Since 5 August whole country is in celebration mode after the Home Minister Mr Amit Shah presented the bill to recommend the abrogation of the Article 370, Bifurcation of the state and converting state status of Jammu & Kashmir into a Union Territory, thereby reducing the rights of people of the state. The decision was kept under wraps till it surprised everybody generating debates and discussions from all circles.
From academicians to journalists, to local people discuss all possible angles how the Bill must be passed and how it will benefit the rest of India and, of course, Kashmir itself. Yet the irony remains that the people in Kashmir have been silenced by zero communication with the outside world. People are justifying it as a move to award a step for development. Nobody in the rest of the country knows the present conditions of Kashmir and nor do they know how rest of country celebrating as the triumph of the majority over the much-hated minority. The mainstream leaders are branded corrupt, demonized on national news channels as the mediators or go-betweens, who did not allow the government’s funds to reach common people, allocated by center for the welfare of people.
The move comes immediately after President Donald Trump’s proposal to mediate between Pakistan and India, about Kashmir issue. It was a big statement; since no president since Shimla accord has openly spoken of Mediation on Kashmir. This statement was released a few days after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned about Kashmir issue and President Trump allegedly says that Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi requested him to help resolve the Kashmir issue.
According to an online news portal ‘The print’ dated 6 August 2019, states that PM Modi had informed the US about the plan to scrap Article 370 earlier; on two occasions. On first occasion, the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had briefed his American counterpart, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, about the Modi government’s intentions to abrogate Article 370 and Article 35A for Jammu and Kashmir. And the second time in February, two days after the Pulwama attack, National Security Advisor Mr. Ajit Doval had phoned his American counterpart John Bolton and told him about the Modi government’s plans to do away with the ‘special status’ for Jammu and Kashmir.
No sooner the Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah read out the bill in parliament and the news flashed on national media with their custom of drum beating, followed by social media flooded with posts of people congratulating each other, taking credits of how once they used to ask questions about the solution of Kashmir issue. Even the most so-called liberalist, revolutionist, and advocates of impartial democracy supported the move.
From construction of big temples, to the Universities dedicated to Hindu teachings, with the names that are already decided and been declared on social media like “Sharda Peeth University”, to ashrams for ‘Vanprastham’ time, to institutes like “Avantipura Shankaracharya Think Tank”, etc. and nurturing a dream of buying land at most affordable rates. Then the imagination takes absolutely an ugly turn, with posting photos of Kashmiri women with derogatory messages on facebook, twitter and other social networking sites. The usage of foul language for the women of Kashmir is beyond the term obnoxious. Like one post on twitter by a user tweets, “Now Kashmiri girls can marry with boys like me,’ another user tweets “soon our vishesh log of Bharat leke pahunch jayengey aur ghar Jamai rah jayengey”, another user tweets “bhai swayamvar hoga aapka Kashmir mein, tayari karo, Girls r dying for you”, then another tweets, “you don’t need to spend money on buying land in Kashmir when you can simply marry a Kashmiri girl and ask land in dowry”, another user writes, “Someone said Indian can marry Kashmiri girls, Now am looking for Kashmiri girls.” Now I can marry a Kashmiri girl,” another guy captions his photo with “Now everybody wants to date and marry Kashmir girls”. Another twitter user shares the photo of Deepak Kalaal in Kashmiri attire and captions it “Only girl who can save Kashmir from the tharki Indian”
The messages communicated in the above posts show clearly the mindset of a large number of people who are let loose to post anything that comes in their mind. The posts on social media are full of threats as if some war has been won and now the winning party is waiting to share their part of the bounty. These users are nor blocked, nor warned, no #me-too advocates, not reprimanded by so-called feminists, who claim to be the flag bearers of women emancipation.
Does the question arise how the rest of the country has embraced the Kashmiris after the announcement is debatable? Instead of showing solidarity with the people of Kashmir, as they claim the bill is all about for the welfare of people living there. Instead, the people of Kashmir are abused, maimed and demonized in the posts on social media with alarming messages. If this move is for the welfare of Kashmir why is there a situation as an ongoing war with people of Kashmir, adding fuel to the existing situation? If this bill is for the rights of Kashmiri women, why are people abusing and insulting Kashmiri girls on social media? How many people of J&K and the rest of the country will benefit from the decision of abrogating Article 370 and scrapping the special status, will be only revealed with the passage of time. But by conferring open threats to people of Kashmir, using lecherous language for the women of Kashmir on social media platforms is never acceptable on moral grounds.
(Opinions expressed in the article are personal and The Policy Times is not responsible for the data, facts, and opinions.)
The Article is written by Dr Iram Rizvi who has a PhD in Media and Journalism. She can be reached at [email protected]