The Idea of Kashmir

Arshid Malik

Kashmir, as of now, belongs to India through the sole act of brutal force while the “slogans of freedom” of Kashmiris sound hoarse abetting a likelihood, which borders on the lines of linear impossibility. The “fight” or the “struggle” of Kashmiris towards the attainment of “freedom” from India has been locked in as nothing short of outright sedition when we look at the picture through the India “lens”.

India has been occupying Kashmir for a long time now. And the case for the “right to self-determination” has been very well shelved by the Indian authorities.

Kashmiris have been denied their rights. And the stand that India has been taking on Kashmiris clandestinely is that all “Kashmiris are terrorists”.

For India, Kashmiris fighting for their rights and resisting Indian occupation has landed them in avid gruesomeness all along. Kashmir’s voice has been choked to an extent that all practical paragraphs that should be followed under the Aegis of the United Nations Security Council stand violated.

But who cares about what the UN has to say about Kashmir. Or, what guarantees the people of Kashmir the “right to self-determination”.

All debates have been resourcefully closeted and Kashmiri people have and are been treated as seditious individuals. So wherever a Kashmiri figures to step out of line and oppose Indian rule or stand up for the “promised rights”, he or she will be treated as a “terrorist” and dealt with under the figurative of Indian laws meant for dealing with terrorism.

It is being done because he/she doesn’t have “a case” to argue plainly as the “case” has been trampled upon and thereof, by Indian standards, stands “disposed”.

Kashmiris have come a long way in resisting Indian occupation. India has directly intervened into the Kashmir situation and arrived at a conclusive “right” to possess Kashmir and its people. As for the brutalities and alienation faced by Kashmiris living outside J&K, it is not to be figured and does not warrant alignment in terms of the rights that Kashmiris inherit.

They are “terrorists” trying to make a living. And just that.

The day they start voicing their opinions, they will be treated like dirt and wilfully wiped off the slate. That is the prerogative that India has malignly asserted into place whenever the question of a Kashmiri speaking up for even a grain of rice arises.

So, therefore, we do not even have the right to complain.

It is difficult to argue or arrive at a conclusive operative that defines what aided India in taking Kashmir from being a “south-Asian nuclear flash point” for the global community to a near-cosy tourist destination. To a larger extent, though, political sub-talk and media rhetoric achieved the feat. This is while the separatist leadership “believes” that the best way to serve the Kashmiri cause is by calling for “civil curfews” and “protest shutdowns”.

Kashmiris offered their lives to protect and arrive at their rights. It is difficult to keep count now. Everyday. The circle of life in Kashmir stand disrupted by political fatigue. Somehow, most of the very people who “fought” for the rights of Kashmiris have tired of their “otherness”.

And now whenever there is a well-nourished effort into turning themselves in to the nation that occupies them, but in doing so, they are creating the most delectable dilemma.

Yes, even if we throw up our arms and cry – “we are Indians” – we will cry wolf. The critique has metamorphosed into criteria.

The idea of Kashmir, at the behest of the chauvinist political elite and an of course fallible fourth estate, has turned into a ghost which even we, the people of Kashmir, have started to fear now.


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