Dr. Gregory Stanton, founder of Genocide Watch, addressed an audience of Congressional and Government officials at a briefing titled Ground Reports on Kashmir and NRC in Washington D.C on December 12 where he said, “Preparation for a genocide is definitely under way in India.” He said that persecution of Muslims in Assam and Kashmir “is the stage just before genocide,” adding, “The next stage is extermination — that’s what we call a genocide.”
Dr. Stanton created the world-famous “Ten Stages of Genocide” as a presentation to the U.S. Department of State when he worked there in 1996. According to Dr. Stanton, the ten stages of genocide are as follows:
The first stage was “classification” of “us versus them”.
The second stage, “symbolization”, named the victims as “foreigner”.
The third stage, “discrimination”, “classified [the victims] out of the group accepted for citizenship” so that they had no “human rights or civil rights of citizens” and were “discriminated against legally”.
The fourth stage, dehumanization, “is when the genocidal spiral begins to go downwards. You classify the others as somehow worse than you. You give them names like ‘terrorists’, or even names of animals, start referring to them as a cancer in the body politic, you talk about them as a disease that must be somehow dealt with.”
The fifth stage was creating an “organization” to commit the genocide: the role played by the “Indian army in Kashmir and the census takers in Assam”.
The sixth stage was “polarization”, which is achieved by propaganda.
The seventh stage was “preparation”
The eighth “persecution”, where Assam and Kashmir currently were.
The ninth stage is “extermination” and;
The tenth stage is “denial”.
Dr. Stanton also drafted UN Security Council resolutions that created the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda and the Burundi Commission of Inquiry, two places where genocides had occurred. A former President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, his research on genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda, and of the Rohingyas, is recognized worldwide.
CJP secretary and Human Rights Defender Teesta Setalvad also addressed the audience via video conferencing and said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was “being used to subvert human rights in Assam. There are laid down guidelines and standard operating procedures to carry out this exercise but none of it is being followed. We have to ask if this exercise is being carried out within the ambit of the constitution.”
Setalvad also criticised the Citizenship Amendment Act saying it would “bring untold suffering to people across the country. It will damage, fundamentally and irreparably, the nature of the Indian republic. This is why they, and all citizens of conscience, demand that the government not betray the constitution.”
Also participating in the Briefing via video link, Dr. Angana Chatterji, a scholar with UC Berkeley, slammed the crackdown in Kashmir since the Indian government revoked the Constitutionally mandated special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5. She shared that reports have documented the “inhumane treatment and torture of children, the elderly, and women; illegal detentions, including mass detentions; the denial of the basic needs of life, the curtailment of freedom of speech and movement, the falsification of social facts and their amplification by the state, and the closure of sacred places,” she said. “Cries of pain” of a torture victim were broadcast via a mosque’s speaker system. “State forces have raided homes, destroyed property and mixed food with kerosene,” said Dr. Chatterji.
Raqib Hameed Naik, a journalist from Jammu and Kashmir said the ongoing lock-down in Kashmir was “one of the worst sieges in the last decade… Officially there are no restrictions, but unofficially the government has imposed an undeclared emergency.” Naik also disputed the Indian government’s claim that Indian troops had not killed any Kashmiris since August 5 when the state’s special status was withdrawn.
“Let me put it on record that, so far, we have been able to document five killings by security forces. The number could be higher, but due to communication blockade and severe restrictions on the movement of the press, we have not been able to get exact figures from the different parts of the valley.” Naik said he had met with “many minors” who were imprisoned “without charges”.
The Congressional briefing was organized by three U.S.-based civil society organizations, namely, the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Emgage Action, and Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR).