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Canadian legislator honoured for standing up for Kashmir and minorities in India

Ravi Kahlon has written to the United Nations on behalf of his constituents, raising concerns about the plight of their relatives in Kashmir asking for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region

Sabrangindia 28 Aug 2020

Image Courtesy:dailyhive.com

The members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) presented medal of courage to North Delta MLA at his constituency office on Thursday, August 27 for raising the issue of Kashmir with United Nations and speaking out for justice to the victims of Sikh Genocide. 

Ravi Kahlon, who is known for his strong advocacy for human rights and social justice, has written to the United Nations on behalf of his constituents, who had raised concerns about the plight of their relatives in Kashmir asking for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region.   

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government unilaterally scrapped special rights given to the state of Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, arresting local leaders on the pretext of maintaining public safety.    

The right wing Hindutva nationalist BJP government claims that the act was necessary to stop terrorism in the only Muslim-majority state of India.   

Since then, Kashmir has been turned into an open jail, communication channels such as the internet have been shut (though partially restored now), and leaders fighting for freedom and autonomy have been detained indefinitely. These include political figures and activists who have been advocating for peaceful resolution of the problem of Kashmir, where people have been struggling for the right to self-determination.   

Kahlon has directly written to the office of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council Branch, for the second time after October 2019. He hasn’t heard back from them yet, and reminded the UN High Commissioner about the concerns raised by his constituents.   

Kahlon shot off his first letter to the UN after meeting with a delegation of the people of Kashmiri origin, who were having difficulty in connecting with their relatives back home, and remain deeply concerned about human rights abuses under a highly militarized zone.   

In 2017, Kahlon had read out a statement in the British Columbia (BC) legislature asking for justice to the victims of Sikh Genocide. Thousands of Sikhs were murdered all over India during the first week of November, 1984 in a state sponsored massacre following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.    

He is also vocal about systemic racism in Canada, and recently concluded his BC-wide tour to learn about the first hand experiences of the people of colour with bigotry and prejudices. He was instrumental behind the restoration of the BC Human Rights Commission, which was disbanded by the previous Liberal government.   

The IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh presented Kahlon with the medal. Among those who joined him on the occasion were prominent Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana, besides other IAPI members Tejinder Sharma, Sandeep Modgil and Gurpreet Singh. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, everyone, including Kahlon, wore masks during the ceremony. 

 

Related:

Rally in Canada in support of a Sikh advocate who organized langar for Delhi CAA protesters
Free Safoora: Indians hold car rally in Canada in solidarity with student activist

Canadian legislator honoured for standing up for Kashmir and minorities in India

Ravi Kahlon has written to the United Nations on behalf of his constituents, raising concerns about the plight of their relatives in Kashmir asking for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region

Image Courtesy:dailyhive.com

The members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) presented medal of courage to North Delta MLA at his constituency office on Thursday, August 27 for raising the issue of Kashmir with United Nations and speaking out for justice to the victims of Sikh Genocide. 

Ravi Kahlon, who is known for his strong advocacy for human rights and social justice, has written to the United Nations on behalf of his constituents, who had raised concerns about the plight of their relatives in Kashmir asking for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region.   

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government unilaterally scrapped special rights given to the state of Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, arresting local leaders on the pretext of maintaining public safety.    

The right wing Hindutva nationalist BJP government claims that the act was necessary to stop terrorism in the only Muslim-majority state of India.   

Since then, Kashmir has been turned into an open jail, communication channels such as the internet have been shut (though partially restored now), and leaders fighting for freedom and autonomy have been detained indefinitely. These include political figures and activists who have been advocating for peaceful resolution of the problem of Kashmir, where people have been struggling for the right to self-determination.   

Kahlon has directly written to the office of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council Branch, for the second time after October 2019. He hasn’t heard back from them yet, and reminded the UN High Commissioner about the concerns raised by his constituents.   

Kahlon shot off his first letter to the UN after meeting with a delegation of the people of Kashmiri origin, who were having difficulty in connecting with their relatives back home, and remain deeply concerned about human rights abuses under a highly militarized zone.   

In 2017, Kahlon had read out a statement in the British Columbia (BC) legislature asking for justice to the victims of Sikh Genocide. Thousands of Sikhs were murdered all over India during the first week of November, 1984 in a state sponsored massacre following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.    

He is also vocal about systemic racism in Canada, and recently concluded his BC-wide tour to learn about the first hand experiences of the people of colour with bigotry and prejudices. He was instrumental behind the restoration of the BC Human Rights Commission, which was disbanded by the previous Liberal government.   

The IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh presented Kahlon with the medal. Among those who joined him on the occasion were prominent Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana, besides other IAPI members Tejinder Sharma, Sandeep Modgil and Gurpreet Singh. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, everyone, including Kahlon, wore masks during the ceremony. 

 

Related:

Rally in Canada in support of a Sikh advocate who organized langar for Delhi CAA protesters
Free Safoora: Indians hold car rally in Canada in solidarity with student activist

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