One can only wonder what sort of sordid fantasies Modi and his ilk may be dreaming up. As reports emerge of Kashmiri WhatsApp accounts disappearing, one can almost hear India’s Hindu nationalists think to themselves: “Why don’t Kashmiris disappear off the face of the Earth already?”
After all, that is what has characterised Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party’s approach towards the people of the occupied territory. In statement and in action, they have time and again betrayed that Kashmiris in their consciousness are little more than a nuisance. A sore thorn in the path to realising their anachronistic dream of an India only for Hindus.
From the repeal of the constitutional provisions that guaranteed the last vestiges of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy to placing them under a total information blockade with no end in sight, the Modi regime has so far showed its only policy for the people of the valley is to demand they put up and shut up. As its various representatives attempt to justify the moves as being in ‘Kashmiris’ own interest’ at the world stage, one is compelled to speculate if they truly believe it or are they in fact simply too cynical to care.
For those with any empathy, in and outside of India, this disappearance of Kashmiris off of WhatsApp comes as both a grim reminder and a warning. As they vanish from our friends lists, it is a reminder that these ever-suffering people still exist, incarcerated in silence. It is also a warning that continued silence on their plight, particularly by the reasonable segments of Indian citizenry, will bring BJP’s Hindu nationalist fantasies even closer to fruition.
If no one calls Modi and others like him out, WhatsApp and other social media networks may not be the only thing the people of Kashmir could end up disappearing from.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2019.