Two days ago, I noticed a video posted by somebody on my facebook page. It was yet another video from Kashmir. It was tagged ‘brothers please watch, sisters please do not watch’. In later incarnations of the video, posted repeatedly on Facebook sites, Youtube channels and on blogs. it was tagged ‘Indian Security Forces Kashmiri Youth to Walk Naked on Road’ or ‘Kashmir – India’s Abu Gharib (sic)’.
The video was available on Youtube on the night of 8th/9th September, 2010, before being taken down.
Notwithstanding the misspelling of Abu Gharaib in these tags, there was something compellingly accurate in the designation. What I saw, and what i have seen unfold subsequently as a response by the Indian state to the circulation of this video, makes Abu Gharaib look like child’s play. Welcome to the virtual, viral, televisual reality of the nightmare of Kashmir.
For the past several weeks, I have been watching, and forwarding, several videos uploaded on to Youtube and facebook from Kashmir. Every video that I have seen contains evidence of the brutality of the Indian state’s footprint on the Kashmir valley, and of the steadfast yet resilient courage of its people, and of the innovative use they have been making of the internet to bear witness to their oppression.
See for instance – Innocent Man being Beaten in Kashmir.
I have seen paramilitary and police personnel open fire on unarmed or stone pelting crowds, mercilessly beat up young people and children, attack doctors, patients and nurses in hospitals, smash windows of homes, steal chickens and livestock and hurl the most vulgar invectives at ordinary people. I have watched the armed might of the Indian state retreat in the face of the moral courage of the opposition it encounters on the streets of Kashmir. It doesn’t take much to find these videos. Run a search with ‘Kashmir, Stone Pelting. indian Occupation’ on Youtube. Of follow the links and uploads on the growing cluster of Facebook pages from and about Kashmir. Continue reading Kashmir’s Abu Gharaib?