Today is the 5th of August 2020, last year on the same date Kashmir was put under the world’s biggest lockdown (prior to coronavirus), which was accompanied by forced disappearances, killings, thousands of PSA’s, political prisoners and absolute cutoff of internet and cell phone services. It didn’t take long for people to come out on the streets of their respective countries all demanding the same thing; lift the lockdown. The sympathy towards their fellow Kashmiri mates in university and colleges across the land, the hashtags lifting the conscience, the red profile photos doing nothing, the seldom concerning question that did they get to talk to their parents and the everlasting and useful tool of time ushered over their grief.
Let’s do a thought exercise; imagine a region that has over a 100,000 deaths, accumulated over half a century by a regime that wants to just preserve the beauty of the region without its inhabitants, gets put under 9+ months of curfew, and then you go online, expressing your sadness towards them, and that you “support” them, you then continue to watch your favorite TV show, read the escapist books and repeat the routine for a week or so for the decades of atrocities and feel you’ve done your part – how fitting.
All this while you probably didn’t even realize that you had been supporting just a minuscule part of the demands of the people. And I’ve seen this not only with the people living outside Kashmir, but even major so called brave journalists and organisations. All of them, and yes, all of them, are nothing more than cowards trying to lift the burden of conscience that seems to gloom on them every now and then and so they write an article on Kashmir, feel as if they’ve done their part and they can go about their business tracking the new lines of clothing the nepotist celebrity is wearing.
All of them claim to be in solidarity but none of them have the guts to actually put forth and write about what the people they claim to be in solidarity with actually want – freedom.
If you haven’t noticed there were no such extended curfews before, to this degree, but still people died, disappeared, took arms, and what not. Do you really think that lifting of the lockdown is their main concern, what rock have you been living under? With all your saddened faces marching in so called solidarity, not having an iota of realization of what the people actually want but rather what you are willing to stand in solidarity for. How different are you from the people facilitating the lockdown then? You are the same in principle; we will support what we think is what Kashmiris want i.e. peace, but we’re sorry for that our cowardly faces during marches display the dodging of reality, because we need to catch up with the new IPL match. All the ones standing in solidarity do, is creatively, with “art”, with songs, with laughable Instagram stories, create an effect that the entire reason of the bloodbath over half a century of wailing mothers, and disappeared (then killed) fathers is an internet problem. Everyone was out in their streets wanting the internet to be restored in Kashmir.
This is precisely the reason it’s frustrating when outsiders support Kashmir. We know your games. We know your metal. When you go on talking about not what Kashmiris want, but what you think they want it discredits the struggle of Kashmir, if you truly care then read, ask and act – which might end up taking your life, and you know it, and that’s why you support your and the popular outsiders so called “good” people’s narrative. You will never know the feeling of thousands of people’s blood boiling around you in chants of glorious death hailing over a corpse materialised by your dear army, you will never hear the piercing sound of their mothers subdued cry for that her son died for a cause, you will never feel the fear of army bashing into your home and the women praying for not to be raped as the solder’s eyes wander across their bodies. You will never know the long lines and parades maybe after your schools assembly in the morning, this time not in annoyance of the sun, but fear of the gun. If you really care, care about what Kashmir wants, not what’s convenient, and you know what they want – scared? Maybe, you shouldn’t support at all then because you’re helping the oppressor in dodging the actual reason people have given blood for, in the international platform, because of you then, everyone will jump on the wrong bandwagon. Yes, the red profile photo stands of something, yes sharing the photos of oppression creates awareness, but what for? Just to have a new oppressor, a change in oppression, a lesser evil? The point is to understand the big why. You need to look deeper into the reasoning of why you’re doing what you’re doing and what goal are you trying to achieve because else any label will attach itself to your awareness campaign, which is generally of curfew, internet shutdown, and the ever-used “law and order” problem.
The writings on even the major independant organisation do nothing but aid this problem by writing about the exact opposite of what Kashmir wants. Tons and tons of online discussion on the abrogation of 370, how that was bad, how curfews were bad – all of this is hard proof of that they don’t care what Kashmir wants, absolutely not, what they care is about what they want for Kashmir, its just a lesser degree of evil – they escape reality, they’re scared, they’re cowards. Stop supporting “YOUR” Kashmir. Support “THE” Kashmir.