Kashmir is a beautiful land inhabited by beautiful people. Kashmiris produce beautiful goods that are admired the world over. But due to the ugly presence of Indian occupation forces, Kashmiris have long been living in an atmosphere of fear and misery. Now the oppressed Kashmiris have been under lockdown and curfew for the past 15 days. They have no access to phone and internet since. They have been cut off from the rest of the world for the past two weeks. Due to continued curfew, they are now running short of food, medicines and other essentials. On August 19, the government ordered schools to open but few teachers and practically no student turned up. At one school in Srinagar where 1,000 pupils are enrolled only one student turned up. Parents said how they could send their children to school when they would not be in contact with them.
On August 5, the Modi-led BJP government scrapped Article 370 of the Indian constitution that accorded the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status. It has paved the way for Indians from other states to settle, buy the property and get government jobs in the restive state. This has increased Kashmiris’ anger against India. After the revocation of Article 370, Kashmiris have staged protests to give vent to their wounded feelings. By its brazen action, the Modi government has only added fuel to fire. However, through the successful diplomatic efforts of Pakistan, the Kashmir dispute has been brought to the UN Security Council. Now 900,000 Indian soldiers are stationed in Jammu and Kashmir against nine million Kashmiri Muslims. Since the start of the latest uprising in 1989, around 100,000 Kashmiri civilians have been martyred and several thousands have gone missing. Now Kashmir is the most densely militarised zone in the world.
Off and on the world witnesses the emergence of monsters who arrogate to themselves arbitrary power. Monsters soon meet an ignominious end, however. Whether it is Warren Hastings, Hitler or Mussolini. No one in the world has the right to appropriate arbitrary power. It goes against the law of nature.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2019.