“Sab ke gaal aese laal laal gulabi hoke rakhe hai wahan pe, I want to understand where is the money coming from,” this is the question that is bothering Major Guarav Arya?
He uttered these words on a prime time show on a private tv channel. The question has taken the internet by storm in Kashmir.
Arya is puzzled over how Kashmir survives long shutdowns, curfews. “Why Kashmiris don’t die of malnutrition and why Kashmir has not seen farmer suicides despite long shutdowns and curfews, Arya asked?
Here is how Kashmiris reacted:
A Kashmiri scholar Inshah Malik wrote on facebook:
If calling Irish people ‘Harpie” because their national instrument is a harp, is a racist slur
What is calling Kashmiris red cheeked? or reducing their identity to apples,shawls and dry fruits etc?
Dear Kashmiris who are secretly feeling flattered about being called red cheeks, you are actually internalizing racism. Here red cheeks has nothing to do with your ‘beauty or fairness that you might take as a source of power’ and feel suddenly empowered. Here red cheeks has everything to do with reducing 12 million people to a short hand, erasing the very specifics of their existential complexity and replacing that with simplest words possible.
Journalist Gowhar Geelani wrote on facebook:
New Kashmir Solution: put all the good-looking Kashmiris, especially those with red cheeks, in India’s Guantanamo Bay! How dare Kashmiris survive? How come they are alive? India’s hatred, racism, bigotry and anti-Kashmiri stance will hurt and haunt India in the end.
In another post he said: Indian media’s #SuperExclusive: Why the cheeks of #Kashmiris are red? Why no malnutrition even after so many shutdowns and curfews? Why no farmer suicides? Implies, Kashmiris are Agents!
How racist is Republic TV defence analyst Major Gaurav Arya? Has put Nazis to shame!
Ruveda Salam, an IPS officer wrote:
Now don’t defend ur red cheeks on the basis of what you eat, it has to do with higher altitude and consequent increased binding affinity for oxygen by Haemoglobin. Don’t counteract ignorance with ignorance.
Another young journalist Sana Fazili wrote:
Gaurav Arya is curious that if Kashmir is closed most of the times how are people not dying of malnutrition. He is jealous of “Kashmiriyo k laal Gaal”
Logkha balaai saani shakli ti saenis sehtas.
Turkey based Kashmiri journalist Baba Umar wrote on facebook:
In the battle for TRPs between India Today, Republic TV, and Times Now, Kashmirs must answer why are they good-looking, since Indians obsessed with whitening creams are not. Or why’re Kashmiri orchardists not committing suicide, since Indian farmers do. Or why’re apple-cheeked Kashmiri children not dying of malnutrition because Indian children do. Can you imagine this is a debate launched by these TV channels. And for all this they blame Pakistan. Even a sparrow fart in India is being considered a handiwork of Pakistan these days.