Anniversaries are good opportunities for reflection. I write this in the early hours of 15th August, 2008, the 61st anniversary of Indian independence.
The events of the past few months, and the past few days, in the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir have demonstrated how well and how equally (or not) the police, paramilitaries and armed forces of the Indian Republic treat different kinds of protesting crowds. The facts that I am about to discuss are good measures with which to think about the relationship between acts of power, different kinds of people, sovereignty, life and death in the Indian nation state as it has evolved over the past 61 years.
The region of Jammu in the province of Jammu and Kashmir has been caught in the grip of a fierce agitation against the revocation of the land transfer to the Amarnath Shrine Board. We have all seen footage of angry SASS (Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti) activists brandishing trishuls, setting up roadblocks and burning tyres, the agitation has spread to different parts of India