The Killings in Kashmir: Kavita Krishnan

Guest Post by KAVITA KRISHNAN

An appeal to the conscience of every Indian citizen – to tune down the shrill media noise for a bit, take a step back from the easy, packaged ‘discourse’ being dished out, and ask try and ask ourselves some uncomfortable but necessary questions. 

I am being asked by various persons in the media to comment on my apparently ‘controversial’ and ‘shocking’ claim that Burhan Wani’s killing was extra-judicial’ and must be probed. Let me begin with a few remarks about this issue.

For most Kashmiris, it may not matter all that much whether or not Burhan Wani was killed in a ‘fake’ encounter or a ‘genuine’ one. What matters is that the Indian State killed him – just as it has killed and is killing so many other Kashmiri youngsters. Their grief, their rage, does not depend on the authenticity or otherwise of the encounter. They have no expectations of due process or of justice from the Indian State. It it civil liberties activists who – in what sometimes feels like an exhausting, futile exercise – demand that due process be followed, that the mandates of the Indian Constitution be respected, that the armed forces in conflict areas be held accountable.

The Supreme Court has, more than once, decreed that an FIR be lodged in every single encounter and a magisterial enquiry as well as a criminal investigation and trial take place. Lodging an FIR and conducting a trial in every encounter means assuming that every encounter could be fake till proved otherwise – i.e till it proved that no option remained for the police/armed forces but to shoot to kill in self-defence. The Supreme Court verdict of 2014  lays down detailed guidelines in this respect. More recently, the Supreme Court on 8 July, while hearing a petition for the repeal of AFSPA in light of some 1528 fake encounters, reiterated the obvious: that contrary to the claims of certain politicians and media anchors, it is utterly irrelevant whether the person killed is a militant or a civilian – there is no excuse for an extra judicial killing even if the person killed is a ‘terrorist’, a ‘criminal’, a militant. Pause a moment and think about that astounding number – 1528 murders by the Indian armed forces – in Manipur alone. A number that the Supreme Court has not found to be fantastic or a crazy exaggeration. Such a number forces us to see that fake encounters – extra-judicial executions – are not an aberration but on the contrary, enjoy the blessings of the political powers and the Armed command as well. Such killings, then, are policy. When this is the case, how can even well-meaning people raise their eyebrows when we question the authenticity of the Burhan Wani encounter? How can they be so sure that this particular encounter is genuine?

Moving on, let us examine the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s killing and the political implications of that killing and the killings of civilians that have followed. It is obvious that thousands of Kashmiris came out on the streets to mourn Burhan Wani and many thousands more mourned him in their own homes. They are being fired upon and killed – the death toll is 21 now and rising. One way of wrapping our heads around this reality, of course, is to assume that every Kashmiri who mourns Burhan Wani and demands Azaadi is a ‘terrorist’, and deserves to die ‘like a dog’ on the streets. A twitter handle followed by the PM of India – @ggiittiikkaa – has tweeted as much “20k attended the funeral of terrorist Burhan. Should have dropped a bomb and given Azadi to these 20k pigs.” If you are among those who are willing and able to brand an entire people as terrorist pigs and recommend genocide, than I have nothing to say to you. All I have to say to you is that while your words may be pleasing to your own chosen audience of jingoists, the world will only see it as evidence of the atrocities to which Kashmiris are subjected in India. if Kashmiris are seen in India as pigs, not as human beings with legitimate political views and demands, if their very grief is illegitimate, then why should they want to remain a part of India?

However, I am assuming with some hope that there are some or several of you who might at least be willing to ask why Kashmiris are mourning and protesting, rather than assuming them all to be ‘terrorists’.

First, ask yourself why Burhan Wani chose the path he did.

As Shuddhabrata Sengupta noted in his piece ‘Kashmir Burns, Again‘ on Kafila

 “In October 2010, Burhan Wani, then sixteen years old, was on a motorcycle, with his brother Khalid Wani, and a friend. They were out on a bike ride, through Tral, the area that they had grown up in, as teenage boys do, anywhere. They were stopped at a Special Operations Group Picket of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and ordered to get cigarettes for the troopers. Khalid went and got the cigarettes, Burhan and the friend waited. After the transaction, for no apparent reason, the troopers pounced on the boys, beat them up severely, damaged the bike, which had been Khalid’s pride and joy. Khalid lost consciousness. But perhaps it was Burhan who suffered the greatest injury, and that injury, an invisible one, was what any self respecting young person with a sense of dignity might feel when beaten for no reason other than the fact that he is there to be beaten.”

Remember, from July to September 2010, some 112 civilians were killed on Kashmir’s streets in the most arbitrary manner possible. All those killings weighed on the 16-year-old Burhan Wani’s mind as his joy-ride on a bike turned into an exercise in humiliation and violence. As Shuddhabrata writes, “It is possible that Burhan the teenager died that day when his brother’s motorcycle was stopped so casually, so callously. It is possible that Burhan the ‘militant’, who grew to be ‘militant commander’ was born that very same day….Commander Burhan Wani was produced and destroyed by the Indian state, which made it impossible for a young, intelligent, charismatic man like Burhan to salvage his dignity by any means other than that of being an armed combatant.”

This time around, yet more Kashmiri people are being killed, blinded, maimed, humiliated, bludgeoned. Tear gas is being used inside hospitals; ambulances ferrying the injured are being attacked. Now step back for a moment, and think back to a moment when you – the self-righteous, patriotic Indian citizen – last participated in a protest that the Government, the police considered illegitimate. Take for instance the December 2012 protests, when many thousands came out at India Gate to protest rape. If you were among them, or even if you sympathised with them, remember how angry you were with a Government that used lathis, and tear gas against the protesters? Now imagine for a moment, that instead of lathis, bullets were used, and protesters blinded or killed. Imagine that the media instead of projecting the movement as admirable and the police as brutal, were to celebrate the killings of the protesters – all in the name of ‘the nation’. Imagine that this were not a one-time occurrence, but a cycle of bloodshed of civilians that repeats itself over and over, for decades. Imagine that you were not allowed even to hold a seminar, raise a slogan about it, on pain of facing arrests, harassment, torture. What would that do to you? What will young Kashmiris do today? How many more Burhans will be produced and destroyed?

Now, this article is not the place for a discourse on the history of the Kashmir problem. I will simply say that if you have stuck with me so far, consider my suggestion that you read up on Kashmir. Read, not to satisfy yourself that Kashmir is ‘an integral part of India’ – but to find out, dispassionately, what leads so many Kashmiris to declare otherwise. I warn you, though, that such reading will be disturbing. It will shake up your idea of everything  you think you KNOW. Be prepared to feel deep shame and discomfiture about much that has been done to Kashmir in our name. As long as we – and our Governments – refuse to entertain even the possibility that Kashmiris have a legitimate case for self-determination, no solution to the Kashmir ‘problem’ is possible.

It is easy, comforting even, to tell ourselves the fairy tale that what is happening in Kashmir now is a ‘nationalist’ battle of noble Indian soldiers against evil Kashmiri terrorists. But such an attitude on our part can only deepen the wound on the Kashmiri psyche, alienate Kashmiris further, take us all further away from a solution to the Kashmir issue. We need to accept that Kashmir is not a ‘law and order’ problem, or a terror problem created by Pakistan. The Kashmir question is not that of ‘how does India deal with terrorists’. It is a question of how a political solution to the political problem of Kashmir will be found, And that is why, instead of repeating ad infinitum that Burhan Wani was a terrorist who died a terrorist’s death, we need to ask – by killing Burhan Wani, by killing civilian mourners and protesters, what political message is the Indian State seeking to give to Kashmiris? Every such killing is a body blow even to the dream of a solution to the Kashmir question.

Burhan Wani was a militant, an insurgent, no doubt. He made videos exhorting Kashmiri youth to join the armed insurgency. But it is important to remember, as Shuddhabrata’s piece reminds us, that in his last video, the list of those he declared he and his outfit would not harm, outweigh the mist of those they promised to fight.

In that video, he said (to quote again from ‘Kashmir Burns, Again’)

“he and his fellow fighters will not touch Hindu pilgrims on the Amaranth Pilgrimage in Kashmir. He says that the pilgrimage is their right, and nothing should prevent them from undertaking their religious duties. He also says that they will not hurt Kashmiri policemen who do not hurt them. He appeals to Kashmiri Pundits to return and live again as neighbors with Kashmiri Muslims, but says that any efforts to make what he calls ‘Israeli’ style ‘settlements’ (referring here to the the armed and fortified Israeli settler enclaves within West-Bank-Palestine) will be resisted.”

If we accept the reality that separatist groups are an important part of Kashmir’s political landscape (arguably commanding greater influence than the NCP or PDP), then such statements by such groups are important and welcome. The Indian State should have been talking to Burhan Wani, not killing him.

What, then, can take us closer to a solution? What should a ‘solution’ look like? Well, any genuine, lasting solution must be one that ordinary Kashmiri people see as in keeping with their dignity. A Kashmir kept as ‘an integral part of India’ by humiliating and bludgeoning Kashmiris into submission and an uneasy silence punctuated by periodic outbursts of protests or insurgent violence – is no solution at all.

We need to be able to listen to Kashmiris rather than harangue them. We need to tell our Governments to withdraw the overwhelming military footprint from the Valley – get soldiers’ boots off Kashmiris’ necks and make  genuine dialogues (in which Kashmiris are able to express themselves fully and freely and be heard with respect) on Kashmir possible.

A report  on the 2010 killings by Vrinda Grover, Bela Somari, Sukumar Muralidharan and Ravi Hemadri had concluded by recommending “minimally,  a  substantial reduction  of  the  military  presence in  Kashmir, the  withdrawal  of  all  special  security  laws  that  establish  a  climate  of impunity for the security agencies, the release of all persons detained under these laws, and credible investigations into the recent killings.” Instead of those minimal steps, the Indian establishment instead continued with the opposite. Kashmiri students outside the Valley have had to live in fear, not only of harassment by the Indian security establishment, but increasingly of violence at the hands of right-wing outfits looking for the slightest pretext. And to make matters worse, prominent Indian media houses lost no opportunity to humiliate and taunt Kashmiris. Even the occasion of a tragic flood was not spared – even on that occasion, Kashmiris protesting against inadequate relief, like human beings in natural calamities the world over – were painted as ‘anti-national’ ingrates, while relief work by Army troops was lauded as an alibi against allegations of custodial rapes and killings in other contexts.

Enough is enough. The sickening cycle of blood of Kashmiri civilians, accompanied by the equally sickening sound and fury of celebratory jingoism via media and political pulpits, must stop. And no, it is not enough for the Home Minister or Kashmiri politicians to be issuing ‘calls for peace’ and ‘appeals to Kashmiri parents to keep their kids home.’ What we can do is to say ‘Not in our name.’ What we can and must do is to make the demand for a peaceful and dignified solution to the Kashmir issue that is in keeping with the wishes of the people of Kashmir, a demand not just of the Kashmir Valley, but of every corner of India. ‘You may say I’m a dreamer’ (or you may say I’m a terrorist slut) but I’m not the only one. I will hope. I will work for it.

PS: A while ago, I got a call from what looked like a US-based number. Some ‘nationalist’ NRI man, no doubt, who called to ask me if I was part of Burhan Wani’s harem, and how many ways I would like to be raped. No doubt, this post too will result in more of the same abuse and ugliness. No matter. But those of you who do in fact read this – if at all it makes you pause and think and resolve to reconsider ‘inherited’, preconceived ideas on Kashmir even a little bit, I request you to add your voice to the comments, and share the piece. Send it to at least one other person whom you think might like to read it, even if they might not agree with every word in it.

Kavita Krishnan is a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist-Liberation) and secretary of the All India Progressive Womens’ Association

72 thoughts on “The Killings in Kashmir: Kavita Krishnan

  1. Nishanth

    Ms Kavita, what a moving touching piece on such a helpless people being so cruelly treated by the monstrous Indian state . On reading about the Kashmir issue , I wonder why there were no mentions of the pandits being killed , their women being raped and their being forced to mass migrate , much like your beloved Palestinians . Does Marxist Leninist discourse not allow for that uncomfortable truth ?

    Ps : I’m a U.S. Based “patriotic , self righteous ” NRI myself

    1. Ssq

      There has been a wrong notion propagated that kashmiri pandits were killed, their women were raped and properties looted. They chose to leave kashmir one fine morning when kashmir was burning and the word in the air was that kashimir might get azadi in the days to come. Sikhs did not leave, some of the pandit families did not leave. Why weren’t they not killed or raped? Even today when some pandit in kashmir dies the muslim neighbours help in conducting the last rites. Had the killings or rape stories been true a lsit of affected would have been compiled ny the pandit community that is considered as the most intelligent and meticulous community
      All these stories are just woven by politicians and some self proclaimed leaders of pandits who seem to get bread and butter out of it and to achieve their ends.

      1. Nishanth

        Mr SSQ, truly ignorant or choosing to remain ignorant ? Hopefully you tend towards the former . A simple google search will reveal the extent of the atrocities perpetrated on the Kashmiri Pandits. After all, it must have been real fun hearing slogans like “‘Asi gachchi Pakistan, Batao roas te Batanev san’ (We want Pakistan along with Hindu women but without their men)” every morning surrounded by a hostile Islamic majority.

        Check out the nurse raped in the sawmill and sawed in half. Check out the poet Sarwanand Premi and his son who was kidnapped, eyes gouged out and then tortured to death.Check out the judge Justice NK Ganju who was shot to death.

        But then , nobody can open the eyes of a person who wilfully chooses to be blind:)

        1. Ssq

          Sorry Nishanth, I opted to be blind by not mentioning the muslims killed on the same dates on the same pretext. (Thought Google search would do my job for you instead). But they did not leave just because they were not promised green pastures which unfortunately proved farce in the end for the guillable community which I deeply feel bad for. Trust me I feel the pain and horror of losing the home and honor as equally as they do because I love them and want them back and have seen the pain all along while living here. But then same empathy and compassion is required to be reciprocated though I know most of them doing so. It is only those for their myopic political gains who rake up their pain to justify the pain inflicted upon the muslim community and spoil the ‘Kashmiriyat’ phenomenon which teaches that no small prisim of religion to create the fissures between the two communities.
          p/s. I hope google search would help you to compile the separate community wise lists of those killed and raped over the years and then compare the magnitute and circumstances without wearing religious glasses that are bound to bias your opinion. After all humans are humans religious dilution would color the cloak but not the minds.

    2. Could you please tell me how many Pandit women were raped….you just name two with proper address, I swear I will stop supporting Kashmir cause….I swear by Almighty Allah that not a single Kashmiri Pandit woman was raped….there was an incident in Srinagar when a Pandit girl was spotted with a Muslim boy but later on it dawned upon all that they were in relationship and they married while that Pandit lady is still living happily in Kashmir, even she contested election…..Stop negative propaganda and stop misleading the world…..And you talk about killing of Pandits but u forget that militants killed more Muslims than Pandits for acting as Informers and working for Indian Intelligence agencies…..

      1. Ravi Raina

        Brother i think u might have heard about Sarla Bhat (nurse), who was cut into two pieces wirh a saw, after being raped.

        1. mubashir

          This is a balanced view of Kashmir problem ,as a Kashmiri a feel you have given voice to us.
          May you get rewarded whatever way you feel is appropriate, I would wish health peace and happiness to you and your loved ones.
          positive side for Indians like you is that had Indians taken the positions you believe in ,there is a genuine possibility that if at some point of time plebiscite is held in Kashmir ,India would win that. This is an honest feedback.
          But the way Indian state is behaving it would turn new burhans into suicide bombers like Syria and places like that. That would be unfortunate for humanity at large.
          Thank you once again

      2. Nishanth

        Mr Neyaz , here you go:

        1) 19/04/1990 , in Hazratbal , Srinagar, A Hindu girl, Sarla Bhat working as a nurse in the Medical Institute at Soura, Srinagar, was abducted, gang raped and her body was later abandoned on the road side

        2)04/06/1990 in Sopore: Prana Ganjoo was abducted along with her husband Prof. K. L. Ganjoo. She was gang raped for a number of days and then her body was thrown in the river bed. Her husband too was killed

        3)04/06/1990 in Trehgam, Kupwara: Girja Tikoo working as a Laboratory Assistant at Government Girls High School, Trehgam, was abducted, gang raped for many days and shred into pieces on a bar and saw mill

        That’s one more than the 2 you requested for , just one more among the many atrocities committed on Kashmiri hindus The atrocities of which the likes of Kavita Krishnan and her JNU ilk will never recognise.

        Now with the grace of Almighty Allah will you switch over to the Indian cause or do you need more documented proof ?

    3. Nishant, it does not find a mention of atrocities on kASHMIRI PANDITS because it does not make news and does not suit them. These same innocent, hapless people on one single night made sure that the ethnic cleansing of kashmiri Pandits was complete with impressive records of brutal murder of the innocent and rape of the women and young girls. They will never let these pandits to return. Kavita Krishnan’s article is as usual a piece of inaccurate, one sided affair.Should we ask the same question if burhan was wronged by the system and he picked up the gun, same way should pandits also take up guns and kill the very kashmiries who brought so much devastation and complete chaos to their lives. Burhan was a terrorist who was wanted for waging war against the state. I care a damn if it was a judicial or extra judicial killing. We are not playing a peace tournament in Kashmir that requires good behaviour and bonhomie even though the other team keeps punching you on your face. Ask Kavita whether dumping of police driver in Jhellum River by the same innocent kashmiries was extra judicial killing or not. Its a complex situation. Ask Kavita to go to Srinagar and visit more than 100 policemen who have been injured in the ongoing protests. Report by all means but be objective and truthful. You are playing in the hands of Pakistanis who are playing a self destructing game by themselves. Regards

    4. Shubhra Gupta

      Ok, even if I concede that atrocities took place against the Kashmiri Pandits all those years ago to the extent that they had to flee their homes, how does that justify the current killings and heavy-handedness by the police and army against protestors? What is the connection? Are you suggesting that the law should work on some kind of revenge system? Years ago, many people from this religion chased away Kashmiri Pandits, so let’s not follow the law while dealing with a different set of people belonging to the same religion in the same area??!! That’s like saying that all Hindus in Gujarat even today should be held accountable for the riots in 2002 and should be severely punished, shot pellets at and subdued if they say even one sentence against muslims.

      1. Nishanth

        Miss Shubhra, “even if you concede” .Thanks for that magnanimity and let me be equally magnanimous and say yes one or two muslims got scratched in the 2002 gujarat riots but why they create such a hue and cry over it ?

        Lets please deal with this in context. I was replying to Kavitha Krishnan’s glorification of a cold blooded murderer as a chocolate boy full of warm feelings towards kittens and old women. The person who was shot dead , extra judicial or otherwise ( if extra judicial, fantastic – saved the costs of a long trial and a media breast beating) , was directly and indirectly responsible for the murders of scores of civilians and security personnel. Kavitha Krishnan chooses to highlight the point that he magnanimously allowed the pilgrims to go on the Amarnath Yatra , but conveniently forget that his parent organisations were the original ones (the Hizbul Mujahideen and the JKLF) to do the forced migration of the Pandits from the Valley in 1990.

        If the killings of 754 muslims and 275 hindus in the 2002 gujarat riots can be termed as ethnic cleansing and genocide, why cant the one sided killing of 2000 pandits and the forced exodus of over a lakh hindus find any space in the hearts and minds of the bleeding heart JNU folk like Kavitha Krishnan and Shuddhabrata ? Or is it their belief that Hindus are supposed to submit meekly to Islamic rule and slaughter ?

        1. Shubhra Gupta

          All I hear you saying is “why is there no outcry over what the Kashmiri Pandits went through?”. There was, there is. What is their current position? Are they asking or fighting to go back to Kashmir? Do they still want to? I don’t know of any cases of your beloved Kashmiri pandits who have been stopped from going back, even though the army is there to protect them and everyone else from the big bad Pakistan-aided kashmiri muslim terrorists. I don’t understand why everyone just keeps parroting that they were driven out. Yes, they were, that was a horribly wrong thing. Punish those responsible, not their whole community and their children who had nothing to do with it. Next? Are you asking for them to go back? Don’t you think the army can protect them? What about Kashmiri muslims who support the Kashmiri pandits but can’t leave because they will be clubbed automatically with the bad guys and whose lives are constantly under threat because of the militants? Who do they turn to? The Kashmiri pandits got out at least, what about the Kashmiri muslims?

          Let us look at things in context as you say. There are Indian citizens protesting the killing of a “cold blooded murderer”. Kavita Krishnan has tried to look into why a 22 year old boy decided to become a “cold blooded murderer” and is trying to get people talking about how to prevent more youth from becoming “cold blooded murderers”. Unlike you, she isn’t just staying in hate rhetoric. Are you suggesting that there shouldn’t be judicially established law and order in Kashmir? Should the State and army have the power to decide that killing so and so person is ok without a trial? That is a very slippery slope, isn’t it? What if they decide to just shoot people randomly to preempt any crime? The Indian citizens who are protesting for something they feel strongly about, are being shot at for voicing their dissent. You think they are wrong, that is your prerogative; but is it ok for them to be shot pellets at for having opinions different from yours? Last I checked India was a free country and people were allowed to have opinions and voice them without getting shot at for it by their own army and police.

          1. Nishanth

            “Your beloved Kashmiri Pandits” for a person who points out hateful rhetoric in others , you are not exactly overflowing with the milk of human kindness.

            I agree with your point that the Indian State is quite guilty of a large number of human rights abuses on the ordinary Kashmiri. Nor is it my contention the entire Kashmiri Muslim community (except a sizeable section) is responsible for the Pandit overflow.

            These are my 3 points :

            1)The Indian Armed forces did not shoot down any random citizen , they shot down a terrorist responsible for scores of murders. I hope you do not dispute that fact ? If they did shoot down a random innocent bystander , I will be the first one to support you in your protests. But as it happened , they did their duty and shot down a person who seeks to wage war against the Indian Republic. Period

            2)The Indian left liberal establishment is quite selective in it’s outraging and breast beating and screeching. When it involves a Muslim who is at the receiving end , the entire left is up in arms screaming intolerance and that Modi is a murderer. If Gujarat was indeed a one sided ethnic cleansing , how come 275 Hindus died ? Or is the Marxist Leninist party line that Hindus are there to be murdered and their temples demolished with immunity but the party must not succumb to Islamophobia ?

            3) Kavita Krishnan looked into why this 22 year old murderer became a rebel . For the complete truth , she should also look why other 22 year old Kashmiri boys join engineering and medical colleges , join the ranks of the Indian Administrative service , works in banks and corporations all over India? Or is that not palatable to her vision of the truth ?

  2. Anita

    We forget atrocities done to people when they turn killers… Time to reflect on the way govts use the armed forces to perpetrate inhuman crimes and tgen dub retaliation as terrorism… Dialogue with the affected people is the only solution in Kashmir politics has failed as usual.

  3. Vasantaha

    Kanhaiya kumar and his JNU fans should go to kashmir and do the sloganeering drama there in front of indian army. they will surely give all of these people Azadi.

  4. Indian Kashmiri ( Amit)

    Burhan was a jihadi terrorist like many other in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, in absence of poster boy local mercenary needed someone as recruitment catalyst along with giving it a total indigenous color. Burhan was a right pick especially while his father being a staunch Jamat e islami followers. Motivation was at home and incidents just became a reason to do so. After successful killing of Islamist named Burhan, rest of them got killed while killing and torching public property and Govt servants, in response it was natural to have the response which led to killing of other people. This article is a futile attempt to ” justify treason and terror”, something which Jihadis and Pakistani masters of Burhan have been doing from past so many decades and same tool is being used every now and then to keep the TEHREEK alive. I wonder what makes other to be successful as IAS and Air force officer while Burhan picks up the gun ? Are these left over journalists of Arundhati clan claiming that Burhan had high level of awareness and ones who took peace as option were naive or ignorant ? Glorifying Burhan is an insult to those Kashmiri Muslims you choose the path of education and development ?

    I dont think Hafiz Saeed has to do much of work while our own ” Ultra Liberal Jihadi” are building Intellectual narrative for ISLAMIC TERRORISM.

    This artcile is one dimensional and seems to be written with an intent of confusing INDIA,s narrative.

    Ms Kavita ” Indian Conscience ” died thousands deaths when non -combatant and innocent Kashmiri Pandits were butchered , raped, killed and looted under the slogan of ” Nizam E mustafa” and AZADI………People like you were listening to leftist lullaby while 1600 Kashmiri Pandits lives, 200 Temples and whole existence were trampled upon by your BURHAN like Jihadi terrorist…..

    I dont see a difference between narrative build by Pakistani Journalist and this article, the only difference is of semantics , intent is same.

    ( An indian Kashmiri)

    1. Staying in New Delhi and calling yourself Kashmiri…..It is liars like you that don’t want peace to be established in region….You so called Indian Kashmiri it is not your job to assess and analyze Kashmir through your biased mentality but your job is to reap benefits from Government of India on the protect of self styled migration….By the how much free ration and money you get on monthly basis these days…..

  5. ARJUN RAINA

    This is an intense and passionate argument that I support. We must think harder and communicate more civilly and gently even as the violence increases. I am with Kavita Krishnan in her deep caring for this country and for the people of Kashmir.

    1. sureraja

      If I oppose KK and her line of argument, it does not mean I am not sensible to the plight of the Kashmiris and I am unsympathetic. But over years I am convinced that that the ideology of Marxism, Leninism etc are not for solving the problem permanently, but for furthering the differences deep inside and further their own political agenda through the so called free thought and the free speech.

  6. May Almighty Allah Bless You and Open the eyes of those who besides having eyes couldn’t see the reality.. Although nice efforts put together to throw a little but light on our land and people.. Thanks a lot.

  7. Farhan

    Finally a very well written article…I hope a few of not many Indian brothers and sisters consider to ponder upon what’s happening in Kashmir!!
    What’s more heart breaking is that even after having so many resources of seeking the info people tend to get carried away by the biased media!!
    Looking forward to read many such articles from you..thanks:)

  8. Shaan

    Ms कविता, आप उस टाइम कहा रहती हे जब आर्मी, पुलिस की गाडियो को ये तुम्हारे शांतिदूत बम से उड़ाते हे। क्या सेनिको के कोई घरवाले नही हे ? तुम्हारे जेसे दलालो के कारन की आज देश की ये हालात हे।अगर इन आतंकवादियो से पहले तुम्हारे जेसे घर के दल्लाल सापो को सही तरीके से ट्रीट किया जाए तो ये अपना मुह उठाने से पहले 1000 बार सोंचे।
    क्योकि ना रहेगा बांस – ना रहेगी बांसुरी।
    👉अभी कश्मीर में जाके देखो वहा अमरनाथ यात्रिओ,कश्मीरी हिन्दुओ का क्या हाल हे ।
    👉उस टाइम कहा थी जब इसी इंडियन आर्मी ने कश्मीर में बाढ़ के टाइम मदद की थी।
    .👉जब आतंकी लोगो को निशाना बनाते हे तब कहा गायब हो जाती हो ?
    👉तुम्हारे जेसे देश के दलालो ने ही इस देह को बर्बाद कर रखा हे असली में।
    👉अभी ढाका में जब वो लड़की मरी थी , तो उसके लिए तो तुम्हे कुछ नही हुआ?
    👉जब सिमा पर जवान शहीद होते हे तो उनके लिए तुम्हे कुछ नही होता ?
    👉👉👉👉and finally ~~ go hell

  9. Rahul

    Just few points for you to ponder Ms Krishnan:
    – Terrorists from Pakistan are eagerly waiting to capture Kashmir and you say military should be removed from Kashmir
    – Even Kashmiri Pandits reside in Kashmir bit i believe they never resorted to Guns
    – Why is only one sect in the entire world feel they are being exploited. I am not being racist but people feel what they are made to feel by people like IS etc (who have their own political motives).
    – Yeah as u rightly said we people protest for our rights like we did in Delhi, but we dont pick up guns. We respect our police and military who are going through tough conditions to ensure our safety. Even military people are human beings and few of them could have done some wrong doesnt mean all are same. Please stop generalising.
    – While i am sure people in Kashmir do face difficulties amidst tight security but i believe if it were not for the military the situation in kashmir would be no different then any IS controlled state with people being exploited.
    – you guyz just look at one side of the coin but plz look at the larger picture. The entire situation in Kashmir also is a creation of terrorists and countries supporting them, cause they cant see Kashmir being with India. They are only finding ways and means to worsen the situation (including by funding separatists) and people like you add fuel to the fire and then say why is there a fire.

    Plz stop your rhetorics to gain cheap milage and publicity.

    1. Syfiah

      You guys do not know the history of Kashmir. It was never integral part of India. Kashmir had its own Prime Minister who was imprisoned by India for 17 years (Farooq Abdullah) until he gave up under pressure. Now we claim it is integral part of India because we have military power?

  10. SQayoom Shah

    I wish and only hope that the sensitive and sensible people of India rise up to the occasion in persuading their govt to fulfill the promises made with the people of Kashmir from time to time to have a honourable political solution to the dispute of J&K for the sake of their Democratic and secular face.Time has come to respect the political aspirations of the subjects of the land deniel of which will sooner or latter bring death and destruction to whole India.Kashmiries may gain or not but India has to loose and loose miserably which should b taken note of.

  11. Kohsheen

    Dear author,
    Your article is the same as other articles. Criticism of the the army and victimizing the Kashmiris. I agree that Kashmiris have faced a lot. They have struggled. Any warn torn territory struggles and violence is never a good choice. Yet none of you ever talk about the young and bright Kashmiris studying in various colleges in India? You never talk about how they earn and live a good life. If they can so could many others. You all talk about the number of people who die but never ask by whose bullets ? All the blame comes on one side. You talk about the anger of young boys but never their religious extremism. One of them wants to call Hindus and you praise him but neglect to mention the others who issue death threats at the same time. Yes we need a solution which begins with peace, but no one sees both sides of the coin. Either you support the victim or the perpetrator. In this case Kashmiris and the forces are both. Ever counted how many soldiers go back in coffins? No one will tell you. So I urge you to see both sides. In this battle of soldiers and terrorists people die. That’s the worst part. And kashmiri students in India do not live in fear. They enjoy life to the fullest because I know many of them. Kashmir did not always hate India, it was external extremist influence that has caused a lot of changes. Saying so I even I hope there will be strict laws on use of violence.

  12. Chander Patel

    Extremely one sided attack on the Indian state and the Indian security forces, and mindless glorification of the Kashmiri people. This is one of the most disgusting, repulsive excuses for a freedom movement, or protest movements, or whatever you want to call it.

    1. Syfiah

      Can you give a reason why India should forcibly hold on to a piece of land and its people? Kashmir acceded to India only because of invasion by Pakistan. Kashmir had its own prime minister but India later imprisoned him for 17 years until he gave up the right under duress of Kashmir’s freedom . I guess a great majority of people in India do not know the history of Kashmir and simply perceive it as an Islamic v/s Hindu right wing nationalism issue (read “fascism”). The basic problem is that the security forces do not consider Kashmiri’s as Indian, whereas the state considers it an integral part of India. Which means the state the more concerned about a piece of land than the people residing there.

  13. Amaresh

    Since it a topic where you’ll probably get harsh backlash from a large number of people, I thought I should at least leave a comment of support for you. An excellent piece and, as I mentioned to a friend, almost the words that I would have written on the topic. I hope your article gets a wide circulation. However, this an extremely polarizing topic in India and I sincerely doubt if anyone will actually change their opinion after reading the arguments from the ‘other side’. But, here is to hoping …

    1. You have said it that it is a polarizing topic. That means there are two poles. This writer represents one pole. The other side is another pole. That means another extreme. In my opinion, both are extremely harmful. Extreme left and the extreme right. Both are the two sides of the same coin of EVIL!

  14. Nidhi

    Thank you for putting this together. It’s really sad that we continue to be voiceless spectators to the brutalities under Afpsa- Kashmir/Manipur. A diginified dialogue that engages ordinary citizens is the only way forward to come to a logical solution. Thank you for raising your voice, yet again, for this very sensitive issue!

  15. tamil underdog

    The simple fact that no solution is possible unless Pakistan stops meddling with Kashmir and the militants stop using violence and give up their support for jihad. Kavita finds fault with Indian government and tells one side of the story.The other side is simply ignored. Should not these self-styled marxists reflect on the larger and complex picture and try to understand that no government will tolerate movements that promote secession and violence. The socialist governments are no exception to this. Perhaps Mao would have approved greater violence and more repression had he faced a similar problem in China.
    Marxists should in fact strongly criticize the jihadists who are up against modernity, equality and they have no love for marxism or socialists or feminists. What happened in Iran after Shah fled is a grim reminder. It is an irony , perhaps a tragedy that marxists do not understand simple facts on islamic fundamentalist jihadi groups. They are more lethal and dangerous than governments. Dont support jihadis and those fanatics will be happy if you support them and they despise all progressive movements. So your ideological enemy should be they and not the Indian government.

  16. This article is written by a politician associated with one of the political outfits which always strives to establishes itself through violence. Sheer violence. I have only as much trust in this educated writer as much or as little as I have for a goon politician in any part of the country. These people together have cheated gullible Indians over generations, creating opinions as desired by bosses who they need to obey. Last night this author’s unwillingness to answer straight questions by the interviewer in India Today TV show, and going around and around, silencing the others by her high pitched voice proved enough of her intentions.

  17. Ravi Raina

    Wan to ask madam krishnan , y she never raised questions for not registering of any FIR when kashmiri pandits were murdered in 1990.

  18. Certain things must be clear to all of us so that goon Politicians and the so called social activists affiliated to political parties and funded by foreign agents do not mess up with our thoughts and the Sovereign integrity of the nation.

    1. Kashmir is an integral part of India and Kashmiris are Indian Nationals
    2. The youngistan in Kasmir must be taken into confidence and there must be an organizational approach to reform the misguided to bring them into the national stream.
    3. Those who take to arms and have joined the fight, must be separated out from the community and punished as per the Indian law.
    4. Separatists who incite violence and make gullible individuals a prey to the Police or the Army action must be silenced. Their Indian passports must be revoked (using which they travel every where) and the security provided by the government withdrawn. Without the government security many of them will be killed by their own people in less than 24 hours.
    5. All Indians must understand that Kashmiris are not our enemies. Muslims are not our enemies. The separatists are. The terror mongers within and outside Kashmir (including a lot in Pakistan) are our real enemies.
    6. And lastly our real enemies are those who in the garb of intellectualism actually spread disharmony. To satisfy their paymasters within the country and outside. Such individuals must be clearly identified and booked on sedition cases and penalized.

  19. Waseem Tahir

    I am not able to undestand the connection beween terror and Burhan Wani, asI have seen flood of people attending his funeral. Prevailing conditions in Kashmir show he was a hero to most of them not a terrorist. Please dont label me anything I m absolutely out of any political stance.

  20. Rayees kashmiri

    A little of my faith in humanity is restored each time i see someone standing up for what’s right and just. Thank you for the article. We need more unbiased articles like yours to get our voices heard. As for the comments ridiculing and abusing you, i feel deep shame and anguish everytime i see someone be so callous about human lives while indulging in their self righteous notion of jingoistic nationalism. People everywhere have the right to live with dignity. The sheer disregard for kashmiri lives in the media and the rest of the country is truly disheartening. I wish people were human first and ‘nationalists’ later.

  21. Melange

    The whole idea of Kashmiriyat is based on racism and hatred of the other. The so-called Kashmiri movement has sought to separate the light-skinned Kashmiris as a “people of higher ground” with a culture and race different from that of the rest of dark-skinned Indians. Add the narrative of fabricated victimhood together with radical Islam and you have the perfect formula for poisoning and radicalising young people so that they can go blow themselves up while the political masters in Pakistan enjoy power and comfort.

    Besides, research shows that it is the educated and privileged who are more likely to become terrorists rather than the deprived and illiterate. Casein point: Osama bin Laden, Mohammad Atta (9/11), Omar Mateen (Florida), Farook Rizwan (San Bernandino), the Bangladesh attackers, France’s ISIS recruits, Abdeslam (Paris attacker) etc. It is the narrative of false victimhood and radical faith that drives them to terror.

    Given these facts, how can anybody sympathise with the Kashmiri militants and the whole “azadi” nonsense? The other Indian states have been dragging the weight of Kashmir, the state whose best known product is terror. It is time for Kashmiri muslims to cease their support for violence and do something productive instead. You are allowed to live and work anywhere in India, make use of all the opportunities you have.

    It is indeed sad that the Left in India has sunk to this low, being an apologist for terror and violence. No wonder the right wing is winning, the left has lost the plot.

  22. I fail to understand why people like Kavita are keeping quiet and do not write about our soldiers are getting attacked by propakistani Kashmiris . These people may have vested interest in writing about the tererists who are against our country.

  23. K SHESHU BABU

    Kashmir is for Kashmiris …! They will struggle till they achieve freedom. Meanwhile, the government will shift the blame on Pakistan and ‘ terrorists’ from Pakistan. The ruling fanatics will press for dumping of military and crush people. Every reason will be given for such a situation – except simple wish of Kashmiri to live as a ‘ kashmir’ life..!

    1. Chander Patel

      Even if they achieve ‘freedom'( which they supposedly don’t have now, since they are a federated state with democratic India) , what shape will that ‘freedom’ take? Will they start expelling, if not slaughtering, all those who didn’t support their great “Azadi” movement.

      Will India have to contend with a massive refugee influx, namely all the non-Moslems, and even a few pro-integrationist Moslems? Also, what kind of neighbour will this putative independent Kashmir be? Yet another Pakistan or Talibanist Afghanistan? Yuck

  24. Anil Rai

    A very objective, sensitively written, thought provoking article by Kavita Krishnan…she is bold and courageous and cares two hoots for the hate mails and trolls coming her way..she is made of sterner stuff ! By the way the right of Kashmiris’ for self-determination is just and inalienable..if Britons can decide on Brexit for relatively insignificant reasons, Kashmirexit is far more of significance and urgency for an entire people!

  25. Ashish

    “The Indian State should have been talking to Burhan Wani, not killing him.” what utopian state do you have in mind ? Which other country deals with their fellow renegades in this manner ? No matter what you might hear or read on social media, Burhan Wani came from a radicalized family. That he turned rogue after that police incident in October is just an excuse to justify why he fell off the wagon. In truth, he was the Hizbul terrorist who released videos on social media warning of attacks if Sainik Colonies or Kashmiri Pundits were set up again in the valley; he was also the terrorist involved in the 2013 attacks on Rashtriya Rifles in Tral. He was a terrorist who had a bounty of Rs. 10 Lakh on his head and it’s not just because he was a ‘paper tiger’, it’s because he was recruiting young educated Kashmiri youth for militancy in the valley.

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  27. Hanishkvc

    Please kavita, be honest & balanced and people will appreciate your good heart. Be a one sided cheapo marketing loud speaker & people will not accept the facts if any also.

    Now some General comments (which I had put on Twitter wrt this article, so sorry for the quirky sentence structure)

    Pls terrorism NeedsRealistic & NotIdealistic Handling. Known Terrorists&Terrorism RequiresCrushing WithIronHand.

    VShouldNOTMournFor #BurhanWani theTerrorist-GoodRiddance, butShouldMourn THEYouthLost2Miltancy AndIntrospect.

    mostProtestersAreInnocent ButWhenTheyGetMisled ByMiscreants ToBeViolentAndActGravely PoliceCantBeSittingDucks.

    Even policeHaveFamily&Right2Life. GivenComplexityOfSituationLetsNotBlindlyDemonizePoliceAndCleanchitMob.

    Need 3 parallels in the ground

    1.FirmHandlingOfMilitancy

    2.GenuineDevel

    3.HonestEmpathetic2AllDialogue

    For #India &#Kashmir sake.

    Now Some questions/response/comments to Kavita

    Are u sure encounter is not genuine?

    Do you have proof that most protester deaths were not act of self defence by police under grave threat by a violent mob.

    U Also know that, that comment about bombing, will be treated as blind & stupid by govt, so stop genocide bullshit

    VAllShareAPartOfThe blame wrt a youth becoming a militant. But equally a terrorist is a proven grave danger to innocents in society & needs to be dealt with firmly.

    Given that these mobs have dastardly Miscreants hiding among the innocent, we have to give more benefit of doubt to police, in this particular situation.

    If talking history to determine who has claim over land, rather both sides have.

    Again too complex to discuss need for world to move towards unity rather than tatters here.

    Are we kidding anyone/ourselves with the selective sympathy of a cunning terrorist who wanted to continue to have power under him.

  28. High Lander

    Hello Kavitha

    I was in Kashmir from 1985 till 1989 studying in NIT. At that time terrorism was minimal and hence no Police or army presence in the cities and villages. I used to watch a movie at Broadway cinema and walk home in Hazratbal at night as last bus used to leave at 7 pm. Believe me, there was not a single police picket on the 1 to 1.5 hour walk.
    Also I went on a cycling trip from Srinagar to Verinag which is about half a day trip one direction. Again no police or army on the way.
    So I can clearly state that if there was no terrorism, all this “harassment” will end immediately.

    However politics is a different matter and I was witness to it being destroyed by Congress and NC – coming together in 1986 with the rigged election.

  29. Akash Jhaveri

    A futile discussion when the two sides of the debate are fundamentally removed. “Not an integral part of India” conversing with “an integral part of India” is like saying I don’t really want anything to do with you, but here’s why I’m right (and of course, vice versa – the “integral part of India” camp never empathizes or even make an effort to understand the other side, since the assumption is the other camp doesn’t want anything to do with them). Solution can only be for one camp to fully accept the other camp – whatever that entails ie Azaadi, or no Azaadi.

    1. Unfortunately there are three sides of this coin of Evil. The Left, The Right and The I don’t care. The ground of Compassion and Mutual understanding is the only step forward.

  30. Pingback: Citizens’ Protest in Delhi Against Killings of Kashmiris by the Indian State | Kafila

  31. Pingback: The Killings in Kashmir: Kavita Krishnan – chakkarsite

  32. Rabi Sengupta

    Ignorance of ignorance is the death of the knowledge, your article focused on our long time ignorance over the ground realities of terrorism related facts of Kashmir. The article made me spellbound. I salute your approach and stamina to fight all odds from your countrymen. Carry on writing, please.

  33. Laasika Nirmal Bose

    Kavita, I support what you have said.It takes courage.Also strongly condemn those nasty comments.e

  34. Poovic

    With this I thnk you must also be having justification over kashmiri pandits thrown out of kashmir in 1990 by kashmiri muslims.. u shld also justify der killing der lose of homeland.. whom do you mercy n try to provide explanation for.. if u really wish to go in depth.. ask how did dis start.. from where did all these come up.. der is no one side to dis situation. . Take all facts into consideration before coming down to conclusion. .

  35. U dar

    Well written and this article is so accurate. I am not talking any sides but firmly believe that people should have a right to live where and how they want. It is clear that Kashmiris do not want anything to do with India; so why is India determined to occupy them?( forcefully) Why is this any different then British occupation of India?

  36. Harish Joshi

    कविता जी आप सच मे इस देश की हितैषी होती तो कश्मीर मे आतंकवादी के मारे जाने के बाद मातम न मनाती…. आप तो नक्सलवाद का भी पुरजोर समर्थन करने वालो मे से हो….
    कभी गए हो क्या कश्मीऱ़़?
    ये जो तुम्हारे भाई बहन वहॉ पथराव कर रहे हैं सब आतंकवाद की पैदाइश हैं… एक आतंकवादी के मरने पर तुम्हारा दुख मीडिया मे पब्लिश हो जाता है… लेकिन आतंकी हमले मे मारे गए जवानो के लिए तुम्हारी कोई संवेदना नहीं…
    याद रखना़़़ घटिया पन छोड़ दो… सच्चे भारतीय बनो

  37. Anita

    An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth makes the the whole world blind….Kashmir must be allowed the right to freely decide which part it wants to be people living there day to,day are the only ones who know and face the reality rest of us are spectators usually as media sensationalising more often then not thisvarticle gives an objective look into the state of affairs while many comments fuel the hatemongering politics is pathetic in these circumstances let the people decide without bribes or coercion …

  38. I would like to call every resident of Kashmir as humans, not pigs. Anyway, the question rises more about the right of everyone out there to protest (even it is for a terrorist, as I see no reason why we should stop anybody’s will). Secondly, why to use weapons (that includes pellet guns, one of the worst instruments used for humanity) to stop like-minded people? The simple (may be oversimplified) version can be that Kashmir is becoming more like a troop game, which is more like land of “rag dolls”, which can be played and never cared. I am a aspiring physicist, who makes conclusions based on observations and uses logic to comprehend the facts. But, I believe I am a human being first; extremely worried about the treatment given to other human beings (we are social animals). Reading this article reminded more about anarchy, and less about the pride of Kashmir being the part of our Nation. Infact, if we can’t help somebody, let them help themselves first.

    I don’t see reason to see any state of our country as different. Every state is expected to be given equal priorities, and I wish there is more “equity” than equality (and, when we do equity, we reach equality in ever form). I really don’t think India is towards equity. I feel more clustered than spread, in terms of humanity.

  39. Murtaza Sharif

    Absolute truth presented with guts & conviction & prejudiced hypernationalists as usual in denial mode.

  40. An amazing article! The reality is very much painful and I deeply appreciate what you wrote. I recently published an article on the same issue and an intensive amount of research was needed! Do take a look if you get the time!

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