The Vale Echoes Elections


Our fingers gripped by the shadow of guns and chaos. The concept of “free will” has been pushed to the dark corner of the mind and heart by fear and hatred, equally. We gaze at each other with a suspicious eye and before saying a word publicly we pass it through a thousand security checks points in our minds. We have been hypnotized by the pendulum of development. A belief has been inscribed in our hearts that we are free but in real it is forced subjugation. We are dead while we live. Yes! I am talking of Kashmir. The virgin land that has become a divorced land even before an affair, and no one asks her what she wants. Yes! Kashmir has become a cruel joke and the politicians are its stand up comedians. And Kashmiris are the spectators that are paying.


There is a notion propagated by the Indian media and its politicians that the election in Kashmir is a clear and loud message that they want to be with India. The high voter turnout is being portrayed as allegiance to the India. The recent statement by India, a UN member, at United Nations about elections in Kashmir is a desperate attempt by them to humiliate the United Nations. United Nations in its several resolutions has cleared their stand about the elections in Kashmir by stating that election is a non issue and if Kashmir witnesses a 100% voter turnout it will not deter the freedom struggle of Kashmiris. The world is well aware of the Indian propaganda and policies. But the people of Jammu and Kashmir are stuck in a maze of development, which they vote for. It is just a trap laid by India for Kashmiris to woo them towards elections and they fall prey to this lone illusion. Peace and freedom are sine qua non of development. Kashmir will never get developed until it attains freedom. If Kashmir gets developed then India will have no other illusion to woo the people of Kashmir towards elections. But still India claims the high voter turn out to be its win. Still if India is so sure that 80% population of Jammu and Kashmir supports them then they must not be afraid of plebiscite that will solve the problem once for all. But they will never wish to do so, and you know why!

                   India stresses hard on peaceful resolution and says that it is ready to talk with Pakistan about Kashmir issue. India sings the slogan “Let us give peace a chance” at all international forums but when Kashmiris give “peace” a chance they sing a different slogan. Here in Kashmir they portray elections as peace and peace as allegiance to the Union of India and label them as pro-Indians, while rest are labeled as separatists. Leaving aside the cunning policies and propaganda of India, participation in elections in Kashmir is in no way a referendum for Kashmir issue. Had the custom been so, then India would still have been a British slave state as slave Indians of British India actively participated in elections under the British charter.

Being leaderless is like being a limp and India has successfully done so with Kashmir. It is not just the India that has failed us but it is our own people also who get mandate from people as their representatives. We have separatist lobby that has tried from past more than a decade to make people aware of the intentions and policies of India but have failed to so and thus be sailing in the same boat of “failure” with the mainstream politicians. They are more or less responsible for the hype that has been given to the elections or voting, unnecessarily. They have turned a non-issue thing into an issue. Recently Scotland was given a chance to decide their future through referendum, inspite of that the Scots used to vote under English laws. Kashmir is filled with politicians but what we need is leaders be it separatist leaders or mainstream leaders that shall represent the real Kashmiri.

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Human rights and Kashmir.

From the very inception of the Kashmir insurgency, people started to disappear. Since 1989, more than 8000 individuals have disappeared, a figure that has always remained to be disputed as the state authorities claim it to be lesser. Recently (2011), in northern areas of Jammu and Kashmir several unmarked graves were found. And many of the graves contained more than 2 individuals up to 13. This clearly proves the fact that Kashmir has been a victim of genocide. On this the Indian State used to say that the persons buried in mass graves are the foreign militia who had crossed the borders. If the fact is so then why does not India allow a probe into such graves for the sake of the families of the disappeared persons? India has allowed UN special rapporteur on minorities and UN special rapporteur on human rights but has refused the access to the UN working group on arbitrary detention or the UN special rapporteur on extra judicial killings. Another draconian law with which the uniformed men are vested is public safety act (PSA). In its shadow anybody could be detained on mere doubt, and the security forces, so called, do use it extra-judiciously i.e. for their monetary purposes. Even the international human rights organizations have lost faith that they once had on Indian state. The country specialist for Amnesty International, Govind Acharya, said that detentions through PSA can last for up to two years and thus pale in comparison with enforced disappearances and the numbers are ominously similar. He also called PSA a form of ‘ legalized enforced disappearances’. According to Acharya, the “victims of human rights violations from all sides of the conflict can expect very little from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Since these 20 years of brutal crimes, innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir have been subjected to the atrocities by the armed personals. Numerous women were raped, molested and teased by the men in uniform. Numerous subjects of the state were murdered and were molested in one or the other way. The people of Kashmir had been cry from inception regarding the issues but no one paid heed to them. But the accidental discovery of mass graves by Razia Sultan in BELA district of URI in north KASHMIR, where she found scores of freshly dug pits with 17 human bodies in them. “The monkeys were trying to extract and eat flesh,” she recalls (http://kashmirlife.net/the-daughter/ ). Also now the recent reports and investigations regarding grave human rights violations in Kashmir have turned out to be an eye opener. The recent reports by guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/09/mass-graves-of-kashmir ) and newyork times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/asia/23kashmir.html?_r=0 ) have also brought it to the spotlight. Not only these cables but many others have also investigated in the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. These reports do without any doubt point finger towards the men in uniform, may be others are also involved, but that doesn’t give a clean chit to the men in uniform.

All such acts of human rights violations are to be resisted, investigated and the ones who committed such crimes are to be brought to justice. Human rights courts or tribunals have proven successful and fruitful in Europe and other countries, as well. And also the courts of our state are already having piles and heaps of cases yet to be decided. Also the cases of human rights violations for their proceedings require the judges who have expertise in human rights law.

Setting up such a court in Jammu And Kashmir State will be a landmark step, by the state of Jammu and Kashmir and State of India, towards the protection of human rights and administration of justice. And as we know, the governments do not act by their own, in any part of the world. It is the revolutions that force them to either cope up with the ideologies of people, or else are overthrown by people. But such things are possible and had been possible in past by mass support.

 

We by uniting and supporting each other can force the Jammu and Kashmir government to bring in a charter for setting up of a Human rights court. Such an act will send jerking and jolting tremors to the oppressors’’ nerves, which will force them to reconsider the judicial system in Kashmir. With the enactment of armed forces special powers act (AFSPA), state administration has been paralyzed, and pushed to a corner with a status of a “nonchalance spectator”*. The armed forces abduct the activist residents of Kashmir, most of whom do consist teenagers, without prior permission from the local administration i.e. DDC and other high administrative officials. This creates an atmosphere of tension and whimsical situations.

* Quotes:

https://globalvoices.org/2016/07/27/critics-of-military-impunity-take-on-indian-administered-kashmir/