Mohamad Junaid

From Mazameen-e-Ghai`b: “The Deception of Indian Liberal Discourse on Kashmir

“After two months of almost continuous clampdowns and lockdowns, 50 systematic killings, and hundreds of incarcerations, the debate in India about protests in Kashmir has continued to hover between bleeding-heart liberal talk and state attempts at dissimulation. While state deception, and the Hindu right racket, is obvious, expected, and nothing new, the increased space for liberal discourse has given a false impression that there is a change in heart. The liberal discourse in India on the question of Kashmir is not open, fair, or objective, but often borders on, and oftentimes overlaps, the more popular, explicitly nationalist polemics.”

“For long the existence of Kashmiri protest was shrugged off as directed by Pakistan. Now after those theories have fallen flat, attempts are made to mystify what Kashmiris want. Isn’t it truly baffling that, while the rest of the world clearly know what Kashmiris want, India’s liberal experts have a hard time comprehending this resounding reality? For the last 20 years these experts have repeatedly asked the question: “But what do Kashmiris want?” Kashmiris have declared what they want in clear, succinct slogans (always in English, and in Hindustani) over microphones, on banners, and in protests, by raising fists, throwing stones, and firing guns, through their tears, cries, and wails, through burnt homes, imprisoned lives, and wounded, life-deprive bodies.”

“Occupation is a vicious process. It has gradually entered, and continues to enter, all aspects of Kashmiri life. Mass protests are outbursts, impassioned attempts to wriggle free. Freedom from this occupation is not just an aspiration, a wish, or a longing for a pipedream, but a desperate need. The struggle for life in Kashmir is the struggle for freedom. The protests surely intensify the occupation, but they also render the beast more visible, and easier to grasp. Ending protest will definitely not end the occupation, only it will be a sure, if slow route to a form of death down the road. The liberal discourse covers up all the contradictions present in the forced relations between India and Kashmir, and sells the dream of the Great Indian Democracy, a dream which large number of Indians themselves hardly believe in any more. This liberal discourse, which is too close to power, doesn’t mediate between Kashmiris and the Indian state. It is often just a face of the latter, even if a more slippery one.”


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