FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

India Celebrates Democracy, Kashmir Cries Hypocrisy

Photo by _paVan_ | CC BY 2.0

India wants to reap the benefits of Islamophobia from which the world is suffering…. the Indian government has to reconcile its own people to body bags coming from Kashmir…. If the Indian people were told the truth that Kashmiris don’t want to be with India, and the struggle here is sustained by them primarily…. the public opinion in India too would change. To not allow the public opinion to change, these lies about Pakistan-sponsored proxy war are told. For us, the Indian media is clearly a part of India’s military industry in Kashmir.

— Khurram Parvez, Scroll.in, July, 2016.

India, you will be celebrating your 70th year of Independence from British rule on August 15. All over the country all of you will be remembering the fallen, hoisting flags, and singing songs of freedom. Meanwhile in Indian-administered Kashmir — the largest militarized zone in the world — the Indian state and its military and paramilitary forces will continue to carry on with their sustained human rights abuses aimed at the regions indigenous population.

Many around the world often pose this question: Why is Indian civil society silent about its country’s brutalization of Kashmir civil society? It’s a very good question. Every freedom-loving Indian needs to ask it.

Perhaps nothing would convey patriotism better than chanting slogans that condemn your own country’s occupation of another. Why not? Instead of singing songs only about your own “freedom,” why not sing one acknowledging an occupied people’s desire to be free? Especially when it’s you they want to be free of.

Here’s one y’all might want to sing in solidarity with your Kashmiri brothers and sisters on Tuesday. It’s a take on the Hindi patriotic song Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo (O people of my country) that remembers Indian soldiers who died in the Sino-Indian War of 1962.

tiranga (Indian flag)

Firdaws (Paradise)

azad (free)

Azadi (freedom)

Holi (festival of colors)

Arnab Goswami (television news anchor)

lathis (truncheons)

Dardpora (‘Abode of Pain,’ is a hamlet situated in the northern edge of Indian-administered Kashmir, and is home to hundreds of widows, and ’half widows’ [women whose husbands have disappeared]).

The 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records declared Kashmir as the world’s “largest and most militarized territorial dispute.”

O Proud Patriots of India

O proud patriots of India, shout your slogans

This auspicious day belongs to a few of you,

Go hoist your beloved tiranga

But don’t forget, that in occupied Firdaws

Tens of thousands have lost their lives

Give a thought to them

And remember that until Kashmir is Azad

Thousands more won’t be returning home

 

O proud patriots of India, fill your eyes with tears

Remember the humanity of those whose only desire is to be free

Of you

 

You got your freedom, but deny Kashmiris theirs

They too will fight until their last breath,

Their bodies coming out on the streets and no fear of death

Their eyes pierced with little lead pellets,

They stare at your hollow freedom with dissenting eyes

Remember that Kashmir’s struggle for Azadi will not cave, just like India’s never did

 

When your country celebrates so-called freedom,

Your troops are playing Holi (with their blood)

While you sit safely in your homes watching Arnab Goswami,

Kashmiris brave your guns, night raids and lathis

Young men, women and children come at your military,

With stones in their hands and freedom in their eyes

Remember that Kashmir’s struggle for Azadi will not cave, just like India’s never did

 

Unknown, unmarked mass graves, clandestine graveyards

Extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances

Dardpora’s widows and half-widows, All victims of state terrorism

The blood shed in Jammu and Kashmir, that blood is indigenous

Remember that Kashmir’s struggle for Azadi will not cave, just like India’s never did

 

Their bodies are drenched in blood yet they brave your military

Countless cases of torture and sexual violence by the world’s largest democracy,

Kashmir weeps at your hypocrisy

And in their continuing struggle, they tell one another, “We will live another day”

“Be strong, my beloved fellow Kashmiris”

“We’re going to get Azadi”

 

A pair of “security” boots for every sixteen Kashmiris?

O how pathetic your Independence, India

Your occupation even made the Guinness Book of World Records,

How wonderful

Remember that Kashmir’s struggle for Azadi will not cave, just like India’s never did

Remember that Kashmir’s struggle for Azadi will not cave, just like India’s never did Azadi, Go India, go back

Azadi, Azadi, Azadi 

Agar Firdaws ba roy-i zamin ast, hamin ast-u hamin ast-u hamin ast (If there is Paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.)

— Mughal Emperor Jahangir ([reign] 1605 – 1627) once said this about Kashmir.

According to Noam Chomsky, “Technology is basically neutral. It’s kind of like a hammer. The hammer doesn’t care whether you use it to build a house, or whether a torturer uses it to crush somebody’s skull.” One can probably say the same thing about Indian Democracy. That it’s fairly neutral. It’s kind of like the country’s flag. The tiranga doesn’t care whether you use it as a medium to communicate the truth about a state’s atrocities, or whether a Bollywood actress makes history by being the first woman ever to hoist it.

Jai Hind.

This flag titled The sang-bazan (stone pelters) of Kashmir is #11 in the series JatiIndia: Flags of Atrocities Caste, Present and Future.

Priti Gulati Cox is an interdisciplinary artist. She lives in Salina, Kansas. Please click here to see more of her work.

More articles by:

Priti Gulati Cox is an interdisciplinary artist, and a local coordinator for the peace and justice organization CODEPINK. She lives in Salina, Kansas, and can be reached at p.g@cox.net. Please click here to see more of her work.

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail