On August 18th of 1990, at 2 a.m., Parveena Ahangar’s 17-year-old son Javaid Ahmed was taken by a specialized counter-insurgency group (the National Security Guards of the Indian Army) during a night raid at her neighborhood in Batamaloo, Srinagar. Since then, she has not stopped seeking justice and answers from the state as to the whereabouts of her son and of so many Kashmiris subjected to enforced disappearance (approximately 8000 to 10,000 according to multiple sources). As the days and months passed since that 18th of August, Parveena, who had only been to school only till the 5th grade, learned how to speak languages other than her native Kashmiri in the hope of getting answers from the state. She learned Urdu and Hindi to the extent of becoming conversant in English terms and vocabularies used in government documents in state offices, in legal papers found in courts, in reports from police stations, and in records from prisons. In the process, she faced soldiers, state officials, advocates, judges, police officers, members of the press, and anyone who could give her any information about her son—all the while learning to speak the languages of those who had abducted her teenage son. The terms “went from pillar to post” and “corner to corner” have routinely been used in articles from the Kashmiri press in a multitude of ways, and in time have become synonymous to the efforts and dedication that Parveena put into seeking her son’s return and that of so many others whose families have been left in despair. Here are seven times when Parveena, as a mother and as the Founder and Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, spoke of the struggles of such Kashmiri families whose plight is deeply tied to her own.
Help Kashmir with Covid-19 Relief
Medical oxygen should not be a luxury – we’re trying to develop a cheaper way to produce it — by David Fairen-Jimenez (University of Cambridge)
David Fairen-Jimenez is a Reader at the University of Cambridge and Director at Immaterial. Here he explains the process of developing medical oxygen and the challenges faced during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This article is published in our Acquaintance section via Creative Commons from The Conversation (April 30, 2021).
A deeply embedded sense of existential threat has surrounded Kashmiris from multiple directions, materializing in varying challenges and struggles throughout their history. This letter by Murad Saleem, published in Inverse Journal’s Acquaintance (opinions/perspectives) section, addresses and problematizes such an existential threat, taking into account the struggles that Kashmiris face and the different strategies of resistance that can coalesce to carry a dispossessed people forward. As its messenger, the author of the letter has gathered words of wisdom spanning several centuries and generations, effectively delivering wisdom of his own to his fellow Kashmiris back home.
In this opinion piece Shahnaz Bashir evaluates the potential consequences and repercussions of the 53-page “New Media Policy” set to regulate the Kashmiri press in the aftermath of August 5, 2019. Inverse Journal has included a visual bibliography of additional links on the subject from recognized news and media sources.
I'm a Kashmiri. This Is What I Thought When Kanhaiya Said Kashmir Is Integral to India — by Ather Zia
In a piece originally published by Huffington Post India (25/03/2016), Professor Ather Zia problematizes Kanhaiya Kumar’s statement on Kashmir as “the mother of all gold standards for proving one’s patriotism in India.” Republished here in our Acquaintance (opinions and perspectives) section with the permission of the author.
“In the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’ era, new weapons, methods of surveillance, and violent tactics were developed and used in Iraq, Afghanistan and multiple other countries. Gradually, those methods seeped into local police departments, and are directed overwhelming against communities of color.” writes Mary Zerkel. Republished here in our Acquaintance section via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Maknoon Wani’s article deconstructs the use of “Naya Kashmir” rhetoric by the current dispensation. It starts by briefly explaining the origins of the term and then gives a brief account of what happened after the scrapping of Article 370. Towards the end of this piece in our Acquaintance section, Wani points towards the irony of using this term — which signified a relatively progressive agenda back then — to “whitewash the unprecedented lockdown” that has brought everything to a standstill. Wani finally explains in his analysis how the current administration is “a revamp of the Dogra rule—a monarchical setup that reduces the indigenous Kashmiris to disempowered subjects.” Covering events in the media for last month, this piece is backdated to April 23.
Dr. Muhammad Amin Malik provides an incisive perspective on how relying on fundamental scientific and medical knowledge and finding inner strength in our religious practice can coexist in our daily defense against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Research scholars Ishfaq Majid and Shazia Kouser provide their joint perspective on the new domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory and the potential implications such policy shifts will have on Kashmir’s wider demography.
Because 'Anne Frank Did Not Die in a Gas Chamber,' Jewish Activists Cite Disease in Nazi Death Camps in Call to Free Detained Immigrants
While thousands of Kashmiris remain imprisoned in Indian jails, on the other side of the world Jewish activists cite disease in Nazi death camps in a call to free detained immigrants, because “Anne Frank did not die in a gas chamber.” According to this group of human rights activists, “Crowded, unsanitary detention camps are a death sentence for the people inside. These are the conditions that killed Anne Frank, who died of typhus in 1945.” Relevant Links section included after the article.
As the academic session in Kashmir starts after a six month lockdown, Professor Muzaffar Karim provides a perspective on the challenges faced by multiple parties within an education system that treats those entrusted with imparting knowledge as expendable.
'The Worst Kind of Fascists': Trump Visits Modi's India and Announces $3 Billion Arms Deal — by Eoin Higgins
“For decades, the U.S.-India relationship was anchored by claims of shared values of human rights and human dignity. Now, those shared values are discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers.”
August of 2019 became a month of insomnia, despair and nightmare-ridden sleep for most Kashmiris, and particularly for those who were stranded away from home while Kashmir was put under a media, telecommunications, internet, broadcast news and public transport blockade unshy from being a complete lockdown and siege. Kashmiri poet and writer Omair Bhat presents his personal log of the first two weeks of such restless nights and tiresome days, when desperation competed with grief and anger to suffocate people like him in an endless uncertainty.
Unwoven Dreams: A Conversation with a Pashmina Salesman — Audio Interview by Anushka Sharma and Text by Vipassana Wahib Gautam
A young Indian woman, Anushka Sharma, under the guidance of her friend, Bhargavi Deshpande, decides upon chance to interview a Pashmina salesman, Sohail, who has traveled to Indore (Madhya Pradesh) all the way from Srinagar for a handloom exhibition. The conversation that unfolds is then contextualized by their other friend, 17-year-old Vipassana Wahib Gautam who has produced the text and provided the audio featured in the Acquaintance (opinions and interviews) section at Inverse Journal.