LONDON - Leading Kashmiri and Sikh Diaspora organisations on Wednesday joined hands to once again call for freedom for their people and the dismantling of Indian rule over their historic homelands. On Indias Republic Day, their protest outside the Indian High Commission in London gives India a sharp reminder of the fragility of a State that relies entirely on military force to control territories which it can never hope to retain by peaceful and democratic means. Events in Punjab and Held Kashmir on Wednesday will only serve to highlight the fundamental flaws in Indian hegemony over those territories. Hindu fundamentalists are converging on the region to belligerently raise the Indian flag where it is not wanted, creating tension and hoping to trigger violence. They will be met by Khalistani and Kashmiri freedom campaigners who have bravely defied decades of Indian oppression, which has directly resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, shattered economies and the misery of unending conflict. These legitimate movements, justified in international law under the right to self-determination, have been stifled only by the illegal use of force. Whilst genocide by Indian security forces in this context is a matter of record, the role of non-State actors should also be recognised. In the recent month emerged the confession by a Hindu radical that his group, which included Army personnel, were behind deadly bombings killing hundreds in India in 2007 and 2008 many innocent Muslims have been tortured and still remain in custody on suspicion of involvement but the truth has now emerged. Likewise in March 2000, Hindu militants (according to the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) massacred 34 Sikhs in Chattisingpura to defame Kashmiris but the truth eventually emerged. Massacres of thousands of Sikhs in November 1984, Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and Christians in more recent times have all been carried out by mobs acting under the guidance and direction of government officials who then set up endless inquiries with no outcomes. These shoddy attempts to hide the reality behind the Indian State will not fool the international community which must intervene before the region descends in to an abyss, with obvious dangers for global security. Indias approach to Held Kashmir, a disputed territory which the UN has directed be resolved by means of a plebiscite, remains as unprincipled as it is unconvincing. Appointing interlocutors to report back on media-friendly visits to the region is not a serious position and has been rightly ridiculed. Kashmiris must be engaged with as equal partners and allowed to exercise their national rights in a free and fair manner. In addition, Indias military stranglehold on the region must be withdrawn. The recent referendum exercise in South Sudan, backed by all major powers as well as the UN, provides a clear modern example of conflict resolution by democratic mandate. Sikhs also commemorate the 25th anniversary of the historic decision taken by their national decision making body, the Sarbat Khalsa, on January 26, 1986 to establish a sovereign independent Sikh state of Khalistan. Successive Indian governments have undertaken various military and political manoeuvres to engineer the reverse of that lawful response to the 1984 genocide, but without success. In July 2010, the International Court of Justice (in the Kosovo case) ruled that a declaration of independence does not contravene international law and the Sikh nation today stands firm on its resolve to secure the freedom and justice in accordance with the Sarbat Khalsas direction. Indias shameful record of imperialism and as a serial human rights violator gives it no credible claim to its cherished dream of a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. If it wants to sit at the top table and be seen as a civilised State, it is high time that it matures in to the democracy it claims to be. Genocide perpetrators must be dealt with by international criminal courts, the theft of precious natural resources must be stopped and freedom must be restored to colonised regions in accordance with the wishes of the people. The flags of a free Held Kashmir and a free Khalistan are the only flags that can legitimately fly over those territories.