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The situation in Kashmir: “The decline of our sense of identity is a step too far

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi took on Monday, in a controversial decision, after seventy-five years is the independence of the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been withdrawn and the area is in lockdown. There has been little to no contact with the outside world. A lot of Kasjmiri’s somewhere else in India to live and work, to get dribs and drabs of information, and are deeply concerned about their family members. NU.nl talked to a few of them on the current situation in their country.

Shaheen Khan (40) and a dentist

“Usually, I talk every day with my parents. Now that I’ve got them all in a week and will not be able to reach,” says Shaheen Khan. Self-moved One, eighteen years ago, her studies and the work of the Region. She has been working as a dentist in Mysore, a city of more than 700,000 residents in the southern part of India.

However, her parents and siblings live in the Kasjmirse Srinagar. “I don’t know what they are doing, if they have enough to eat, and what they are doing. It’s embarrassing and frustrating to not know what is happening in Kashmir is happening.”

Khan has no words for the situation, at her home. “I just feel helpless. It is unacceptable that the Kasjmiri’s exit from the society. Our identity is we have been deprived of, that which we for so long have been fighting.”

The identity of the Kasjmiri in 1947, and set forth in article 370 of the Indian constitution. It contains, among other things, that the indigenous people of Kashmir the right to own land and an identity of its own. Due to the deletion of this article, given New Delhi’s control over the region. Is expected to will the Modes of a Region of a hindoestaat, but there is a muslim majority lives.

“I’m sure that the Kasjmiri and it’s not, sit down,” said One trooper. “They’ll be out in the streets, and to stand up for their rights. We have had over the past few decades, many stolen, but, in the decline of our sense of identity is a step too far. I know that for sure. Just take a look at it, it will not be a soft touch like that for the next couple of days. The government has said that it is the Kasjmiri’s happy, but that’s a lie.”

In Srinagar went for a Friday night, indeed, for the first Kasjmiri the street. Local journalists and police officers, and anonymous, pass on information to the media, and the attendance was estimated at approximately tens of thousands of people. There were at least thirty people injured after protesters from each other and driven by the gas and the pellets.

“I’ve heard stories about people living in their own home under attack,” says Kahn. “I’m intense, sure, and I’m lost for words.” For the year dentist, doesn’t think the future is going to have a big look. “It’s just going to get worse and there will be more victims to go.”

Shaheen Khan. (Photo By Shaheen Khan)

Samia Mehraj (25), a strategy consultant for not-for-profit organizations

“The last time I was with my parents I have spoken to was last Sunday, so about a week ago. They are living in Baramulla, a town in the north-west of the Region,” says Samia Mehraj. She moved six years ago to study and work in New Delhi, the capital city of India. She is working as a strategy consultant for not-for-profit organizations.

“We knew that something was going to happen in the Region because of the past few weeks, many of the Indian troops in the region, have been controlled,” she said. “Everyone was worried, but the authorities have said time and time again that there is nothing to me, and that it has something to do with security.”

“Then there was an appeal for tourists, students, and the hindu pilgrims of the region to the left, in relation to the expected extremist attacks,” said Mehraj. “And then there was each and every day, more and more troops to the Region, a total of tens of thousands. Also went to the schools to be closed. The rumors about the abrogation of article 370 would do the rounds.”

Sunday evening, August 4th, was Mehraj, a phone call from her parents. “They wanted to see me in my office now that it was because they were afraid that this was no longer possible.”

Her parents were the same. The morning after their phone conversation, and drew prime minister Modi, article 370 of the Indian constitution, and he was, after seventy-five years put an end to the autonomous status of the Region. With a lock next to all forms of communication will be blocked. However, it is not the first time this year, the Kasjmiri programs will be (partially) shut down its internet and telephone services. In 2019, this happened 59 more times, according to figures published by the ngo Software Freedom Law Centre.

Every now and then, there is some information within the Region by local journalists, which is to bypass the blockage. Also, a number of satellite phones were distributed to police officers, all of whom have a number of contact for the media.

“It’s a fact that most of the information out from Srinagar, is one of the two capitals of the Region,” said Mehraj. “My family lives in the north, in a small town.” The authorities have announced that, in each of the district’s public phone boxes to the post. On Monday, there would be three hundred to be posted, said a spokesman of the government of india on Friday. Mehraj had serious doubts about this.

Every now and then, there will be demonstrations held in different Indian cities, and also on Wednesday of last week in New Delhi. Mehraj was also. “The only thing I can do now, is for my voice to be heard,” she said. The protest was led by the communist party, which finds Modes with the abrogation of article 370 of the democracy in India, break.

“I’ve had a lot of Kasjmirse students are expected to attend the demonstration, but most of them remained at home,” said Mehraj. “They are afraid, because we have heard that there are in the Region of hundreds of activists and opposition leaders have been arrested. Also, if moslimminderheid in India fear increasing hindu nationalism of prime minister Modi.”

Mehraj said that the majority of the parents of their students at heart, and have been printed in order to fit in. “They said to him, ‘please, Please, don’t go in the street. Soon, they decide to take on, and they are going to put you in jail.’ For those who have to buy, to come, to cover their faces.”

Samia Mehraj, during her recent visit to the Region. (Photo: Samia Mehraj)

Azmat (25), an engineer and

“On the day of Modi’s decision to apply article 370 to be revoked, again, I was in Srinagar for a family,” says Azmat, who is not using her last name, and the picture in this article wanted to be. She also noted that the tension of the previous days of life. “Separatist forces, were arrested, and there were more and more of the Indian armed forces. We all felt that something was about to happen, even though the authorities told us that we don’t have to be concerned.”

The day before her departure back to her home in the city of Bangalore, a city in the south of India, where she has been working as an engineer, she visited her family. “We all cried and hugged each other. It felt as if it was the last time that I would have to see it. I was left with the feeling that, from now on nothing would be the same, it would have been. I got off the plane and saw it from the window of the mountains and the beauty of the Region, and couldn’t do anything but cry.”

And when Azmat and three hours later, back on the ground, she saw the news on the abrogation of article 370. “I just felt broken. Since then, I have not been in touch with my family. For the first two to three days, came with just five minutes to cry it out. I don’t have a clue as to how it is today.”

Azmat will find it very difficult to be so far away from her family. “Soon, something will happen and I can’t reach it. This is my worst nightmare.” It has long been questioned if they had to move out of the Region. “I just wanted to stay there, no matter how hard life is going to be. However, my parents wanted me to be safe and they said I had to go to Bangalore.”

“I know that my parents are strong and they will survive, or at least that is the hope I have to have it,” says Azmat. “The Kasjmiri are hard, they are used to oppression, discrimination, and acts of violence. They will find their identity and not just give up. I’ve got my hopes on the international community at large. India prides itself on being the largest democracy in the world, but the revocation of the autonomous status of the Region, without which it is asked, it is up to citizens is a gross violation of democracy.”

“In my area are now a lot of jokes made about it is that it is Kasjmirse, girls may be married as I am,” says Azmat at all. “They ask me if I have a sister about that, and I have dreams of a house on a beautiful lake or in the river valley. It is a terrible thing to be in this moment, right here in Bangalore to. On the street, ” the victory of Modi was up fireworks. And we have nothing to say, because we have to live in fear.”

On Monday, the muslim Day of worldwide celebration, and also in the Region. The authorities announced that the curfew temporarily lifted. Shaheen Khan, Samia Mehraj, and Azmat’s hope that the internet can temporarily be repaired, so they are to this day their family can be achieved.

See also:
Why the fight for India and Pakistan to each other in the Region?

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