On October 17th, the American National Press Club held its annual Fourth Estate Gala in Washington, D.C. where imprisoned Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan was awarded the Foreign Press Freedom Award for his journalistic writing for Kashmiri Narrator, a Kashmir-based magazine. In absentia of the recipient, John Donnelly (President of Military Reporters & Editors, and Chairman of the Press Freedom Committee at the US National Press Club) accepted the award on Aasif Sultan’s behalf. Here are the award acceptance speeches from the event relevant to Aasif, along with select press about Aasif’s imprisonment since August 2018.

Award Acceptance Speech

Imprisoned Kashmiri Journalist Aasif Sultan Receives International Press Freedom Award in Absentia from the American National Press Club

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More from Our Kashmir 2019 Siege Section

Professor Hafsa Kanjwal on the Last 100 Days of Kashmir Under Siege

Professor Hafsa Kanjwal, who teaches South Asian history at Lafayette College and completed her doctorate specializing in contemporary Kashmiri history and women’s studies from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), has been a prominent voice on Kashmir under siege over the last 100 days. Here is an aggregated list of articles, interviews and media and television participations by Dr. Kanjwal, including a basic bibliography of resources pertinent to her work concerning Kashmir and its history. All media embedded/linked directly from their respective sources. As more material is published in the public domain with Hafsa’s participation on different platforms, we will keep on updating this “visual bibliography.”

Lost Kashmiri History Brings Us Actual Reading Material from #TheKashmirSyllabus

The resourceful team at Lost Kashmiri History brings our readers the PDF list of recommended readings compiled in #TheKashmirSyllabus, an essential resource by Kashmiri scholars, experts and professionals that gathers the go-to collection of readings required to understanding Kashmir, its peoples, its culture within and beyond the context of the longest (now nuclearized) conflict in modern world history. The material gathered here is divided into a fourteen-week reading course with materials from worldwide publications, among them academic presses and journals and internationally known sources, making the syllabus the most comprehensive and elaborate resource on Kashmir known till date.

Professor Angana Chatterji Testifies About Kashmir Before the United States Congress

On October 22, 2019, the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on human rights in South Asia with a special focus on Kashmir. Here is the video of Professor Angana P. Chatterji’s expert testimony before the US Congress, along with a cited biographical profile of her professional, academic and research experience and the written submission that the three speakers on Kashmir were offered to make. Her submission is a 31 page document that is concise yet meticulously detailed to provide the proper context for her testimony as an expert with decades of research, academic and professional experience in multiple intersecting fields that have Kashmir as a core focal point. Professor Chatterji is also the Co-Chair of the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative, and Research Anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley, and the Founding Co-chair of the precursor, Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Initiative at the Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business (2012-2015). She has worked extensively on Kashmir from multiple angles, producing a notable and highly referenced body of academic work and research material that has had a profound impact on scholarship and human rights activism. As such, we include references to some of her academic publications and other resources here in the context of Kashmir to bring greater attention to her extensive work. Note: all embeds are made directly from the source with each source cited.

Professor Ather Zia on Articles 370/35A and the Ongoing Siege, Lockdown and Blackout Imposed on Kashmir

Here is a list of Professor Ather Zia’s interventions in the global media regarding the Indian government’s abrupt and secretive decision to repeal Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution. Also included is a useful visual bibliography for our readers, scholars, researchers and journalists to become more acquainted with Professor Zia’s extensive work in multiple relevant and intersecting fields of knowledge centered on Kashmir, its past and its present, and above all, focusing on its peoples.

International Book Club Discusses the Now Classic ‘Until My Freedom Has Come’ (Penguin, 2011)

Hoda Khatebi converses with Sanjay Kak, editor of “Until My Freedom Has Come” (Penguin, 2011), contributor Mohamad Junaid and Professor Hafsa Kanjwal about the present circumstances faced by Kashmiris in context of what the important text discussed eight years ago upon its publication. This revisitation to the book is as relevant as ever, especially considering the current climate entrapping Kashmir. Attached along with the Youtube Live Stream of the one-and-a-half hour discussion is a series of bibliographical references and resources to familiarize readers with some of the extensive work about Kashmir by the participants.

Imprisoned Kashmiri Journalist Receives International Press Freedom Award in Absentia

On October 17th, the American National Press Club held its annual Fourth Estate Gala in Washington, D.C. where imprisoned Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan was awarded the Foreign Press Freedom Award for his journalistic writing for Kashmiri Narrator, a Kashmir-based magazine. In absentia of the recipient, John Donnelly (President of Military Reporters & Editors, and Chairman of the Press Freedom Committee at the US National Press Club) accepted the award on Aasif Sultan’s behalf. Here are the award acceptance speeches from the event relevant to Aasif, along with select press about Aasif’s imprisonment since August 2018.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent — by Sheikh Saqib

Sheikh Saqib arrives in New Delhi to work on his writing projects and communicate through the internet while making severe adjustments to continue with the pursuit of his education as an undergraduate student. In the process, he brings us this piece that narrates what young Kashmiris in Delhi have been experiencing through the communications blockade that has kept families apart and out of touch. The piece reflects the initial two months of the ongoing Indian siege on Kashmir, offering concrete examples of what it means when phone and internet services are deactivated by those in power and how such limitations cause severe loss, distress, and anxiety.

The Fear of Being Caged and Cut off from the Rest of the World — by Sheikh Saqib

Having graduated recently from the Summer Institute at the Iowa International Writers Workshop, young Sheikh Saqib summarizes his experience of the ongoing lock-down and media blockade imposed on Kashmir, right upon his return from the USA. As a student barely past his teens, Saqib describes the atmosphere observed and felt by the people of his native Srinagar, days before the Indian government’s announcement abrogating Articles 370 and 35A on August 5th and the weeks that have followed since. Accounts such as his are essential to understanding the situation in Kashmir from a Kashmiri perspective, and are welcomed at Inverse Journal, from Kashmiris of all walks of life, to narrate and describe what they have felt and observed under the latest siege that has put the Valley under complete lock-down and in an unprecedented halt. This time, the account comes from a young student who, just a few weeks ago, was learning how to write more effectively under the guidance and mentorship of faculty at University of Iowa’s prestigious MFA program to then landing back in Kashmir to face the present and enforced circumstances along with the rest of the Kashmiri population.

Hand over your agency, Zooni — by Tabish Rafiq Mir

Tabish Rafiq Mir provides a prompt critical response and interpretation to the recent Raw Mango fashion campaign that undermined the current situation in Kashmir while attempting to capitalizing on Kashmiri culture, tradition and history. The piece clearly exposes the orientalist and exoticizing gaze that repeatedly seeks to define Kashmir and Kashmris in unequal relation to India and its public, this time with Kashmiri culture becoming yet again a subject of “high end” consumerism served to a willfully oblivious Indian consumer base. Tabish Rafiq Mir’s article delves into the matter in greater detail and in unapologetic terms to expose a larger malaise that goes unquestioned as well as unnoticed. Tabish’s piece elucidates the insensitive and inconsiderate manner in which Kashmiri subjects are presented and represented beyond Kashmir, usually by non-Kashmiri others. The company has since withdrawn and recalled the release.

Amid Communications Blockade, Kashmiri Journalists Report via Alternative Indian and International Media

In the spirit of sharing knowledge, at Inverse Journal we have employed oEmbed technology that allows us to cite and reference news and media items directly from their original source through direct embedding of such content displayed here in a visual format. Attached is our latest content aggregation of the stories emerging from the pens of Kashmiri journalists. Our purpose quite simply is to bring attention to Kashmiri voices during the ongoing media blackout and internet shutdown enforced since August 5th. Since there are limitations restricting the Kashmiri press in being able to do its job, especially in disseminating news reports of on-ground happenings via the internet, members of Kashmiri journalistic community have slowly been able to report in cooperation with alternative Indian and international media houses to get their reports, stories and coverage across, past the internet clampdown that continues to be imposed on the valley’s people.

Historically, Kashmiri journalists have had to follow a very strict protocol of reporting given the overreach of the Indian state and the militarized environment that Kashmir has been turned into, especially over the last three decades, with already several restrictions to freedom of press enforced seasonally, along with monitoring of what is written in local newspapers and publications. Within this context, and considering the fact that there is a greater volume of reporting coming from India and Pakistan about the current situation in Kashmir, it is important to highlight Kashmiri voices, and particularly, those emanating from the Kashmiri press at such a crucial hour. Given that Kashmir remains under a communications and media lockdown (with mobile and internet services down), an alternative media perspective has been required and logically emerged to give voice to silenced Kashmiris, among them members of the Kashmiri press. The possibility of recognized international media channels and alternative Indian press outlets finding their way into Kashmir has resulted in Kashmiri voices being heard as the media blackout remains intact and freedom of press severely denied or limited.
Kashmiri journalists and their readers will find an anonymous URL submission form at the bottom of this page in case they wish to share the link to their published work directly embedded along with the content already visible on this page. The content you submit must be published in compliance with the aforementioned curatorial approach, giving priority to Kashmiri voices, and can consist of stories and media co-produced with others.

Professor Nitasha Kaul On India’s Revocation of Articles 370 and 35A — Additional Media and Bibliography Included

Nitasha Kaul, Associate Professor in International Relations and Politics at University of Westminster, speaks in the global media about India’s revocation of Articles 370 and 35A. For the sake of knowledge-sharing, we have included additional media and a visual bibliography of some of her extensive writings on Kashmir that further contextualize the current situation. All content items are embedded directly from their original sources.

Day 26: Select Indian Press Coverage of the Siege on Kashmir

In the spirit of bibliographical citation and referencing, here are some of the main stories and media (aggregated in a visual format) from the Indian press regarding the revocation of Article 370 and 35A and the events that have followed. The coverage on display here is properly embedded directly from the source and offers a view that is distinct to what mainstream Indian TV channels have been reporting when they claim that normalcy has been maintained in Kashmir. In abscence of Kashmiri journalists being able to do their job adequately and local press being severely restricted through the imposed internet and media blackout, Indian and international press outlets have taken on the task to report the happenings on the ground. This selection includes certain opinion pieces as well to provide further perspective on this historically abrupt chain of events enforced by the Indian government on August 5th.

Media Roundup: International Coverage of India’s Ongoing Siege on Kashmir — Day 23

Here is an editorial note and the media roundup on the ongoing siege on Kashmir, consisting of select video, press articles and reports from recognized international media organizations. The page will load slowly given the volume of content embedded directly from the original source. Please be patient.

The US Calls India to Respect the Basic Human Rights of Kashmiris in a Transparent Manner

The US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, chaired by Congressman Adam Smith, made a press release of the call made by Congressman Smith to the Indian Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

The call by Congressman Smith to Ambassador Shringla refers to “legitimate concerns about the ongoing communications blackouts, increased militarization of the region, and enforcement of curfews” imposed on the people of Kashmir.

The statements made by the US Congressman also emphasized that the “Indian government must take steps to reduce these fears and offer greater transparency for the world to see what is happening there” while also demanding India’s “commitment to the protection of basic human rights and equal rights.” Congressman Smith also sought India’s “recognition for the potential disparate impact of this decision [Revocation of Articles 370 and 35A] on the region’s Muslim population and other minority groups.” The full statement from the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee is linked directly herein.

#TheKashmirSyllabus – A List of Sources for Teaching and Learning about Kashmir

Our readers have been asking about reading material to better understand what far too many Kashmiris have bitterly and desolately called The Forgotten Conflict.  As such, and now more than ever, the following embedded Google Doc titled #TheKashmirSyllabus is a course plan with weekly readings compiled by Kashmir scholars and experts from multiple fields of knowledge and with years and decades of experience in research, writing and scholarship on the topic of Kashmir and its unresolved history. The result are readings and resources from a diverse field of academic knowledge called Kashmir Studies. The document is featured in our Academia section and is embedded directly from its original source such that any updates and changes will be reflected immediately.

Professor Nitasha Kaul (University of Westminster) Speaks About Kashmir on BBC Newsnight and Euronews

Professor and writer Nitasha Kaul who teaches International Relations at University of Westminster recently spoke on BBC Newsnight and Euronews about the situation in Kashmir. Some of her publications and relevant interjections in articles by the international media are displayed for further understanding of her work and writings, particularly those concerning Kashmir.

The International Press Covers the Ongoing Indian Siege on Kashmir

The following is a Pinterest-like selection of videos, media and articles from the international press in its attempt to cover the ongoing siege of Kashmir by the Indian state, whose armed forces are patrolling every street corner and public place of gathering. With over 500,000 armed soldiers already placed within Kashmir for almost three decades, another 35,000 have been mobilized into the Himalayan territory. Phone lines and internet services have been disconnected, a military curfew has been imposed, and civilian movement stands severely restricted.

It is difficult at this time to gain access to ground-level reports from Kashmir (and Kashmiris themselves) as journalists have been kept from doing their job and press outlets restricted from carrying out their daily duties, with all such news outlets going out of circulation, particularly on the online medium. Added to that, the public assembly of people has been strictly disallowed, while despite the fact protests have emerged with armed attacks through tear gas shelling and pellet fire perpetrated by the Indian armed forces on Kashmiri civilians as the standard procedure policy of crowd containment that India has enforced in the valley.

Under such circumstances, this journal of contemporary culture has had to invoke the capital C in culture to fulfill the tasks of the press in some limited manner by presenting a compilation of materials that are already in circulation so that our audiences can be informed about the recent developments in Kashmir after the Indian election (that to a great extent obstructed us here at Inverse from routinely publishing the type of content that we all love, from poetry, fiction, to writings and reflections on film, music, art and academic writing). Needless to say, this editorial introduction is exclusively grounded in the limited news that has emerged from Kashmir along with the content provided by international outlets covering the dissolution of Articles 370 and 35A from the Constitution of India.

Given the rather secretive and abrupt decision by the Indian government to override provisions of the Indian constitution and the subsequent lock-down and media blackout in Kashmir imposed by the Indian state, there is great speculation as to what extreme measures (added to the current ones) the Indian government will take. Such measures translate directly to use of police and military force in case Kashmiri civilians respond through mass protest as would be expected since no democratic consensus has been established in revoking Articles 370 and 35A to incorporate Kashmir as a permanent union territory. Incidents of brute force against protesting and marching civilians have emerged, particularly from on-ground coverage by the BBC.
It is difficult at this time to gain access to ground-level reports from Kashmir (and Kashmiris themselves) as journalists have been kept from doing their job and press outlets restricted from carrying out their daily duties, with all such news outlets going out of circulation, particularly on the online medium. Added to that, the public assembly of people has been strictly disallowed, while despite the fact protests have emerged with armed attacks through tear gas shelling and pellet fire perpetrated by the Indian armed forces on Kashmiri civilians as the standard procedure policy of crowd containment that India has enforced in the valley.

Under such circumstances, this journal of contemporary culture has had to invoke the capital C in culture to fulfill the tasks of the press in some limited manner by presenting a compilation of materials that are already in circulation so that our audiences can be informed about the recent developments in Kashmir after the Indian election (that to a great extent obstructed us here at Inverse from routinely publishing the type of content that we all love, from poetry, fiction, to writings and reflections on film, music, art and academic writing). Needless to say, this editorial introduction is exclusively grounded in the limited news that has emerged from Kashmir along with the content provided by international outlets covering the dissolution of Articles 370 and 35A from the Constitution of India.

Given the rather secretive and abrupt decision by the Indian government to override provisions of the Indian constitution and the subsequent lock-down and media blackout in Kashmir imposed by the Indian state, there is great speculation as to what extreme measures (added to the current ones) the Indian government will take. Such measures translate directly to use of police and military force in case Kashmiri civilians respond through mass protest as would be expected since no democratic consensus has been established in revoking Articles 370 and 35A to incorporate Kashmir as a permanent union territory. Incidents of brute force against protesting and marching civilians have emerged, particularly from on-ground coverage by the BBC.

Updated: Kashmiri Scholars and Members of the International Community Voice Dissent Over India’s Latest Siege on Kashmir

A significant number of Kashmiri scholars, journalists, writers, members of the diaspora and the international community have their say on India’s revocation of Articles 370 and 35A. The Indian state stands in contradiction of its own constitutional logic as the primary provisions of democratic consensus have been bypassed by presidential order and employing the governor’s authorization. As it stands, there has been no democratic consensus over the matter by the people of Kashmir, who aside from not being consulted by means of a proper vote, have also been put under house arrest, under military watch on every street corner and public space, with mobile and broadband services shutdown, television channels out of service, telephone lines disconnected, public assembly prohibited and Section 144 being imposed indefinitely. Despite such extreme restrictions and mass scale silencing imposed by the government, members of the international Kashmiri community as well as global figures have not ceased to offer perspective on the matter. Meanwhile, back in Kashmir, it is impossible to receive news of any developments at ground level and people living outside of Kashmir are not able to contact their loved ones in the valley, which remains under severe military and police surveillance and watch. Attached is a compilation of media, articles and tweets from the besieged Himalayan territory.

A Petition by 200 Academics and Activists: “Kashmir needs global effort toward a just resolution”

Over 200 academics and activists say the besieged Kashmiri people urgently need international remedies for justice, not war.

Professor Ather Zia Speaks About Articles 370 and 35A on BBC World News

Professor Ather Zia provides her perspective on a special program by BBC World News covering the Indian government’s abrupt and secretive decision to repeal Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution. The provisions of the articles have been illegally bypassed and contradicted to nullify the Kashmiri right to self-determination. Professor Zia provides the necessary historical and legal contexts from a Kashmiri perspective.

Kavita Krishnan on the Revocation of Articles 370 and 35A (Jantar Mantar Protest)

Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) and member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML), Kavita Krishnan presents a series of logical, rational and measured counterarguments against the Indian government’s decision to scrap Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution. Krishnan approaches the abrupt and contradictorily unlawful shift in the Indian government’s new order from the logic of federalism, placing particular emphasis on the simple fact that other territories governed by India maintain similar property and self-governance laws as Kashmir had been constitutionally held under for seven decades of Indian interjection in the disputed Himalayan territory. Kavita Krishnan is accompanied by other notable Indian leaders and members of India’s civil society at a peaceful protest held at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Articulating their views within the Indian legal and constitutional framework, the members of Indian civil society unanimously observed the illegality of the government in indefinitely dissolving the democratic process in Kashmir, as yet again no consent whatsoever from the Kashmiri people has been sought in repealing Articles 370 and 35A. According to the speakers, the Indian state has established the groundwork for a complete colonial occupation that is projected to create a massive shift in the demography and culture of the region. Prior to this event, Kashmir has seen over thirty years of military rule, with 500,000 to 700,000 troops placed in close proximity to civilian habitations, reducing the Himalayan territory to a police state. Kavita Krishnan’s speech is in Hindi.

Professor Mona Bhan on Kashmir and India’s Revocation of Articles 370 and 35A (BBC World News) — The Polis Project

Professor Mona Bhan (Syracuse University) provides much needed perspective on India’s revocation of Articles 370 and 35A, and what it entails for the future of Kashmir. This video from BBC World News is captured by The Polis Project and sourced from their Facebook Page.

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