Stories about Kashmir valley

Why repealing Article 35A will bring unmanageable chaos for India

In 2014, the non-governmental organisation ‘We the Citizens’ attracted a large audience when it filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India questioning the validity of Article 35A. This was not the first time this article was questioned in court. It was also brought into the spotlight when Dr Charu Wali Khanna, a Kashmiri Pandit woman by ancestry, filed a petition to change the constitutional provision of Article 35A. She wanted succession rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), despite being adjusted outside the state. Since then, this article’s hearing has been postponed by the court, considering how this ...

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The Pulwama attack is more than a massacre – it’s an unfortunate reminder

The recent killing of 44 security personnel belonging to the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) outside Srinagar has opened up a can of worms, and everyone should be bothered at this development. It’s not that this is the first time there has been an attack on Indian security forces in the valley, inflicting serious damage in terms of casualties. However, this attack is quite significant for the many issues it reveals, not necessarily for the lay person. The first and most important problem we need to confront is the attitude of the Indian state and its unofficial auxiliaries who have ...

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Whether it’s ghosts, child traffickers or braid-choppers, the resilient people of Kashmir will continue to rise

It was the mid 90’s, winter had descended on Kashmir, and we had just had our dinner. Lately, dinner conversations had been just about one thing – the daeyn (feminine ghosts). The daeyn had recently arrived in Kashmir. Some would say they were from the jungles in Kupwara, while others said it was from the woods across the Line of Control (LoC) and was wreaking havoc in Kashmir. My uncle, in a hushed tone, informed my father of the latest victim of the daeyn’s attack – Samad Khan. Samad Khan, popularly known as Khan sahib, came from Islamabad in the Kashmir Valley and worked in the local mosque. ...

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Is there a leadership failure in the Indian Army?

Recently, there was a fratricide incident in the Kashmir valley. A jawan (soldier) was reprimanded by his superior officer for using a cell phone on duty. In return, the jawan shot him. This unfortunate incident has been quoted in sections of the media as an example of junior leadership and man-management failure. This has been linked to reports that the Indian army has over 100 stress-related suicides per year due to junior leadership failures. While the loss of even one trained soldier is unacceptable, suicides may still occur and be accepted but fratricide is and will always remain unacceptable. The Indian army is over one million strong. With such a large force, there would always ...

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The media is relentless in its pursuit of exclusives, and Kashmir is always a good harvest

(Disclaimer: Graphic images below) Me: “So why don’t you start studying again?” Baba: “No, I can’t…” Me: “But why?” Baba: “It’s of no use; I have eight FIRs against me madam. The first one was registered when I was on my way to school. They picked me up, slapped me, let me off after three days. The second FIR was for illegal possession of weapons and the third…” Baba went on explaining the list of police cases against him as the car criss-crossed Srinagar with blaring music. Me: “Even then, you should at least complete your studies? Things will change…” Baba: “Even if I am able to resume my second year in ...

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A Kashmiri’s letter to all Indians: An attack on Amarnath Yatris is an attack on Kashmir

Dear Indian citizen, I am writing this with much pain and grief. I’m left with no words of condemnation for this dastardly brutal act that was carried out to kill innocent Yatris devoted to their faith. My purpose of writing to you is not to condemn the act alone, but to let you know that we, the people of Kashmir, are equally pained and our heads hang in shame due to the act of a few. This act is against our ethos and composite culture of religious harmony. Terrorism has no religion, and unfortunately, we have been the worst sufferers of it –witnessing brutality, mental pain and ...

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Does the on-going Kashmir “movement” lack a plan of action?

In Why Did the ‘Twitter Revolutions’ Fail?, an article published in the New York Times last year, Ivan Krastev couches his set of arguments in a thought-provoking manner by referring to history. He writes that, immediately after the 1851 Paris coup by Napoleon, some of the greatest political minds from Europe, including Karl Marx (a communist), Pierre Joseph Proudhon (an anarchist), Victor Hugo (a romantic), Alexis de Tocqueville and Walter Bagehot (the liberals) hustled to their reading rooms to understand the Paris coup and draw philosophical conclusions out of such events. To quote Ivan, “Their interpretations of the coup were as different ...

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When Nehru promised Kashmir freedom, why is India still in denial?

India’s reluctance to any third party mediation in Kashmir is, at best, a juvenile attempt at distortion of history and denial of context. Deliberately ignoring historicity and context, the vast sections of Indian media are narrating fairy tales on Kashmir while cashing on falsehood, provocation, propaganda and vitriol with an aim to insult the intelligence of a common man in India and hoodwink international audiences. India took the Kashmir case to the United Nations (UN). Nothing can be more ironic than the fact that it is India which is averse to the UN intervention on Kashmir issue. New Delhi’s denialism and its ...

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Who is trying to disconnect Kashmir from the world? Why attack cellular towers?

The unusual series of attacks on cellular towers in different parts of Indian-administered Kashmir Valley has already resulted in the killings of two civilians. And furthermore, the way these attacks have been taking place is also very dubious in my opinion. Many appear clueless about the perpetrators, despite claims made by Lashkar-e-Islam, a lesser-known outfit that had purportedly circulated threat-posters to cellular companies, their employees, and local owners who usually rent out space for installing towers in their compounds, in North Kashmir. These attacks allegedly carried out by Lashkar-e-Islam, which seem to have categorically asked the mobile operators, vendors, and their employees to shut ...

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What are you trying to prove by denying Geelani a passport, India?

Ignorant of their own history and overlooking how leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Subhash Chandra Bose visited countries like South Africa, England and Germany to further their political ideologies, a certain ultra-jingoist Indian media channel recently aired a provocative debate titled Fly Pak Flag, Seek Indian Passport. This was done on Kashmir’s octogenarian resistance leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s request for a passport, as he wanted to visit his ailing daughter, Farhat Jabeen Geelani, in Saudi Arabia. Did Gandhi, Savarkar and Bose visit European countries as Indian citizens and on Indian passports? Did they surrender their political ideology and abandon their struggle for freedom in exchange of ...

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