On the Women’s Uprising in Iran: An Interview with Inshah Malik — by Lia Dekanadze

On the Women’s Uprising in Iran: An Interview with Inshah Malik — by Lia Dekanadze

Lia Dekanadze (of the Social Justice Center in Georgia) interviews Kashmiri political theorist and gender researcher Inshah Malik about the ongoing women’s uprising in Iran that sprang into action with 22-year-old Mahsa Amin’s tragic death under police custody. Originally published on the official website of Social Justice Center, this English translation presents an extended version of the original interview in Georgian that can be accessed here. Prompted by Lia Dekanadze’s incisive questions, Inshah Malik offers multiple critical perspectives on key topics of relevance to what is currently unfolding in Iran.

Kashmir Meet After Two Years of Ruin: A Reckoning or a New Tack? — by Muzamil Jaleel

Kashmir Meet After Two Years of Ruin: A Reckoning or a New Tack? — by Muzamil Jaleel

In this timely piece (featured in our opinions and perspectives section), Muzamil Jaleel poses and evaluates two essential questions: Is New Delhi’s outreach to pro-India parties a tactical step to normalise the devastating changes introduced in J&K since August 5, 2019? Has the Sangh Parivar’s Kashmir project run up against a roadblock or has it been compelled by international players to change course?

Social Media and Commodifying Empathy in the Covid-era — by Dr. Amrita Ghosh

Social Media and Commodifying Empathy in the Covid-era — by Dr. Amrita Ghosh

This article traces various social media expressions during the ongoing pandemic and asks the overarching question: how should one understand, express and practice compassion and empathy in this new context of global – yet differential and graded – uncertainty, loss and suffering? It focuses on the unfamiliar shift of entire populations across the globe from physical, tangible spaces to a virtual, online presence and the consequent issue of what norms, rules and ethics govern this online area of expression and action during a pandemic. Caught between an either-or narrative between a display of privileged quarantine living, a sense of empathy for the marginalized or a downright lack of it, the article observes that social media responses to the pandemic produce a ‘competitive performative compassion.’ It argues that such compassion becomes fetishist and results in the very thing that the expressed compassion was meant to counter, that is, continued unequal suffering. This article was first published in Lund University, SASNET journal Chakra: A Nordic Journal of South Asian Studies, Special Issue: Articulations of a Pandemic (2020 ISSN 1652-0203) and is published here via permission by the author.

Seven Times Parveena Ahangar Spoke About Being a Mother Looking for Her Son

Seven Times Parveena Ahangar Spoke About Being a Mother Looking for Her Son

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.

Freedom Through Untouchability: A Letter to Kashmiris — by Murad Saleem

Freedom Through Untouchability: A Letter to Kashmiris — by Murad Saleem

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.

Fight for Your Right: A Young Student’s Illustrated Project on #MeToo — by Sushila Sahay

Fight for Your Right: A Young Student’s Illustrated Project on #MeToo — by Sushila Sahay

Sushila Sahay was 15 years old when, at the peak of a worldwide debate, she decided to raise awareness about the Me Too movement among her peers and school community. The outcome, one year later, was a series of webtoons that were accessible and easy to understand, particularly for her younger generation. Inverse presents her illustrated work and a reflection on the project provided by the young student to show readers an example of how young students like Sushila approached the difficult questions arising from the Me Too movement. Included in this piece is the written reflection on the project by the young creator, the link to the two-episode webtoon, some of the early sketches from her notebook as well as the graphic short story for the print version and the presentation she gave at her school. All these combine the power of storyboarding and storytelling along with an aesthetic and visual language of a digital cartoon platform that young people within her generation are familiar with. The project entitled “Fight for Your Right” tells the story of four young women from two different cultures faced with similar situations of harassment and shows the ways in which a young student employed her creativity to discuss and raise awareness about a critically important issue.

Of Cultural Misappropriation: A Case for the Nagas — by Huthuka Sumi

Of Cultural Misappropriation: A Case for the Nagas — by Huthuka Sumi

Huthuka Sumi explores the implications of Amazon and Flipkart’s listing of specific garments as “traditional” Naga attire. He questions the stereotyping of indigenous people, particularly those in the Northeast of India, as “beautiful savages,” and the processes involved in assimilating into the mainstream.

Roshni: Where the Light Won’t Shine – by Muzamil Jaleel

Roshni: Where the Light Won’t Shine – by Muzamil Jaleel

In a continuing series, Muzamil Jaleel presents his latest opinion piece in the Acquaintance section at Inverse Journal. While discussing the High Court’s recent ruling over the Roshni Act, Jaleel writes, “By announcing a plan to retrieve the lands instead of acting against influential bureaucrats who transferred the lands illegally, the J&K administration is making clear the essential purpose of the exercise.” Read further to get an incisive interpretation on the ruling over the Roshini Act and what it means for Kashmir.

INVERSE JOURNAL