Feb 5 Kashmir Solidarity Day
2 weeks ago
KASHMIR Solidarity Day has been observed since 1990 as a day of protest to condemn the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. The day is meant to express Pakistan’s full support and sympathy with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir in their ongoing freedom struggle, and to pay homage to the Kashmiri martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting for Kashmir’s freedom.
This year too the day was marked by political rallies, marches and speeches by Kashmiri diaspora and other people throughout the world.
Over eight million people in the occupied state have been under a lockdown since August 2019. The fascist Bharatiya Janata Party abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and exclusive domiciliary rights of Kashmiris under Indian yoke.
Kashmiris’ indomitable struggle for freedom
India cheated Kashmiris. Indian forces fire pellets (called `birdshots’) with pump-action shot-guns against unarmed protesters or stone throwers, even women, and children five to eight years’ old. A New York Time report portrays a gruesome picture (“An Epidemic of ‘Dead Eyes’ in Kashmir as India Uses Pellet Guns on Protesters”, New York Times, August 28, 2016`) It says` the patients have mutilated retinas, severed optic nerves, irises seeping out like puddles of ink’. Doctors call them `dead eyes’. A similar report in the Washington Post (December 12, 2017) is no less poignant.
Let India realise it can’t stifle Kashmiris’ dissent. To stifle the Kashmiri’s fighting spirit, the Dogra (1846-1947) punished even Kashmiri children who played with fork-slings (ghulail in Urdu) and stones (Muhammad YousafSaraf, Kashmiris Fight for Freedom, vol. 1, p. 50). Struggle for freedom goes on despite Indian forces’ reign of terror (abductions, custodial deaths, rapes, arson, and pellet shelling). `The Security Council should make clear that it opposes Mr. Modi’s brutal tightening of India’s control on Kashmir. While Mr. Modi may think he can control this volatile conflict on his own, he almost certainly cannot’ (The U.N. Can’t Ignore Kashmir Anymore, New York Times, October 2, 2019).
India’s defence services chief’s ergonomic confession
Irked by international-media censures, Bipin Rawat, India’s ex-army chief, now Chief of Defence Services has tendered a funny explanation. He says, ` Most of the eye injuries are caused because those pelting stones bend to the ground to pick up stones and because pellet guns are fired at the legs they get hit in the eyes’ (Indian Express, January 17, 2020). Indian opposition took him to task for explaining how Kashmiris were being “radicalized”. They advised him to desist from dabbling in politics.
How India has stifled dissent
Through a host of draconian measures, India has gagged digital and voice protests in disputed Kashmir. It has barred local and foreign journalists from visiting Kashmir. Indian forces fire pellets (called `bird shots’) with pump-action shot-guns against unarmed protesters or stone-throwers, even women, and children five to eight years old.
Inference: History tells that the ebbs and flows of Kashmiris’ resistance never ceased. Palliatives failed to stifle the struggle. A lasting solution is to allow Kashmiris to determine their own fate. It’s no use harping the integral-part (atootang) mantra any longer. In marked contrast to India’s colonizing policy, Pakistan gives an iron-clad constitutional assurance to Kashmiris to re-craft their relation with Pakistan under Article 257 of its Constitution. It states: `when the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and that State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State’.
India’s obduracy has stimulated Kashmiri leaders to shun their differences and agree on a common agenda. Farooq Abdullah’s ancestral home was confiscated. Money laundering cases were registered against several Kashmiri leaders but they are all undeterred by Indian coercive tactics.