Akhila Raman (2007)

From CounterCurrents.org: “Terrorism or Freedom Movement

“A young Kashmiri woman I met in Srinagar made a sharp remark which hit me hard: “We look upon your Indian State exactly as you Indians used to regard British Raj before 1947: as Imperialist Occupiers.” The heavy Indian military presence around every city block was chilling. She narrated in chilling detail the humiliations Kashmiris had to endure on a daily basis from the Indian presence: arbitrary cordon and arrests, torture, rape, custodial and “encounter killings”. A young Kashmiri man who had been maimed in custodial torture loomed around the corner. The recent “encounter killing” by Indian forces, of Abdul Rehman Paddar, a civilian carpenter, whose body was exhumed later in response to protest demonstrations by locals and shown to be a civilian by DNA tests is another case in point. No wonder there is little love for the Indian State in the hearts of many Kashmiris.”

It is high time India reconsidered its continuing policy of holding Kashmir at gunpoint to showcase its secular credentials to the world. Whatever be the final solution, it is worthwhile remembering the emotional speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru (ironically the very same leader who played a major role in the origin of the dispute, by way of his sentimental attachment to the Vale) in Lok Sabha on August 7, 1952:

..Ultimately – I say this with all deference to this Parliament – the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir; neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations nor by anybody else?”

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