After putting Kashmiris under a virtual house arrest, gagging Internet, suspending telecommunications, clamping down the media, stopping electricity and water supplies in some areas, & blocking cable TV, what tyrannical methods would this current oppressive regime employ next? If they happen to run out of ideas, maybe they will take a leaf out of Bashar-al-Assad’s book, & just like that ‘Butcher of Damascus’, start dropping chlorine bombs on its own people!
All sarcasm aside, India has always been helped more by state sponsored actors than the non-state actors, in perpetuating these atrocities. They forever used this primordial centre-state nexus to facilitate the seizure and consolidation of power in Kashmir.
This unholy & scandalous association has resulted in our own state actors willingly becoming their ruthless torture apparatus in the valley. The state politicians whether in power or opposition have reduced their choices to just one, to eternally serve the centre’s dirty agendas in Kashmir and work hand in glove with them to quell any voice of dissent rising in the valley. We might just as well be requesting (and not even demanding) something as basic as potable water. But no, for any kind of protest, a bullet has come to pass as our destiny.
Come elections, they promise the moon, and soon after coming to power, they try every possible way to stay in the centre’s good books. Even if it means showering bullets and pellets on their own people. After all, staying wedded to that powerful chair, holding on to that berth in the legislative assembly, that posse of policemen roaming around, that drunken-with-power aura is more important than cheap Kashmiri lives. Human rights and humanity can go to the dogs for all they care. And in the grandiose scheme of things, the hapless Kashmiri bleeds unnoticed.
Whether or not every election in Kashmir is rigged is a separate question deserving a separate discourse. But every government in Kashmir turns out to be more autocratic than democratic.
They have over the years turned Kashmir into a totalitarian, police state controlled by the brazen use of force exercised through local administration and police. This imbecilic, trigger happy local police force, could very well use some policing lessons & a good dose of readings of the Geneva Conventions (of which India is a signee) along with other International treaties on ‘Laws of War’. These uniformed goons, have lost every sense of morality as they carry out all the dirty work without a heart. For them, the line between the right and the wrong, the black and the white of their duty has become ever so thin. But it would be foolish to expect them to show mercy or any semblance of compassion when they have a free hand, complete impunity, no fear of reprimand, an armory full of pellet guns and an unending supply of 7.62 mm caliber bullets. Killing and maiming people at will should seem fun.
That the Education Minister(and Spokesperson), who these days talks everything but education and acts like a bully’s bumbling sidekick seconding everything the bully says, doesn’t surprise many when he asserts the government’s absolute dependence on Pellet guns due to the lack of non-lethal alternatives. Whatever happened to the rubber bullets, water cannons, teasers, and other less-than-lethal incapacitates. Besides, trying to stop non lethal protests with lethal weaponry makes so much sense. Right, Mr. Minister?
The ruling state government and the opposition always engage in an everlasting political tug-of-war with each other on matters concerning Kashmir. Sadly it has never exceeded to be more than mere eyewash. With the Centre lording over them, they try to gain political mileage over these self initiated killings and engage in fake mudslinging, shedding crocodile tears, playing politics over innocent Kashmiri blood, demanding those things to be done which they themselves didn’t do when they were in power and expressing agony over the violations they so vehemently orchestrated when the highest chair in the state belonged to them. Time and again they manage to throw dust in the eyes of us unknowing lesser mortals. Calling them hypocrites of the highest order would surely be a gross understatement. Their perennial impotence in the face of atrocious Indian policies for Kashmir, their facilitation of war crimes by acting as an extended despotic arm of the centre, does very little to reaffirm the faith of Kashmiris in democracy.
Every five years only the face of the oppressor changes in Kashmir but the oppression remains just the same. The ‘Democide’ continues unabated.
(Faisal Bashir is an Engineer and freelance writer from Srinagar, Kashmir. He can be mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. ‘Kashmir Global’ does not assume any responsibility or liability of the said article.