Tag Archives: AFSPA in Kashmir

End repression in Kashmir: A call from civil society

We, the undersigned, are dismayed over the ongoing crisis in Kashmir. We have watched in horror and shock the repetitive cycle of state aggression leading to violence, deteriorating state of civil liberties, violation of fundamental rights and ever escalating loss of human life and dignity in Kashmir. In the last 115 days, we have lost over 100 lives in Kashmir. More than 15,000 civilians have been injured, out of which 4500 persons have suffered grievous injuries due to pellet-guns, 4664 have been injured by bullets. Over 8000 people have been arrested out of which 434 people have been detained under the Public Safety Act (toll as on October 30, 2016).

The immediate response of the Indian state to the recent uprising in Kashmir was the imposition of curfew, which is continuing till date. A media gag where newspaper offices have been raided, copies confiscated and editors threatened with dire consequences, accompanied it. Journalists reporting the situation have been attacked, intimidated and threatened with violence by those supposedly responsible for protecting them. Most recently the government banned the publication of Kashmir Reader, a daily newspaper published from Srinagar.

Continue reading End repression in Kashmir: A call from civil society

Kashmir’s Freedom is India’s Freedom: Hum Kya Chahte? Azadi

I do not think ordinary Indians support the brutality of army occupation in Kashmir. Despite what the Indian state says, and despite what the Indian army and CRPF are doing, I honestly do not believe that any ordinary Indian supports the torture of young men, the blinding of people attending a funeral, the rape of women, the killings and maiming and abuse and humiliation that are now a routinized fact of daily life in the Kashmir valley. To believe that ordinary Indians enjoy watching this spectacle of violence, that ordinary Indians take pleasure in the torture of children, would be to think India is now a country comprised of sadistic psychopaths. I honestly do not think ordinary Indians are psychopaths. I do think, however, that ordinary Indians, and I count myself amongst them, have somehow managed, till now, to keep some distance between what is happening in Kashmir and the idea of India as a whole. After all, India is a large and complex country, a huge and diverse society. Everything that happens in Kashmir, the brutality of the army and the security forces, cannot signify the whole truth of India we tell ourselves. It seems somehow unfair to us ordinary Indians that what happens in Kashmir reflects on us all.

But the time has come now to squarely face some hard truths about ourselves, and the dissimulations, psychological and social, by which we continue to live in this country and call ourselves ‘Indians’. Continue reading Kashmir’s Freedom is India’s Freedom: Hum Kya Chahte? Azadi

Statement Against State Violence in Kashmir: Ashoka University Students and Alumni

Guest Post by Ashoka University Students and Alumni

Letter condemning the State Violence in Kashmir


The Govt of India. and the Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir.

We, the undersigned—current students, alumni of the Young India Fellowship, and faculty of Ashoka University—write to voice our deepest anguish and grave concern at the violent turn of events in Kashmir in the past few days. The violence perpetrated by the Indian State after the extra-judicial execution(1) of 22-year old Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani (2) is highly condemnable. The Indian Army, Kashmir Police and other task forces have reacted violently with bullets, pellets and lathis in the clashes that erupted after Burhan’s funeral. This was immediately followed by many more protests and demonstrations as part of Kashmiri resistance to the military occupation of Kashmir by the Indian State. In the violent repression of the protests which had a huge ground support (evident from the large attendance to Burhan’s funeral) , 55 civilians (3) have been killed and around 3100 people (4) were severely injured by the pellets(5), lathis and bullets, some of whom have lost their eyesight. We, unequivocally, condemn this brutal use of force by the Indian State in dealing with the protests after the killing of Burhan Wani. Continue reading Statement Against State Violence in Kashmir: Ashoka University Students and Alumni

Students Protest in JNU Over Rising Civilian Casualties in Kashmir

The number of unarmed civilians killed in instances of firing by the armed forces, police and paramilitaries enforcing the occupation of Kashmir by the Indian state in the latest wave of violence has crossed fifty. Many more have been blinded by pellet guns. Hundreds have been injured and hospitalized. Reports of protests are coming not only from the Kashmir valley, Kargil, Drass and Jammu, but also from many cities in India. From Delhi (where there has been a public protest at Jantar Mantar, a press conference at Gandhi Peace Foundation and a student protest at Jawaharlal Nehru University), from Kolkata, which saw a massive turn out in a public march, from Chennai, from Patna, and from Kochi and Tricky in Kerala.

On Friday 22nd July, I went to a night protest march and public gathering by students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. The march was called by Shehla Rashid, Vice President, JNUSU and Rama Naga, General Secretary, JNUSU (Both AISA activists) There were perhaps two hundred students gathered peacefully. The march began around 10:00 pm, made its way around the university campus and the protest continued well past midnight. Several student organizations, AISA, BASO, Hundred Flowers, Collective, DSU and individual students participated in the march. Shehla Rashid, Vice President, JNUSU and an AISA student activist, addressed the gathering before the march began, stating clearly, that this was going to be a peaceful expression of the democratic right to protest against the atrocities being enacted by the Indian state on the people of the part of Kashmir that is under Indian occupation. She asked the students to be vigilant in case any disruptive slogans were raised by planted agent-provocateurs. The entire march, and the protest meeting was documented by the students, so as to ensure that no ‘doctored videos’ would raise their ugly digital heads in the days to come. The students raised the demand for freedom for the people of Kashmir, and for people in all parts of South Asia. The slogans connected the realties of the people of Kashmir, the North East, Bastar, Jharkhand, with the experiences of Dalits, Workers, Peasants, Women, Students and Minorities. Slogans were raised against the killings and blindings by pellet guns in Kashmir. against torture, again rape, against draconian acts like AFSPA and PSA. The march made its way through the entire campus and culminated outside Chandrabhaga Hostel, where a meeting was held on the steps. The meeting lasted over two hours, was completely peaceful,and more than two hundred students listened to the speakers with close attention.

Police officers and campus security guards were present, and recorded everything. The students also recorded everything. And the indefatigable Shamim Asghor Ali made video recordings of several speeches, and uploaded them on to youtube, which we are lucky to be able to share here. We are also grateful for the still images uploaded by V. Arun, several others also took pictures and videos, which are now being shared on Facebook. Continue reading Students Protest in JNU Over Rising Civilian Casualties in Kashmir

हैदर: नैतिक दुविधा का बम्बइया संस्करण


“एकतरफा,स्त्री विरोधी और अतिसरलीकृत सपाटदिमागी… रूपात्मक और सौन्दर्यात्मक दृष्टि से भी ‘हैदर’ एक लचर और बोरिंग मसाला फिल्म है जो बहुत लंबी खिंचती है.”

कायदे से दर्शन के युवा अध्येता ऋत्विक अग्रवाल की इस समीक्षा के बाद ‘हैदर’ के बारे में और कुछ  नहीं कहना चाहिए. लेकिन ‘हैदर’ देखकर चुप रहना भी तो ठीक  नहीं.

दिल्ली के पी.वी.आर रिवोली सिनेमा हाल में ‘हैदर’ देखना यंत्रणादायक अनुभव था. हाल में काफी  कम दर्शक थे. ज़्यादातर युवा थे. फिल्म शुरू हुई और कुछ देर आगे बढ़ी कि फुसफुसाहटें तेज़ होने लगीं.फिर वह दृश्य आया जिसमें हैदर का चाचा उसकी माँ के साथ ठिठोली कर रहा है.और किसी हास्यपूर्ण प्रसंग की प्रतीक्षा में बैठी जनता ने हँसना शुरू कर दिया. विशाल भारद्वाज ने सोचा होगा कि वे एक बहुत तनावपूर्ण दृश्य रच रहे हैं जिसमें हैदर में हैमलेट की आत्मा प्रवेश करती है.जनता ने इसमें ‘कॉमिक रिलीफ’ खोज लिया. ध्यान रखिए,फिल्म में अभी कुछ देर पहले इस औरत के पति को फौज उठा ले गई है और उसका घर उड़ा दिया गया है!फिर तो जगह-जगह हँसी का फौवारा फूट पड़ता था. चाहे सलमान खान के दीवाने दो सरकारी मुखबिरों का दृश्य हो या हैदर को प्यार करने वाली अर्शी का कश्मीरी उच्चारण हो! लोग जैसे हंसने के लिए तैयार बैठे थे और कोई मौक़ा हाथ से जाने न देना चाहते थे . मैंने सोचा कि फिल्म आगे चलकर दर्शकों को शर्मिन्दा कर देगी और खामोश भी. लेकिन वह न होना था,न हुआ. आख़िरी हिस्से में जहाँ बर्फ पर कब्र खोदते हुए बूढ़े नाटकीय ढंग से गा रहे हैं, फिर हँसी छूट पड़ी. बिलकुल अंत में जब इखवानियों और इन बूढों के बीच गोली-बारी हो रही है, एक बूढा उसी गीत को गाता है और हाल में हँसी तैरने लगती है. Continue reading हैदर: नैतिक दुविधा का बम्बइया संस्करण

AFSPA in Kashmir – “Armed Forces’ Say Prevails Anyway”: Gowhar Geelani

Guest post by GOWHAR GEELANI

There is a lot of noise in the media over AFSPA. Ask any senior Indian security official, a turn-coat politician or a retired Army General what AFSPA stands for. “Armed Forces Special Powers Act,” they will say. Now pose the same query to an ordinary Kashmiri living there in the hapless Vale for the past two decades. The answer perhaps would be: “Armed Forces’ Say Prevails Anyway”. Continue reading AFSPA in Kashmir – “Armed Forces’ Say Prevails Anyway”: Gowhar Geelani