, not a single person had the courage to mention that. India did not kill a million people in the Middle East, or anywhere for that matter. India did not fund Radical Islamic terrorists as tools in regime change wars, the USA did. India is not engaging in a witch-hunt to escalate tensions with a major nuclear power for partisan benefits (the Russian collusion delusion), the US establishment is.
We could go on and on about the numerous human rights violations committed by the USA but that’s beside the point. The so-called ‘watchdogs of society’ who engage themselves in a charade do not have the courage to speak to truth either. Before attaching such lofty ideals to a profession, perhaps people should first prove themselves worthy of it through their actions.
What happened in the House Committee hearing was genocide denial and ‘intellectuals’ and the Democrat establishment engaged in it and yet, that doesn’t seem to cause any concern for the individuals involved. Because it is natural, the conclusion was predecided and the objective was obvious. It is indeed ironical that a hearing on human rights turned out to be an elaborate exercise in genocide denial.
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.