Wednesday Oct 23, 2019
Almost three months have passed since India revoked the constitutional autonomy of occupied Kashmir and imposed a lockdown in the valley, but the situation has only aggravated with reports of shortage of life-saving drugs and other essentials in the area.
To highlight the current situation in the IoK, Case4Kashmir, a group of artists, academics, and activists dedicated to amplifying the voices of Kashmir, has produced a revealing video that tears apart the tall claims made by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in its election campaign.
The video, titled "Kashmir: Don't Blink", tells what the fascist government of Narendra Modi wants to hide from the world.
The Indian State has administered an inhumane occupation of Kashmiris since 1947. While Kashmiris are under a complete communications shutdown, this video aims to inform global audiences regarding the physical, psychological and political persecution of Kashmir, as well as the long struggle of the Kashmiri people for the right of self-representation and self-determination against all odds.
The Indian State has granted the Indian Armed Forces complete impunity in the region under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which allows for arrests and search without warrant, destruction of property and use of lethal action, even if it causes death.
The act further allows Indian officers complete immunity under “good faith”, which has empowered them to commit human rights transgressions such as torture, state abductions, mass rapes, use of pellet guns with intent to blind, targeting minors, and administering multiple civilian massacres over the years.
The impact of such state overreach in the most militarized region in the world has been immense: Kashmiris have suffered economic losses, for example $1.4 billion in just the last two months. Children have lost school days, as parents refuse to let children attend school in times of high tensions.
Kashmir faces frequent medical shortages, as curfews and telecommunication blackouts makes access to healthcare facilities difficult. Around 45% Kashmiri adults have been diagnosed with distress, 50% of Kashmiri women suffer from depression and 22% suffer from PTSD, meanwhile Kashmir only has one psychiatric hospital.
To hide its criminal activity, the Indian state has suppressed all political representation of indigenous Kashmiri movements, abducted journalists, and regularly shut down internet and mobile services in the region to limit information.
As the Indian State heads towards a local body “election” in Kashmir on the 25th of October 2019, political leadership, barring that of the Indian ruling party, either remains under arrest or has boycotted the election as a sham.