“It’s not about the Pakistani voice, it’s not about an Indian voice – it’s about the voice of Kashmiris”
Whilst listening to countless tear-jerking speeches in Trafalgar Square today, with my dad who lived through the Partition, these were the words which resonated with us.
Since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution by the Indian Government, which removed the ability of Jammu and Kashmir to govern autonomously in all areas except defence, communication and foreign policy, Modi, his government and military forces have continued to suppress the population of Kashmir.
What does this mean for Kashmir’s future?
- Indians from around the country will now be able to buy property and land and permanently settle in Jammu & Kashmir – they eventually will have no choice but to sell the land they proudly call their own, slowly ensuring the eradication of their nation.
- A separate UT (Union Territory) will be created for Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature
What does this look on the ground?
- 10,000 extra military personnel, with a further 25,000 ordered to arrive, to restrict movement across Kashmir?
- Blocking collective Eid Al Adha prayers?
- Cutting phone, internet and TV access?
Despite the communication blockage in Kashmir, the stories of bloodshed, trapped families and starving children were spread to the world today.
“Women are being used as instruments in this colonial project”
This broke me.
Women being sexually assaulted by the Indian army?
Women receiving rape threats for just wanting to come out of their homes?
What about international law?
Under the UN General Assembly Resolution 2625, the Kashmiri people have a right to seek and receive support if forcible action is taken by a State which deprives them their pursuit of their exercise of their right to self-determination in accordance with the Charter.
The erasure of Article 370, combined with the onslaught, encapsulates the forcible action that UNGA 2625 was intended to protect the people of Kashmir against.
What gave me an element of hope, was the solidarity I witnessed from the international community today – the Kurdish movement, the Yemenis and the Palestinians.
It is our duty, to continue to tell the story of those who cannot themselves be heard, to spread awareness, to lobby politicians and to –
be on the right side of history.