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Why Inviting Shashi Throor To Speak At Bradford Literature Festival Is a Terrible Idea

Why Inviting Shashi Throor To Speak At Bradford Literature Festival Is a Terrible Idea

Sunday 3rd June 2018

On 30 June 2018, The Indian member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor is to speak at the Bradford Literature Festival about his new book "Why I am a Hindu."

Shashi Tharoor also spoke at the Literature Festival in 2017 on "what the British did to India." The British Raj had a devastating economical, political and social effect on the country which should always be amplified and talked about. Tharoor has previously called for an apology from the British on the crimes of the British empire. However, the decision to invite Tharoor to speak on this matter was a terrible one for a number of reasons.

Tharoor has previously served as the External affairs Minister in India when his party was in power.

Indian occupied Kashmir remains as one of the most militarised place in the world. Human rights organisation, Amnesty International has accused Indian forces in Kashmir of rape, torture, disappearances and brutal killings of civilians including children. The Indian government itself has admitted that over 14,000 civilians have so far been killed in Kashmir, though human rights groups estimate this figure to be much higher.

Whilst Tharoor was a Minister, these atrocities continued. Thousands of women have been raped and widowed yet there is an Act in place since 1990 which grants virtual immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for alleged human rights violations. What has Tharoor done to give justice to these Kashmiris?

Journalist Mehdi Hasan has previously questioned on the matter to which Tharoor simply claimed that tackling these human rights violations were not his area of responsibility.

The event in June will be held in Bradford, the city with one of the largest population of people of Kashmiri heritage in the United Kingdom. Tharoor's visit will certainly not be welcomed in the city with his track record of whitewashing crimes of the Indian forces in Indian occupied Kashmir. If and when Kashmir does become an independent state, it will be the likes of Shashi Tharoor apologising for the rapes, brutal killings and mass graves in Jammu and Kashmir.

The organisers of the event have not responded to our request for comment on the decision to invite Shashi Tharoor.