Tag Archives: Indian Army rape in Kashmir

A Matter of Honour ? A Response to B. G Verghese’s views on the Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape: Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh

Guest post by Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh

 I have thought hard about why I want to write this piece at all, since so many others before me, have made robust critiques of Mr B.G Verghese’s well-known views on the Kunan Poshpora mass rape. Past criticism has focussed on questions of his obvious biases– both personal and professional, his misogyny and profound lack of empathy for the victims, his blinding nationalism, the tenor and language of his reportage. Most however accept his version of the facts, given his (often self proclaimed) claims to veracity bolstered by official hospitality, access to documents, and his reputation as an eminent journalist. ‘There was a delay in making an official complaint’ ‘medical evidence shows that the mass rapes did not take place’, ‘villager’s and early official accounts of that night are full of gaps and contradictions’, these have become the pervasive truths about the events of February 23-24, 1991, to the point where his decriers can often only counter him by explaining away the inconvenient and the inexplicable, within the narrative and factual scaffolding that he provides. Mr Verghese points to this when he writes, ‘Sadly, it [the Press Council of India Report] was and is widely criticised to this day, without critics having read it or controverted its substantive findings’. Mr Verghese fails to disclose that until recently no one has had access to the ‘substantive’ material that could allow such a critique, because the state had never disclosed that any other investigative material existed simply replying to RTIs seeking information on the status of the case, with the inscrutable ‘closed as untraced’. The unwieldy length of this piece (8000 words) will, I hope, serve to finally pursuade him that not only is his work read, it is read in painstaking detail.

Continue reading A Matter of Honour ? A Response to B. G Verghese’s views on the Kunan Poshpora Mass Rape: Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh

22 Years after Kunan and Poshpora, Rethinking Kashmir: Abhijit Dutta

Guest post by ABHIJIT DUTTA; all photographs by the author unless otherwise mentioned

1-kunan 4

It looks like any other village in Kashmir.

You go past a wooden bridge, past open fields winter-barren and wet with rain. Past mountains with snow on their chin. Past wistful looking poplars. Past a brook with clear water. Past grumpy apple trees gnarled like a grinch.

Then the road narrows, and homes – of timber and brick – come into view. Some have fences, unpainted wood. Heaps of hay, dung cakes, piles of dried leaves left to smoke. Ditches and dykes choked with snowmelt. Leafless walnut trees and brunette willows. The chinars, wild redheads just months ago, now old and arthritic. There is a government school on the right, a madrassa on the left. A few houses of stone, fewer of concrete, tin roofs over all.

Before you walk any further, the village ends. The next village is Poshpora. Like Kunan before it, it looks like any other village in the valley. The two villages are so close that people no longer call them by their individual names. Everyone knows this two-in-one village as Kunan Poshpora. Continue reading 22 Years after Kunan and Poshpora, Rethinking Kashmir: Abhijit Dutta