Kashmir: Where Every Day is 13th July
By Ali Sukhanver
‘We won’t let you visit the Kashmir valley because we have turned it into a blazing hell of death and horror’, it must have been the honest response to every request presented to the Indian authorities by the international human rights caretakers for the visit of Indian Occupied Kashmir. And this situation is not a new one; even ten years back, the response must have been the same. I remember in the first week of March 2003, a delegation comprising of six-members belonging to a US legislators group from New Hampshire, visited India in a hope that they would be given an opportunity of visiting the Indian part of Kashmir. On his return, the group leader Mr. J. Guide complained about the silence from Embassy of India and said: “I have personally written two letters to the ambassador of India in Washington to grant my delegation visas so that we can visit the Indian side of Kashmir but unfortunately I have received no letter.” Senator Frank V. Sapareto, a member of that group was more pungent in his comments. He said, “Whatever is happening there in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is a pure genocide, nothing less than a holocaust.”
And now in 2014, the situation there is still the same. India does not allow international observers and foreign reporters in Kashmir just to keep the atrocities of the Indian Army hidden from the eyes of the world around. Muslims are the 90 percent of Kashmir’s population but in spite of being in such a majority, the Damocles’ sword of rape and murder is always hanging upon them. These Kashmiris are neither the terrorists nor the criminals; they are just protesting against the violation of their basic human rights but unfortunately more than 700000 Indian troops are treating these innocent Kashmiris as if they are terrorists. These so-called ‘Security-Troops’ are the major source of spreading fear, horror and insecurity among the Kashmiri people. I remember a few sentences of an article which was published a few years back in some English newspaper. The article said, “From nine year old girls to the eighty year old women, today no woman is safe in Kashmir. Once you open the record books you’d find women of all ages being brutally raped & molested by the Occupying Indian Forces. These troops have simply forgotten that they have mothers, sisters, wives of their own”. So this is the way the story of atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir goes on and that is the reason that the international journalists, reporters and observers are always kept away from entering this once ‘paradise on earth.’ God knows better whether the people of Kashmir would ever succeed in getting their basic human rights and if there would be a day in their life when they would be considered an independent nation but one thing is very much clear; the illegal immoral and unethical occupation of India on Kashmir has defamed the whole of the Indian nation. By default or by temperament, the Indian nation is one of the best nations. In the field of poetry, music, painting, film making, medicine, science and technology, this nation has ever served the humanity with its extra-ordinary skill and talent. But the actual problem lies with the Hindu extremists who are in abundance everywhere from politics to policy making. The Hindutva philosophy has grasped the whole of Indian social fiber in its cruel clutches. Be it the Muslims or the Christians or the Sikhs and even the Hindus belonging to the low-castes; all are facing the same fate at the hands of the Hindu extremists. The issue of the Indian Occupied Kashmir is neither racial nor geographical, neither political nor territorial; it is simply a religious issue. The Hindu extremists desire to kick-out the Muslims from Kashmir and make it simply a Hindu majority state and this is the reason they are making the lives of the Kashmiri Muslims hell through their atrocities.
The story of human rights violation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is not a ‘new-born’ story. Whatever is the situation today in July 2014, same was in July 1931. It was 13th of July 1931 when thousands of people gathered outside the Central jail Sri Nager to witness the court proceedings against a young man Abdul Qadeer who was charged for instigating Kashmiris to defy Dogra rule. At Zuhar prayer time, a young man stood up for the call of prayer but the Dogra soldiers silenced him with their guns. Another young man rose to continue the call but was also shot dead. Ultimately 21 persons were killed in their attempt to complete the call for prayer. This brutally sad incident made the 13th July immortal in the history of human rights violation. Throughout the world, wherever there are Kashmiris and wherever there are people who care for the human rights, this day is observed as Kashmir Martyr’s Day. But in my opinion, in the valley of the Indian Occupied Kashmir, everyday is a Martyr’s Day.