Month: March 2014
From Kashmir Dispatch: Why Kashmiri people back Pakistan Team
Kashmir students have been rusticated from a university in India after their alleged support of the Pakistan cricket team. The university blames the Kashmir students for showing anti-national character and rioting in the campus. Even though Kashmir students claim that they have been abused and humiliated by Indians they have been called ‘Pakistanis’ or ‘Terrorists’ by the local students for their support of Pakistan team during the nail-biting game against India on Sunday. The irony is that these 200 students are on Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship for Kashmir students. It was launched after the 2010 civil protest to contain the dissent of the Kashmir youth towards the Indian State. I wonder if a boss, who is a Manchester United fan, will fire a Liverpool fan who is his employee just because MU lost the game against Liverpool. This is hilariously absurd.
The racist attacks on Kashmiris living in India have been rampant especially since the outbreak of armed rebellion in early 90s. These attacks stem from the ignorance of common Indians on Kashmir and the idea of accepting Kashmiris not wanting to be a part of India. There is a nationalistic sentiment which goes against Pakistan in India and everything related to it. So when Kashmiris took up arms in 90s, they were branded as ‘Pakistani Terrorists’ though they were Kashmiris fighting for Independence. Or when Kashmiris took up to the streets from 2008, they were infamously branded as ‘agitational terrorists’ by an army officer on a TV debate. (more…)
From The Telegraph: Kashmiri cricket fans to be charged for cheering Pakistan
More than 60 Kashmiri Indian students are facing criminal charges and suspension from university because they cheered for India’s bitter cricket rivals Pakistan during their one-day international in Bangladesh last Sunday.
The students were watching the match on television in their hostel at Swami Vivekananda Subharti University in Meerut in a friendly atmosphere with the Kashmiris cheering Pakistan and non-Kashmiri students supporting India.
Sovereignty over divided Kashmir remains the main conflict between India and Pakistan and has been the cause of three of the four wars between the nuclear neighbours since their partition and independence in 1947 when the Maharajah opted to join India despite a Muslim majority.
Many Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control between the two halves of the state want independence from India or for their disputed state to be part of Pakistan, while the Hindu majority in Jammu wants to remain in India.
Although there was rivalry in the hostel there was no tension or violence until Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi won the match with two sixes and the Kashmiris started celebrating the victory.
Their celebrations angered their Indian compatriots and fights broke out between the two groups, which deteriorated into a pitched battle. Following the clashes, 67 of the Kashmiris were suspended from the university for shouting “anti-national and pro-Pakistan slogans” and packed onto coaches to take them to Delhi under police escort. (more…)
From New York Times: Kashmiri Students Briefly Charged With Sedition for Rooting for Wrong Cricket Team
The police in northern India briefly filed sedition charges against 67 Kashmiri students after some of them cheered for the Pakistani cricket team during a televised match with India on Sunday night.
The charges were initially filed after an official complaint was lodged against the students by Manzoor Ahmed, vice chancellor of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University in Meerut, according to M. M. Baig, a Meerut police official. In addition to sedition charges, the students were charged with “instigating hate between two communities.” But after the police and local officials reviewed the case, the sedition charges were dropped on Thursday, according to local media reports.
Omar Abdullah, the chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, had written in several posts on Twitter that the sedition charges against the students were an overreaction.
“I believe what the students did was wrong & misguided but they certainly didn’t deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them,” Mr. Abdullah wrote.
He said he had spoken to his counterpart in Uttar Pradesh State, where Meerut is located, “who has assured me he will personally look into the matter of the Kashmiri students in Meerut.”
Indian news media reported that a delegation of leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party, a right-of-center Hindu nationalist group that polls suggest will soon dominate India’s central government, met Mr. Ahmed and demanded stern action against the students. A group of students associated with the Hindu party also burned an effigy of Mr. Ahmed, local news media reported. Mr. Ahmed said in an interview on Wednesday that he was aware of the effigy burning. (more…)