Skip to content

Contents: Unmasking the Conflict: Making sense of the recent uprisings in Kashmir (Issue 32)

Contents: Unmasking the Conflict: Making sense of the recent uprisings in Kashmir (Issue 32)

Read more

Guest-Editorial: “The memory of oppressed people is one thing that cannot be taken away”

By Idrees Kanth and Muhammad Tahir
Words like occupation, suppression, martyr, aazadi, farce of Indian democracy, crackdown, curfew, disorder, depression, ptsd, pellets, etc., strewn across these write-ups familiarise us with the vocabulary that young Kashmiris grow up with, a lexicon not frequently employed by those who live in otherwise more ‘normal’ societies than the Kashmiri people do. Yet, these words and the narratives framed around them should not only be read as a conscious assertion against the oppression that the Kashmiri youth face, but also a symptom of what they have undergone.

Read more

Recorded Rotten Stereo Sounds, A Rape Survivor’s Testimonial

By Uzma Falak
Portions of “Recorded Rotten Stereo Sounds, A Rape Survivor’s Testimonial” are based on testimonies of Kunan-Poshpur rape survivors and statements of army and other state apparatus. The story of Kunan and Poshpur should not only help us understand the workings of Indian state machinery, it’s the multi-pronged and systematic occupational strategies and workings of other statist agencies and colonial projects, but it also helps us see the cornerstone of Kashmir’s culture – the culture of resistance.

Read more

Public Safety Act: The making and unmaking of the Dangerous Individual in Kashmir

By Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh
PSA thus allows for the creation of a complete, complex, self enclosed, and socialized carceral system – a system of collective, indefinite punitive containment with no exit, where the process is quite literally the punishment. The state creates a political buffer zone, coercing and blackmailing families and the recalcitrant and striking population to actively engage with its institutions – the local extortionate police official, the distant bureaucrat, the obdurate jailer.

Read more

For Normalcy’s Sake

By Basharat Ali
For individuals coming from the ‘marginalised’ communities, success in sports has often been used to mark a change in the living conditions of the groups they represent. The history of sports in America can further explain this better. The athletic scene in America is dominated by the blacks. This has been made possible as a result of sustained efforts from the American establishment to promote a culture of sports only to appropriate the individual success of athletes to whitewash its inherent racism against the blacks.

Read more

Everyday Resistance: An Overview of 2016 Uprising in Kashmir

By Mehraj Bhat
Working as a volunteer for more than two months in the hospital, I witnessed the brutality in its nude form, but also hope in the eyes of every new injured brought to the hospital. A huge rush of people thronged the hospitals, asking if they could donate blood for the injured, chanting slogans: “Hum Kya Chahte Azadi, Burhan Tere Khoon se Inqilaab Ayega, Aasie jaan detna-ghar baar detna, masoom detna, teli kyaze yeeni teli kyaaze yeene.”

Read more

The Conflict, The Crisis, and the Kashmiri Youth

By Muhammad Tahir
Though significant traumatic events like uprisings do not occur frequently, but political resistance through formal and informal networks, general strikes – in the last 27 years, from 1990 to 2016, hartal [general strike] has been observed over 2000 times against many events and incidents – curfews, state-imposed restrictions and other aspects of the military occupation, in general, effects a persistent traumatic condition in which not only this narrative culture reinforces itself but also the self-identity of the youth which gets shaped in the process.

Read more

“Inside Out”: Autobiography, History, and the Comic Form in Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir

By Amrita Singh
Sajad is conscious that his “autographic” narrative shouldn’t be considered giving the picture of Kashmir; it is not a photograph of “reality” but a drawn image that gives one version of what it has been like to grow up in Kashmir. The older, recollective voice is narratorial, bringing to attention the purposive act of giving an account and the innocent, discovering, faltering is the child’s voice. Here the distinction between the self and the other breaks down leading to a moment of autobiographical reflection not narrated, not explained by words but literalised in image.

Read more

The Imamate of Resistance

By Tavseef Mairaj
The ascension of a young man in his late twenties to the position of Imam of the main mosque of the village had the youth flocking to the mosque as never before. In the backdrop of three non-violent uprisings against Indian rule in succession in three years, the youth of the village looked upon the new Imam not just a someone who led them in prayers 5 times daily but as someone to ask in political and social matters.

Read more

Delegation Drama

By Rouf Dar
India again needed to talk to Kashmiris to bring about “peace”. Named as “crisis managers” by a leading newspaper, however, the delegation’s attempt to neutralise people courtesy certain ruses failed yet again, for a blinded and paralysed people would never talk to their perpetrators. How could one expect people to sit on the same table with their murderers, that too expecting the problem to perpetuate further?

Read more

Tenacious Childhood in the Occupied Vale

By Sadaf Thakur
I belong to a generation of Kashmiris who has witnessed the horror of violence. Curfews, killings have now become a part of our normal life. I have realized growing up in a conflict zone is not easy. It has a direct effect on your mental health as well as other issues. It changes your behaviour towards everything, even to life itself. You stop thinking positively because when you take a look around yourself you find nothing that can boost up your approach towards life. The only things you find around you are killings, pellets and bullet attacks, shootouts, mass disappearances, house-to-house searches, and the petrifying thought of getting arrested anywhere anytime.

Read more

The Economics of the Kashmir Conflict

By Bilal Hussain
While, it is very plausible that normalcy paves way for economic expansion, in Kashmir ‘normalcy’ acts but as a gizmo for economic captivity of the state. However, the state government and its overlords in New Delhi, use the ‘economic losses’ argument that the unrest in Kashmir leads to, as a ploy to subdue the popular sentiment of azaadi among the Kashmiri people.

Read more

It was the Blood!

By Huzaifa Pandit
I was a little child barely able to register my first memory of a gun toting BSF man leading out a neighbour through our lane at gunpoint. I would be slightly puzzled when army men wearing soiled jackboots would come into our house without taking them off outside. Knowing my grandmother who had a marked aversion to dirty feet that soiled her clean house, I often wondered why she abstained from shouting at these men, who would often leave the whole house in tumult.

Read more

Non-Domination: A Just Course for Kashmiri Self-Determination

By Latief Ahmad Dar and Rayees Ahmad Bhat
So, if the Kashmiris want to constitute themselves as a democratic public at all, they need to provide mechanisms based on non-domination for the effective representation and recognition of the distinct voices and perspectives of those constituent groups that are in minority or disadvantaged. They need to recognize that self-determination is not only about choice but also the land-ownership practices and the social relationships that develop through such practices.

Read more

Toward a Pragmatic/Liberal Position on Kashmir for Outsiders

By Cheshta Arora and Debarun Sarkar
As members of a nation state, our solidarity shouldn’t end by extending our mere support to the group seeking independence but should give us an opportunity to contemplate on our own complicated relation with the state and this leads us to a decision between two obvious choices present here—either an overthrow of/withdrawal from the state or to work from within the state.

Read more