By: Munaza Kazmi
Over the years several emotional equally fractured dialogues have been exchanged in the United Nations. Additionally, numerous regional wars between India and Pakistan happened over the matter of Kashmir, but sadly the result is nothing achieved. To date, Kashmir is bleeding, civilians disappearing, houses are burnt, and women are sexually assaulted.
However, from childhood, I know Kashmir is in constant struggle, but the advancement of Narendra Modi’s government in 2014 and its re-election in 2019 profoundly impacted Kashmir. Casteist and heteronormative TEA BOY selling tea on the railway station of Vadnagar nurtured in his heart the same disease that the British planted in 1857.
Modi’s led government incorporates the notion of populism, false nationalism (because Hindustan was always the place of numerous religions, moreover Buddhism was once the dormant religion), authoritarianism, and majoritarianism. Its barbarous action against minority groups and vulnerable communities has demonstrated an abject disregard for democracy. Hindu nationalists have sought to weaponize religion and politics to inflame the Hindu majority. Muslims in Kashmir and their allies have been repeatedly portrayed as enemies of India and as potential terrorists.
Article 370 and 370A which certifies Kashmir with some autonomy and legislative, was unilaterally modified by the Indian government lately, to seize Jammu and Kashmir’s legislative jurisdiction and independence. However, the disgusting mindset of the TEA BOY Indian government openly nullified both Articles, on which the United Nations is silent as of Palestine, Syria, and Iraq.
In response to persistent oppression, Kashmiri civilians continue to take to the streets in large numbers, in the form of silent protest. Women are torn with grief holding in their hands files of their missing husband, a father with weak hands bearing banners of their lost sons, and a 7-year-old child with hope in his eyes asking soldiers if they know where his dad is. Such a state in Kashmir that a young lady is unable to fathom if she’s still married or been windowed months ago.
Heartbreak, rage, resilience, and resistance are the life of Kashmiri, constant fear, lockdowns, and curfews are the background of Kashmir which people call Heaven on Earth. Where local social movements for justice routinely met with extreme suppression from Indian forces.
In 2019, millions of additional troops were reportedly deployed in Jammu and Kashmir. Following August 5, Kashmir witnessed the reported toucher of children, the elderly, and women; sexualized violence; illegal and mass detentions; house arrests of political leaders; curtailment of freedom of speech, movement, and dissent; falsification of social facts by the State; and closure of sacred places. People were afraid to approach the courts lest the extra-legal detention be converted into formal detention. The impact on the political economy was devastating.
The height of inhumanity that, following the seizure of 2019, Indian soldiers reportedly forced 12 civilian men to remove their clothes and line up, naked, on the main road in Pulwama, beat them severely, and electrocuted their genitals. The tortured were reportedly forced to lie naked atop each other. Additional and similar undertakings of torture were also reported. Several people died from inhaling tear gas and pepper gas grenades reportedly fired by police personnel during a civilian protest. At the 44 Rashtriya Rifles camp in Shopian, armed forces personnel reportedly tortured three men and broadcast their cries over loudspeakers. Moreover, police reportedly shot pellets and teargas at religious processions in Srinagar during the holy month of Muharram, injuring more than 100 people.
Even at the time of COVID-19 in 2020, the situation was the same, where life has given no value to what you expect of health conditions or any service. However, on the other hand, everything was done to suppress the Muslim majority let’s say, a boy with disabilities named Hazim Shafi was reportedly killed by Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Kupwara. Police and paramilitary reportedly stormed Nasrullah Pora Village in Budgam, attacking residents and looting and vandalizing properties. Assaulted women and tied men to trees. Armed forces personnel reportedly shot bullets and pellets at a civil society demonstration in Awantipora, killing Jahangir Wani and injuring at least 25. To alter the demographic setup, the Indian government banished certain legal barriers to permanent residency in Kashmir.
The vicious actions of Modi contrasted with India’s own constitution and fractured the very basic notion on which Hindustan was known to the world.