WHO WE ARE
Stand With Kashmir (SWK) is a Kashmiri diaspora-driven independent, transnational, grassroots movement committed to standing in solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh (henceforth referred to as “occupied Kashmir” or “Kashmir”) in ending the Indian occupation of their homeland and supporting the right to self-determination of the pre-partition state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Stand with Kashmir was founded in February 2019 by a small group of diaspora young professionals and students from occupied Kashmir, mostly based in the US. We felt that the dominant discourse on Kashmir in the media, policy and educational spaces, as well as the international community overlooked Kashmiri voices and aspirations. A few days before August 5th, 2019, when India initiated its project of settler-colonialism in Kashmir, SWK began the #redforkashmir and #standwithkashmir campaign. This precipitated the worldwide grassroots solidarity movement for Kashmir, especially in light of the restrictions on communication that India imposed on Kashmir. This included organizing multiple protests around the world, conducting political advocacy with elected officials, and hosting educational events. Since then, our work has moved into other arenas, through a series of targeted campaigns, all directed towards raising awareness of India's occupation in Kashmir; India’s ongoing policy of incremental genocide and its burgeoning settler-colonial project; and the resilience of the Kashmiri people and their struggle for justice, freedom, and liberation. Although we are steered by the Kashmiri diaspora, our volunteers and supporters are of diverse national, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.
Our mission is to advocate for an end to the Indian occupation, and the right to self-determination for the people of the disputed region of Jammu & Kashmir. While we do not advocate one particular solution for the future of the region, we strongly support a just and sustained process in which the people can ultimately decide their future through an internationally mediated referendum.
Our decentralized network of volunteers, supporters, and allies spans major cities across the world. We intend for all SWK volunteers and collaborating groups to align with our mission.
SWK serves as a centralized hub for educational resources and multimedia, action toolkits, and event and campaign organizing. We motivate and empower regional groups, allied organizations, journalists, academics, lawyers, artists, and activists to act by providing updated information, content, access to experts and scholars, and volunteer support to drive strategic mobilization efforts.
Our work falls under the following three objectives:
We want the narrative on Kashmir in the international community to reflect the actual historical realities and just aspirations of the people of Kashmir.
We want to raise awareness about occupied Kashmir across multiple social and political advocacy spaces and platforms.
We want to build alliances and solidarity with other movements for social justice and liberation through grassroots mobilization.
Our core team of volunteers is always seeking ways to amplify voices from occupied Kashmir given the immense repression of civil, social and political rights by the Indian government.
Understanding our Positionality: We believe we are in a privileged position as a diaspora to raise awareness for Kashmir internationally, and especially in the US. We do not see ourselves as "leaders" of a movement or a replacement for the resistance happening in Kashmir. We hope, to the best of our ability, to continue to be informed by the brave work of Kashmiris on the ground. We believe it is important to center their voices and aspirations. Also, our constant work is towards supplementing the gaps in information caused by the Indian government’s relentless repression of the freedom of expression. Our hope is to collaborate and work with other groups and individuals who share our mission in creating pathways for advocacy of the right to self-determination.
Intersectionality: As a movement that is seeking justice and freedom, we recognize that our struggle is inherently connected with the struggles of all oppressed and indigenous communities. The current international order must be transformed in order to respect the dignity and self-determination of all peoples. Therefore, our work recognizes the importance and the power of our collective mobilizations for racial, gender, indigenous, caste, class, disability and environmental justice and against injustice and oppression.
Decentralization: Any advocacy movement is led by the power of people. It's impossible for an individual or a small group of individuals to meet the goals of a movement or organization. Our work is driven both by a core team of volunteers spanning multiple work streams, but also dozens of regional and campus chapters. This work is decentralized so that each region/community is able to tailor our advocacy to their respective contexts, while getting support from our core team. Our core team maintains discretion in order to avoid leadership models that breed unproductive rankings or a pecking order, and to retain a degree of protection from Indian state’s repressive policies towards advocates both inside and outside the region. Our fundamental belief is that the cause is bigger than individual persons.
We believe in building an awareness and advocacy movement, not simply an organization. We aspire to build a movement that makes all those who are vested in Kashmir's struggle for self-determination do their part. To avoid confusion, and given our decentralized model, all material or initiatives that we ourselves organize or endorse will include our logo on it. Given that the #standwithkashmir hashtag and subsequent movement has gone beyond our group, events or actions that do not explicitly state our endorsement or include our logo are not directly affiliated with us.
Pluralism: We are committed to building a just movement that opposes any form of supremacism, racism, sexism, classism, casteism, religious persecution or other oppression. We also aspire for a just, peaceful, and inclusive future for Kashmir in which all of its inhabitants are able to live with dignity. We reaffirm the inalienable right of the Kashmiris to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted since October 1947, at the beginning of the conflict. We stand for Kashmir as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious place. We are committed to envisioning Kashmir as a place that derives strength from its religious and ethnic plurality, both historically, today, and in the future.
Our current teams can be contacted using the following email addresses:
Public Outreach and Coalition Building: