Kashmir has been suffering for over two centuries now. This disputed territory (the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir) has witnessed itself deteriorate since 1947.
Pakistan and India have fought three full-fledged wars over the Kashmir issue, consequently, resulting in the feelings of resentment and abomination on both sides.
The root issue lies in who gets to control Jammu and Kashmir; the Indians or the Kashmiri insurgents themselves. Kashmiris have left no stone unturned in striving to attain local autonomy, however, the political egos harbored by both India and Pakistan, unfortunately, have never really taken into account their sorry plight.
The story of their misery isn’t new to our ears. Besides, until recently, Media had stopped giving significant attention to them. The Kashmir crisis was brought into light again only after the horrific incident of July 8, 2016 took place; a subtle reminder of the fact how we tend to forget the miserable so conveniently.
On July 8, 2016, the Indian forces killed Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a 22 year old separatist fighting for an independent Kashmir.
Mr. Wani had already gathered a colossal number of followers on social media and his death played a crucial role in triggering the youth to protest against the Indian forces.
Since then, more than 40 people have lost their lives including an Indian police officer during violent confrontations. The horrendousness of the situation does not end here.
The Indian armed forces have been employing pellet guns to dismantle the crowds of the protesters for the last 15 days.
As a result, over a thousand have been injured and a number of them are under the constant threat of blindness because of the damage done to their eyes by the usage of pellet guns.
Moreover, curfews, blocked landline/internet connections and restricted publication of the newspapers have aggravated the situation while the feelings of resentment among the Kashmiris continue to mount.
Wani never tried hiding his true identity and this is why he struck a rather strong chord with the people of Kashmir, who wholeheartedly supported him. The history as well as the current situation is a living testimony to the fact that it is about time that Kashmiris are given the autonomy they have been demanding approximately for the past 70 years.
The present as well as the former government officials on both sides have voiced their concerns.
However, criticizing each other, a this point in time, is not going to be of much help.
The former Pakistani ambassador to the US and current Senator, Sherry Rehman, tweeted a rather bold statement the day before yesterday, about how the biggest democracy in the world – that is India- treats dissent.
The Indian masses were quick to point out the issues with Pakistan that according to them, needed to be resolved first and that an impartial analysis was expected of her. However, it is also true that a gigantic number of Indians have also participated in candle light marches, across India in order to show solidarity with the Kashmiris. Keeping all the prejudices aside, it is about time that India and Pakistan work together to restore humanity in the surreal land of Kashmir.
This is what Ashotush, the Indian TV journalist, had to say about the whole situation.
What to do?
These protests might turn into a violent uprising if the government officials and the media on both sides keep playing the blame game while misrepresenting each other, at the same time. Only a sound political resolution by India and Pakistan can put an end to the ever-increasing resentment and violence in the enchantingly beautiful land of Kashmir. Otherwise, the number of Kashmiris entering into militancy will only rise and the body count will keep on increasing, without an end in sight to the deadly brutality over this ‘Paradise’ on Earth.
Cover Image Via: qz.com
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