Over 50 people, Montrealers of Indian origin along with friends and supporters gathered at Norman Bethune Square to mark this 73rd anniversary of India’s Independence in the darkest days of the country since 1947.


With the slogan “Stand with the Indian People! Stand With Kashmir!” many individuals took up the megaphone to share words of solidarity, to read messages from friends in Kashmir, to read sections of the Indian constitution — Art 15 on equality for all; from the now abrogated Art 370 on status of Kashmir, a list of all those attacked and lynched in the name of cow vigilantism. Those, like journalist Gauri Lankesh, killed because of their criticism of Hindutva were remembered. Freedom for those imprisoned because of their unswerving dedication to serving the oppressed were remembered and their freedom demanded.


Statements on Kashmir by India Civil Watch and Pugwash International were read. Solidarity messages from the International Women’s Alliance and the International League of Peoples’ Struggles were read.


Indian flags, posters and placards drew attention to the message of support for a pluralist, democratic and free India. Passersby stood and listened and many pledged their support for what was being said.”


A few days later at the India Day parade and festivities a contingent on behalf of India Civil Watch, raised attention to the dangers of Hindutva ideologies, brazen defiance of the Indian Constitution over Kashmir, gentrification in Parc-ex (the local Montreal neighbourhood of the parade and festivities and home to a large population of South Asian and others), holding (especially leftist) parties in Québec accountable to the interests of social justice when they make public speeches to immigrant communities, that this cannot be just another diversity photo-op!


“Stand With the Indian People!” “Stand With Kashmir!”

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