Kashmir Solidarity Day … Pakistan’s Support towards Kashmir

         Is there freedom in paradise? If yes, where does it lie? Is it veiled amidst the verdant vegetation or sheltered softly beneath the snow? Does it scream from the hill-tops or serenade from the skies? Or does it gush out from rivulets to rest upon the rocks of eternity?

         Maybe freedom nestles not in such bespoke spots, but in the souls who inhabit them. In their will – to repair the meaning of independence.

         Maybe freedom is harnessed despite the human shields, the pelted stones, and the rattle of gunfire that produce anguish in toddlers, restlessness in the young, and resignation in the old. Maybe freedom is nurtured precisely where it is meant to be scuttled. May be freedom is felt if you choose to hope where life itself despairs.

          Ladies and Gentlemen, “Kashmir is an open cage, the people here are not allowed to think of the future. There are numerous graveyards, where countless nameless graves ensconce bodies of Kashmiri youth, whom nobody can identify, but most can relate to. When a young Kashmiri goes out of home, his mother knows there is a chance that he may not come back. He may be picked up by the police or, like so many other youngsters, shot dead. For Kashmiris, the presence of the police and the Army, which has been amplified since Kashmir lost its special status under Article 370, is not a source of security, but one of panic.

“After 8 pm in the evening, if you hear the sound of a car, you immediately fear it’s the police coming to question you…you cannot protest on the streets, you cannot protest on social media.”

It feels like life has been on pause. People are alienated and depressed. Kashmir’s economy slumped, with more than 100,000 people became unemployed since the Modi government stripped Kashmir of its right to a separate constitution, a state flag, and autonomy over internal administration.

Under Article 370, Kashmir had benefited significantly, and the performance of Kashmir on important indices like life expectancy, infant mortality, and poverty, had been consistently better than India’s national average. Journalists who speak out are being arrested. Mainstream politicians as well as activists have been detained. Schools and colleges are mostly closed. People are being subjugated in every way.”

Kashmiris find it difficult to relate to the people of India…who in turn always look at them suspiciously…considering them to be militants. The Indian mass media has propagated the idea that Kashmiris are fundamentalists, an Islamist state with its loyalties to Pakistan.

         15th August, a day on which parades, speeches, and processions commemorate the legacies of the Indian freedom movement against British imperialism, when flags are hoisted, celebrations are staged, and patriotic films, songs, and national sporting accomplishments are played on loop across India. The first thing that comes to mind when anyone mentions August 15 is curfew. It is a day when Kashmiris are supposed to stay in homes, and if they dare to venture outside they might get beaten by the troops. There are always extra troops and barricades on August 15.

         Kashmir is in a pre-refugee state. If the current Modi government persists with its policy of settler colonialism, Kashmiris will begin to parallel the condition of Palestinians, Syrians, and Rohingya. There will be targeted cleansing of Kashmiris.

What Kashmiris want – They want to do what people around the world can do. Kashmiris want to go out of homes without fear, without surveillance, without questions. They simply yearn for normal lives. International media needs to talk and listen to the local Kashmiris. That is the only voice that should matter.”

 It’s about creating noise, we all need to make more and more noise. There needs to be a global solidarity with Kashmir. The struggle for independence in Kashmir is a protracted struggle. At first, you will despair. But then, you’ll also learn to hope.”




Broken – limping

I still dare to get up

For I will never give up

Stabbed – Wounded

My Heart skipped beat

But I won’t accept defeat

Crushed – tormented

My soul is restless

But never hopeless

Today I am in deep pain and sigh

But my flag will again rise high

My sacrifices won’t wither by

For it is often “in the ruins that

Hidden treasures lie.

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