On 13, October 2010 a team of interlocutors was appointed by the Government of India to hold dialogue with all the sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir. The team of interlocutors consisted of journalist Dileep Padgonkar, educationist Radha Kumar and the former Information Commissioner M. M. Ansari. After almost one and a half years the report was released on 24 May 2012 by the Ministry of Home Affairs (.pdf here). The report calls for formation of a Constitutional Committee to review the extension of central laws to the state of J&K from 1952 onwards. Some of the major recommendations are: changing the temporary nature of Article 370, dividing the state into three Regional Councils and appointment of the Governor but after consultation with the state legislature. The Report further says that the findings of this Constitutional Committee shall be binding on all the ‘stake holders’ in the State. Continue reading If ‘temporary’ meant special, what would ‘special’ mean?: Gazala Peer→
I’m writing this letter from New York, a place far away, yet so close to everything. This city can make you forget, by filching reality away from you. But it also reminds you perpetually, by bringing you close to a different reality, through the pain and suffering of others. There are exiled specimens from all over the world here (yes, mostly those permitted to come to the US). There are Irish and Greeks, escapees from famines and wars. There are Jews from Germany and Germans from Russia, ones who survived persecution. There are Latinos from El Salvador, Peru, Guatemala, and Bolivia, who fled Western-backed dictatorial regimes in their countries in the 1970s and 80s. There are Africans who narrowly missed genocide in Southern Sudan. There are Kurds from Turkey, and Berber from North Africa, driven out of their lands by years of conflict. And, then there are African Americans, who were forcibly brought hundreds of years before to slave for their White masters, and who, despite recent claims of dawning of an age of “post-racial America,” are still groveling at the bottom of the socio-economic heap. Their stories tell a similar conclusion: The world is shrinking for small nationalities and powerless minorities. Continue reading From New York, a letter to fellow Kashmiris→
The 8-point Plan, New Delhi’s political initiative to address the crises in Kashmir, attests to the parallel and incommensurate realities of the sovereign and the subjugated, the Indian state and the Kashmiris.
The 8-point Plan renders obvious New Delhi’s limited comfort zone. The Plan is not an overture to healing the reality of suffering and outrage inside Kashmir. Rethinking militarization and military governance is not the priority. The ambition is to manage Kashmiris and to keep the disarray concealed from the international gaze.
New Delhi announced its 8-point Plan on September 25, 2010, following the visit to India-ruled Kashmir of a 39-member All Party Delegation from New Delhi led by Union Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, and parallel to the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York City. That Defence Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony did not accompany the All Party Delegation was indicative of New Delhi’s mood.
Guest post byANGANA CHATTERJI First published on 25 September 2010 inGreater Kashmir
“Freedom” represents many things across rural and urban spaces in India-ruled Kashmir. These divergent meanings are steadfastly united in that freedom always signifies an end to India’s authoritarian governance.
In the administration of brutality, India, the postcolony, has proven itself coequal to its former colonial masters. Kashmir is not about “Kashmir.” Governing Kashmir is about India’s coming of age as a power, its ability to disburse violence, to manipulate and dominate. Kashmir is about nostalgia, about resources, and buffer zones. The possession of Kashmir by India renders an imaginary past real, emblematic of India’s triumphant unification as a nation-state. Controlling Kashmir requires that Kashmiri demands for justice be depicted as threatening to India’s integrity. India’s contrived enemy in Kashmir is a plausible one – the Muslim “Other,” India’s historically manufactured nemesis. Continue reading Kashmir: A Time for Freedom→
Dozens of young boys have been arrested across Kashmir under draconian laws over the last few weeks. The charges that have been filed against them range from “waging war against the state” to defiling “state honor”. In recent months Indian military and police commanders have described protests in Kashmir as “agitational terrorism” and “non-violent terrorism” in order to justify violent clampdown on protests by Kashmiris.
In the same period around 8 people, mostly teenagers, have been either shot to death or fatally injured by indiscriminate use of tear-gas shells. Over the last two years the number of dead in shootings is more than a hundred. Meanwhile thousands of people have been injured. Many of them will be left with permanent physical disabilities. The police authorities have banned any peaceful assembly of people. Many places in downtown Srinagar and other towns have reported police brutalities. Even the villages are not being spared. Only yesterday, mourning villagers were attacked by CRPF troopers in Redwani in South Kashmir. Dozens of them were injured by CRPF’s indiscriminate firing. Most of the injuries were inflicted above the waist showing an intention to kill Continue reading ‘Non-violent terrorism’ and India’s dirty war in Kashmir→