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Remember the wronged

Since the entire world’s focus has turned to survival it is easy to forget the plight of communities living in abuse and occupation. They needed more help and aid than the world could provide even in what seem now like the good times. Now, not only has much of the world completely forgotten about them but their oppressors have found yet more freedom to have their way with them. That is why Indian forces have increased arbitrary arrests, torture and even killing of Kashmiri youth. And poor Palestinians continue to watch helplessly as Israel eats up yet more land in the West Bank. What is more, the oppressors in both cases have unlimited sanction from what is called the free world to do as they please. One has the world’s largest free market to offer. The other has unlimited influence in the world’s highest corridors of power.
Much of what is happening now is going largely unnoticed also because the people under occupation are not able to mobilise as before, even in smaller packs that used to defy curfews and armed patrols. The reason is the spread of the virus. Already these people live in appalling conditions. Occupied Kashmir has been in complete lockdown since long before the rest of the world got to experience even a hint of its agony. And Gaza is just a giant refugee camp. Medical facilities for people in both places have never been much to write home about. Now, with the chaos of the pandemic, things are understandably much worse. And the worst thing people can do now is go out and gather in large numbers, no matter how sacred the cause, because of the risk of bringing the virus to their homes. That way they would just deliver the kiss of death to their own cause.
It is up to the rest of the world to do something about such atrocities. What good are institutions like the United Nations when illegal occupations are endorsed by the world’s mightiest and wealthiest nations? It cannot be denied that much about the world will change when it comes out of the crisis caused by the pandemic. A lot of it will be about financial and structural changes as ravaged economies will attempt to come back to life. Hopefully world leaders will also realise the need for greater political and diplomatic change. As they look for ways to ensure their own survival, they should also spare a thought for all the wronged and occupied people of the world, and unite to free them once and for all.



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