By Adnan, KASHMIR: Before getting to characterize life in Kashmir after the abrogation of article 370, I might wish to make a couple of points clear.
There is no doubt, the armed dispute in Kashmir has claimed thousands of lives and caused the economy to bleed and has posed serious warnings to the country’s security. It had been in 1989 when the insurgency was born, as an indigenous movement against the brutal governance and autocratic rule of Sheikh Abdullah. Externally, too, Kashmir has long been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan; the 2 countries have fought four wars over the valley. The insurgency has ruined the traditional functioning of the state and has forced New Delhi to notify the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as a “disturbed area” and invoke controversial and draconian laws just like the armed forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to take care of peace. Though New Delhi tried to sometimes reach out to Pakistan and even to Kashmiris over the years, except for some brief periods of hope, peace has not prevailed within the Kashmir Valley.
Article 370 over the decades was diluted persistently with the consent of the Kashmiris and therefore the elected government to facilitate integration, better administration, and good governance. Despite these dilutions, however, Article 370 bore great symbolic and psychological significance for Kashmiris. It also displayed India’s asymmetric federalism, which granted differential rights to certain federal subunits, often in recognition of their distinctive ethnic identity.
Before the unilateral decision of new Delhi to abrogate Article 370 and split the state of J&K into two union territories, pro-India Kashmiri politicians were arrested. Thousands of security personnel were sent in and also the Valley was clamped down with severe and all-encompassing communications blackout. According to New Delhi, this “implemented constitutional transformation” was done to pave the way for better administration, good governance, and economic development of the region. the govt. also said Article 370 was the basis explanation for corruption and militancy in the state of J&K.
This is one of the darkest times to be a Kashmiri. We are being reminded of this fact every minute since the August 5 abrogation of Article 370 of India’s Constitution, which had granted Jammu and Kashmir partial autonomy as an Indian state. We encounter it in our minds, in the anxious look on the faces of fellow Kashmiris, in the listless markets that have only recently reopened after three and a half months of the shutdown, and in the street-side huddles that invariably veer into discussions about an uncertain future and therefore the specter of looming demographic change. We feel it on every occasion we devour our phones, knowing they won’t hook up with the web – even more than five months after the communication blackout began. Or for that matter when our prepaid phone SIMs can’t make a call and unfortunately we are still without 4g internet
The Kashmir siege, however, went well beyond indefinite denial of the web and encompasses every aspect of life. it’s about such a lot of things done to the people simultaneously: in its external manifestation, it is, of course, about a blanket security lockdown and a communication blockade, partially rested since which between them have provoked to survive almost the whole might of the Indian state of Kashmir to stifle all forms of conflict.
However, the Valley nonetheless stands in the midst of an uneasy calm which will become the spur of frustration in folk.
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