Oppression Of The Kashmiri Identity Is An Act Of Terror On Both Their Land And Psyche
Correction. It is the first time since 1965 that a meeting exclusively on occupied Jammu and Kashmir is taking place. It is in progress right now https://t.co/RIEdidgTUt
— Maleeha Lodhi (@LodhiMaleeha) August 16, 2019
Today Jammu and Kashmir grapples with its representation as a result of undemocratic legislation mixed with warped religious, cultural and historical implications. The baggage of political turmoil and the territorial line of control find roots within the chronicles of colonialism, nationalism, religion, statehood and human rights. J&K has consistently negotiated representation within the available hegemonic leadership of the political families within its outlined territorial borders. Between maintaining a status quo and with hopes of catalysing change, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have found themselves restricted to a mandate of a disputed region.
To understand deeper roots of the Kashmir crisis we need to focus on the erosion of pluralism and secularism in India and the heightened myopic identity of the extremist Hindu ideology.
The South Asian region has failed to reconcile with its history led and fuelled by hate, and today at the intersection of contemporary struggles around religion, war and peace, sexuality, exploitation of labour … all of these are variables that continue to negotiate within India’s borders.
The majoritarian-nationalistic narrative states that revoking Article 370 and eliminating a special political status and identity for the people will end the decades-long unrest in the area. But history shows us that destroying people’s identity, self-identification and changing demographics to fit a myopic ideology of racial supremacy does not end any unrest, it only leads to extreme atrocities and is a blatant disregard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Kashmir crisis is an internationally recognised political issue. As most political issues stem from the desire for power and the advancement of an ideology, so does the current Kashmir crisis. The indefinite lockdown of the Kashmiri people is a continuation of the suppression of the indigenous freedom of the Kashmiri people.
After the atrocities of WW2 which was a result of hate, fuelled by an ideology of superiority, the world collectively decided “never again” to allow hate to translate into action that led to the suppression of basic human rights. It was with this decision that the United Nations was created to ensure the promotion of international peace and security and cooperation.
The 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, commonly known as the Simla Agreement, states that the final status of Jammu & Kashmir must be settled peacefully and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
UNSC special meeting on Kashmir signifies the recognition of the Kashmir issue and the urgency of its resolution. The Special Session meeting will look at concerns over the current tensions that have resulted from the changed status of J&K. It will probably discuss the impact of the changed status and the violence and further conflict that may arise. The Simla Agreement does give the SC leverage over India in trying to pressure it to follow bilateral dialogue.
In addition, SC can explore the potential of escalation in the region which could lead to serious global consequences of political, security and economic dimensions.
It remains to be seen whether the world powers, through UN Security Council, resolutions, agreements and statements will be able to leverage India towards a dialogue?
Regardless of the UN Special session, Kashmir’s humanitarian resolution of self-determination has been highlighted on the international stage and that, in itself, is a positive step forward for the indigenous freedom struggle of the people of the disputed territory. The oppression of the Kashmiri identity is regarded as the erosion of the sense of belonging and self and, in essence, is an act of terror on both their land and psyche.
What we wanted from this particular meeting:
1. That this meeting be convened.Done.
2. That India's claim be nullified that this is India's internal matter. Done.
3. That Pakistan's position on K is vindicated. Done.
4. That UN dusts its resolutions and bring them to life. Done
— Rabia Akhtar (@Rabs_AA) August 16, 2019
The author is a social impact consultant, United Nations Civil Society Representative, former professor of Political Economy & Gender Politics. She’s also former political appointee-Missouri. She can be reached @suitcasememoirs