Reprinted from counterpunch.org
A day before leaving Srinagar, in the 'Indian administered Kashmir', my comrades asked me to address a small gathering of local as well as progressive visiting Indian intellectuals. They mainly wanted to hear about the state of the resistance against Western imperialism. And Western imperialism is what India is now trying to join so eagerly and shamelessly.
It was dark outside, literally and metaphorically. Kashmir has been bleeding horrifically. At least 80,000 people have died, most of them from the terror spread by the fascist Indian state. The victims have been mainly civilians. At least 8,000 people have been "disappeared". There have been countless, predominantly unreported, rapes and cases of beastly, unimaginable torture. Much of it has happened in just the last two decades.
I am going to write about this, soon, next week. But before I do, let me tell this story.
During that dark night, several men and women were gathered in a cramped room, asking me one simple and essential question: "Could the brutality of the Empire be prevented, and if not prevented, could it be stopped?"
I replied that "Yes!" And "Yes!" again.
Because no matter how dark the night appears to be, no matter how hopeless the struggles seems to be, the world had changed in the last several years; and it had changed profoundly.
When I stood in the middle of the street on 26th January 2015, just with my camera, right between stone-throwing youth and heavily armed Indian security forces, I was the only person willing to report the event. Later a Kashmiri human rights activist explained to me: "Foreigners don't dare to do this, local reporters would be, as always, beaten up by the Indian security forces, and if Indians were to dare and come, they would encounter the wrath of those indignant stone-throwing youth."
And so I was alone there.
But was I really?
Behind me -- not visibly behind -- but psychologically not too far away, stood a comrade who has been working for a huge international press agency. He couldn't be here with me, but before I went, he offered his support, contacts, and expertise. Without his help and backing, my work would be next to impossible, or at least much more dangerous than it already was.
The struggle for justice, for true freedom, and above all, for the survival of humanity, is becoming increasingly broad, joined by countries located on all the continents and by individuals from all walks of life.
Two decades ago we lived in a totally different world. The lackeys of the West, with Boris Yeltsin leading the pack, boozed the Soviet Union out. Eastern Europe was mostly led by the children of former elites, such as Vaclav Havel. China was still very far from reversing its moderately toxic pro-market 'reforms' introduced by Deng Xiaoping. And Latin America: it was in total disarray, either engaged in civil wars and conflicts, recovering from monstrous pro-Western dictatorships, or run by the market-fundamentalists, or all the above. In Africa and in the Middle East, right-wing dictatorships were consolidating their power, and in many Asian nations, the elites were busy re-grabbing power, applauded by their own private press, as well as by the Western mainstream media.