Help Kashmir with Covid-19 Relief

Kashmir is struggling in its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic due to its poor healthcare infrastructure. The resources aren't enough to combat the rise in cases and the system in place is overwhelmed. Kashmir has just 59 beds per 100K population. The only two tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir are located in the capital city of Srinagar.
Kashmir-based non-profit Athrout Kashmir is on the ground and responding to the crisis. It is acquiring concentrators, therapeutics and oxygen cylinders while continuing its mission to get food and basic supplies to those in need.
Finally, put this link in your social media bios to spread the word: https://linktr.ee/kashmircovid
 

On August 5, 2019 the Indian state abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution to make Kashmir a permanent territory within the Indian Union without prior consent or consultation with the people of Kashmir. For months, the Kashmiri press, television, media, mobile, telephony, internet and other essential services and institutions were shutdown under government order while dissidents, activists, and even government-sponsored politicians were put under arrest.

It became meaningless and practically impossible to keep this journal — dedicated to contemporary culture from Kashmir and around the world — running while Kashmir was put under unprecedented siege and lockdown. This special section of the journal was born out of necessity, to compile and directly cite various articles and sources from recognized media and academic institutions about what was unfolding in a Kashmir placed under complete blackout, siege and lockdown while millions of people were kept silent. None of the content referenced on the subject was published in-house and was simply linked to their orginal and verified sources in a bibliographical and citational manner.

The curated selection presents Kashmiri voices and offers a perspective on such impositions from members of the Kashmiri press, academia, independent Indian and international media through proper citation and bibliographical reference. It also includes a variety of accounts from those whose basic freedoms were taken away.

All the articles, videos, media, academic articles, and other such content are cited and linked to their original sources, since Inverse was intended to be a space of cultural engagement in the arts and humanities, with a dedicated focus on academic thinking and contemporary cultural production, and not a press outlet, nor a source for news. All of such editorial plans became impossible, blockaded by the collosal shifts enforced upon Kashmir and its peoples.

In memory of these events — and their ongoing impact on Kashmir and its peoples — this section has become a permanent part of this journal. For legal concerns, see the Editorial Disclaimer at the bottom of each page on this platform. 

 

Amjad Majid
Founding Editor
Inverse Journal

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Over 170 Academics from Around the World Demand India Restore High-Speed Internet, Release Kashmiri Political Prisoners

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Over 170 Academics from Around the World Demand India Restore High-Speed Internet, Release Kashmiri Political Prisoners

While the world readjusts to handle the Coronavirus, Kashmir is stuck under 2G internet (which was first rolled out in 1995) and without adequate equipment and facilities. As a result, the following letter has been sent from the Kashmir Scholars Consultative and Action Network (KSCAN) and Concerned Academics & Professionals from around the world to the World Health Organization, UN Special Rapporteurs, and various international health organizations. You can view the official letter here. We have included relevant links embedded directly from the original news sources at the bottom of this letter. For more, check out our Kashmir 2019 Siege section.

A Kashmiri Heart at Siege — A Personal Account by Omair Bhat

A Kashmiri Heart at Siege — A Personal Account by Omair Bhat

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.

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

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.”

Professor Angana Chatterji Testifies About Kashmir Before the United States Congress

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.

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

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.

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

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

#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.

The International Press Covers the Ongoing Indian Siege on 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

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.

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

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.

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