You ViewsVOLUME 15 ISSUE # 24

Do Kashmiri lives matter?

Like “Black Lives Matter”, the lives of the minorities and the marginalised in India and anywhere else in the world should matter too. This is the crux of the hundreds of articles in the Black Lives Matter theme appearing in the media. The protests are not just about George Floyd but about the systemic culture of harassment by state organs, legitimised with blanket impunity and political patronage.

They indicate that the protests often turned violent and are public responses to conditions that have become unbearable. Police brutality and the culture of harassment Kashmiris are facing resemble what has happened in the United States. The police brutality seen in the recent anti-Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) campaigns in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India is eerie. In some cases of mob lynching policemen were found involved. This triggered aggression from people in the same way as in the United States but in India this reaction is called terrorism. This led to an outpouring of protests by liberal and secular Indians in streets. The protests first began in universities, where students were not only brutalised but also criminalised, with hundreds of them arrested.

Kashmir may be a political issue, but let us not forget that the people who own the disputed territory, have been living in conditions worse than those imposed by the Nazis in concentration camps. Since the illegal Indian occupation began seven decades ago, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris have been killed, and many more injured by Indian occupation forces. Scores of human rights organisations have condemned India’s actions in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In a report published last year, Amnesty International highlighted the numerous human rights violations in occupied J&K, and demanded accountability of the Indian security forces.

A Human Rights Watch report states that the Indian security forces are responsible for the torture and murder of Kashmiri people in fake encounter killings. The world has to act as the massacres in occupied Jammu and Kashmir are many times worse than the Srebrenica genocide whose anniversary was commemorated on July 11.

Syed Tahir Rashdi