While the rest of the world is busy fighting a common enemy: Corona, India, on the other hand, is taking advantage to occupy Kashmir valley next level. How and on what ground, this article will discuss it in detail.
On 5th August 2020, India imposed article 370 which granted J&K a degree of regional autonomy within Indian union was withdrawn. On March 25th BJP led the Indian government ordered lockdown to fight COVID-19 (apparently). Unlike other people, lockdown at the start had not terrorized people of J&K as for them this was only an extension to the previously existed lockdown paired with a total blackout as India tried its best to cut-off Kashmiris from the whole world. Violation of human rights? Is Kashmiri not humans? Or Human rights are not for Kashmiris? Well, that’s another debate.
Post article 370 cessation continues followed by surplus restrictions like communication curtailment remains in J&K. The Internet was restored after 6 months since the last August and it took 7 months to upgrade 2G to 4G. The Indian government justified this ban “In the interest of sovereignty of the state and for India, the security of the state and for maintaining public order”. However, only the statement’s first part was true where it maintained “ In the interest of India”.
People are subjected to torture through the cover of lock-down which of course in letter and spirits of article 370 and not COVID-19. As of March 29 till now more than 400 FIR’s have been placed against defying “lockdown”. Hundreds of people were apprehended, shops sealed and vehicles seized. Police and Army are occupied in arresting people in the name of TTQ policy (Track, test, and quarantine). Furthermore, people who deemed a security threat to Indians are also being monitored through cyber means ostensibly supposed to monitor COVID-19 patients. Such tactics by the Indian government are obviously to have a grip over J&K.
As a preventive measure, the government of India continues to detain freedom fighters and Kashmiri leaders. However, the jury is still out to find out if these safeguards are to contain coronavirus or to stop Kashmiris from doing anything in favor of Kashmir?
To add insult to injury, India amended the domicile law: Now Indians can hold Kashmir’s domicile too. Provided that anyone who stayed in J&K for 15 years. Meanwhile, for government officials and students law is more flexible and situation easier – residence record of 10 years and 7 years respectively. Just for the record, domicile status will enable people to buy land and apply for local jobs. National conference leaders such as Omar voiced his opinion and called the domicile order insult upon injury. Syed Ali Shah has warned people against selling their piece of land to outsiders just as a protest.
Backed by GOI, The national council of educational research and training revised the chapter in the textbook of grade 12th “Politics in India since independence” for the academic session 2020-21.
While the topic “separatism and beyond” has been removed from the chapter, the scrapping of Article 370, which gave the erstwhile state of J&K special status has been included under the topic of “regional aspirations”. “One strand of separatists who want a separate Kashmiri nation, independent of Pakistan and India. Then there are groups that want Kashmir to merge with Pakistan. Besides these factions, there is a third party which maintained greater autonomy for the people of the state within Indian union,” the deleted portion read. Suffice it to say, this is an attempt to inculcate misconception along with extremism in youth.
More people are infected from human rights abuse than COVID-19. The Government of India is appointing its own bigwigs in Important offices of J&K, to pull their strings in desired directions. It is conspicuous India wants to subjugate Kashmir valley hence, trying to snatch Kashmiris right by legislation or political engineering – (making illegal things legal officially).
Militant violence, cross border shelling, and exchange of crossfire led to the deaths of countless people including civilians. This will exacerbate the conflict between India and Pakistan. Then again India will do a thing in which India can do exceptionally well: scapegoating.
The world pays no heed over Indian atrocities. Their miseries, sorrows, sufferings, and griefs are unending. No break from violence for Kashmiris even during pandemic India wants to contain Kashmir by hook or crook. For everyone else, Covid-19 is a temporary threat however, India under cap of COVID-19 this time and any other thing again is a permanent ultimatum. While the rest of the world would be free from corona until its vaccine will be available in the market. Kashmir needs an antidote to Indians to lessen its dejection, for that world needs to double its efforts to free Kashmir from India.