Oppression of the Kashmiri People: Then and Now

Arup Kumar Sen

In her recent book, The Many Faces of Kashmiri Nationalism (Speaking Tiger, New Delhi, 2020), Nandita Haksar has traced “the agony of the Kashmiri people who have been caught in the web of political machinations and intrigue throughout the history of the Valley”. She noted in this context: “The origins of Kashmiri nationalism lie in the movement against the oppressive Dogra rule which began in 1846 and ended in 1947”.

A recent press release by a number of citizens of India, including some eminent persons who served the Indian State in different capacities, provides us a snapshot of present history of oppression of the Kashmiri people (See, August 6, 2020). To put it in their words:

“August 5, 2020 marks a year since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, and the loss of its statehood. In effect, it is the first anniversary of the violation of our Constitutional commitment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

…the people of Jammu and Kashmir have never suffered as deeply, nor felt as alienated from the Indian government, as they do today.

Unparalleled stringent security measures have been imposed, leading to untold hardships for people whom we have always maintained are an ‘integral part of India’. Equally, the loss of identity has meant an almost total disintegration and alienation of the hearts and minds of the majority of the people…They also have to live with deep anxiety and depression; or anger and resentment”.

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Aug 13, 2020

Arup Kumar Sen

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