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Opinion

May 13, 2017
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Forgotten fear

Opinion

May 13, 2017

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There is widespread anger and hatred against the Indian occupation in Occupied Kashmir. The Indian forces have failed to crush the determination and courage of the Kashmiri youth. Every day, young people take to the streets and are subjected to brute force.

More than 160 people have sacrificed their lives for independence. Thousands have been injured and blinded by pellet guns. The people of Kashmir want to decide their own future and fate through an open, free, transparent and democratic process. The UN Security Council promised the Kashmiris to give them their democratic right to hold a plebiscite. This promise has not been fulfilled by the UN and world powers.

The mass rebellion against India started when Burhan Wani was martyred by Indian forces in a gun battle in 2016. His killing sparked mass protests and demonstrations. The Indian forces have tried every tactic to crush the rebellion – live bullets, pellet guns and severe torture. More than 3,000 youth have lost their eyesight and have suffered other serious injuries due to the live bullets and pellet guns.

Now the Indian forces have witnessed a new phenomenon. The continued use of brute force and repression has sparked a student movement and street rebellion. The killing of a 17-year-old student in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir enraged students and they launched a massive protest campaign against the occupation. This movement is not just confined to male students. A large number of teenage girls have also emerged as active participants in the protest. They no longer fear the occupying forces and take to the streets on a daily basis. Over time, this student rebellion has transformed into an indigenous mass movement.

The overwhelming majority of Kashmiri students are spending their time on the streets instead of their classrooms. They are not learning traditional subjects, but are focusing on the art of resistance. They are not taking history lessons in classrooms but are busy making history on the streets. For them, resistance and struggle has become a way of life. They believe that resistance is the only option left for them.

In an interview with the Indian Express, AS Dulat, the former head of RAW, said that he has never felt so afraid about the situation in Kashmir. He said that the present situation is even worse than the situation in the region was in 1990 when the militant struggle started to flourish. He said: “there is a sense of hopelessness. They are not afraid to die. Villagers, students and even girls are coming out on the streets. This has never happened before”.   

A S Dulat served in Srinagar as the IB director in the 1980s and then worked as an adviser to former Indian prime minister Vajpayee. He has considerable experience and knowledge about Kashmir. He is worried that the young people in Kashmir have lost the fear of their lives. They are proud of being stone pelters. The Kashmir situation has never been so bad.

This is a correct reading of the situation by a former spy. But the Indian government is not listening to any voice of reason from within India. India has failed to learn any valuable lessons from the tactics and strategies it has used over the past year. The killings, pellet guns, mass blinding, arrests, repression and brutality have failed to frighten the people of Kashmir. Once the public loses its fear of the state’s force, the latter’s tactics becomes counterproductive. This is what has happened in Kashmir.

India claims to be the largest democracy in the world. But the Kashmiris have been denied their basic democratic and human rights. India wants to keep Kashmir under its occupation. The Kashmiris are just demanding their democratic right to decide their own future. But this democratic demand is met with brutal use of force by the Indian forces. The Kashmiris have the right to decide their own future, just like everyone else in the world. They have every right to protest and demonstrate their anger and hatred against the Indian occupation.

India has no right to occupy Kashmir against the wishes and will of the Kashmiri public. It is the responsibility of the world powers to force India to stop using brute force against innocent and unarmed young protesters. India should accept the reality and pull out its troops from Kashmir. The continued occupation and state brutality have turned this paradise into a living hell. India should stop the gross violation of human rights and the genocide of the Kashmiri youth.  

The Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination. They deserve respect, dignity, freedom and liberty instead of humiliation, torture and abuse.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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