Kashmir remains under tight restrictions after India revoked the special status of the Indian-controlled part of the Muslim-majority region. India imposed a curfew, cut off all communications and reportedly arrested more than 4,000 people, including many political leaders. We speak with Kavita Krishnan, a leading women’s rights activist in India who just returned from a fact-finding mission to Kashmir. She is the secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association and a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). “We felt that the whole of Kashmir was one big jail,” Krishnan says. “Decisions are being taken about the Kashmiri people without any semblance, even a pretense, of consulting them. … All you are left with is open, brutal military control of the Kashmiri people.”“One Big Jail”: Fact-Finding Mission Finds Widespread Abuses in Kashmir as India Tightens Grip
#TheKashmirSyllabus compiles a list of sources for teaching and learning about Kashmir. It foregrounds voices, histories, and aspirations of people from within Kashmir, and moves beyond prior scholarship that often took security studies approaches and thereby privileged the statist perspectives of India and Pakistan. This critical body of work on Kashmir allows for a lens into the broader study of the modern state, occupation, nationalism, sovereignty, militarization, social movements, resistance, human rights, international law, and self-determination.standwithkashmir.org
I would highly recommend following this website/social media handles for the latest on Kashmir. The syllabus is a much needed one. Please do send in recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org
All of it joins up to form a long, forever ringing arc of sadness and despair. Every bullet sound, every death, every howl, through years and decades of Kashmir’s solitary, cold suffering. For years now, for long decades now (with profound apologies to Agha Shahid), death has “turned every day in Kashmir into some family’s Karbala.”
Kashmir today, then, is Karbala more than ever. In its grief, in its vast tragedy, and in its lonely but resolute defiance. But when the houses are burned, when the children are slaughtered or their eyes stolen, Kashmir will still remain.Waheed, Mirza. The Blood of Tulips. Dawn. August 11th 2019.
Mirza Waheed starts off this article looking at the tulip garden of Kashmir that moves into a heart breaking retelling of Kashmir’s never ending suffering. If there’s one thing you will read on Kashmir during this brutal start to Autumn let it be this.
I’m over it: Immigrant Literature
I don’t know when it happened. It might have been somewhere in the middle of Teju Cole’s Open City, as I followed his protagonist around the streets of New York. Or maybe it was at the end of NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, when I boarded the flight to America with its precocious star. Or perhaps it was a few weeks after finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, and I had finally begun to forget the stress carried by illegal African immigrants in Europe.
Whichever way it happened, it happened. And I found myself flinging my copy of The Granta Book of the African Story across the room, vowing to never read a piece of African Fiction again, or at least its “Afropolitan” variety.
Let me explain.