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.
On the Appropriation and Depoliticisation of the Pheran — by A. Makbool and Neelofar Gooroo
This piece by A. Makbool and Neelofar Gooroo raises important and relevant questions about what it means to wear the Kashmiri Pheran, lending particular attention to the ways in which attempts have been made at diluting the Pheran’s political symbolism over the years. Published in our Acquaintance section dedicated to opinions and perspectives, Makbool and Gooroo’s extensive think piece provides ample critique and perspective on cultural appropriation, depoliticisation, and a historical background on how the Kashmiri Pheran became more prominent among Indian wearers, many of whom remain wilfully ignorant about its political and cultural significance for Kashmiris.
Opinion: Reflecting on the Karnataka Hijab Row in [email protected] — by Adwaith PB
Adwaith PB problematizes the “Hijab Row” in Karnataka while drawing upon multiple recognized examples from texts that historically determined the extent of freedom, liberty, and citizen rights in democratic nations across the world. The young student and editor begins his evaluation by referring directly to the constitution of his country in an attempt to assess and make sense of the laws at the center of protest, controversy and media debate. The piece is published in our Acquaintance section dedicated to opinions and perspectives.
TORTURERS R US — An Essay by Christopher Hirschmann Brandt
Christopher Hirschmann Brandt presents an extensive reflection-as-indictment on the practice of torture by nation states, and in particular the United States of America, which he calls home. Unlike many political leaders who use the first-person plural “we” to refer to their countries and their peoples in a patriotic tone, Hirschmann Brandt employs the collective “we” inversely to interrogate the repeated uses of torture to bring to light the urgent need for accountability. In doing so, the author provides a broader cultural and historical context required to understand the uses of torture by the United States along a far longer timeline with cited examples covering entire eras and centuries.
Locating a Kashmiri Aesthetic Online — An Interview with Kashmiri Aesthetics
Kashmiri Aesthetics is an Instagram channel run by young Savi Bukhari, who created the space to explore visual, literary, and textual aspects of Kashmiri culture and history and to present these to people on social media, especially young Kashmiris. In the following interview, Inverse Journal discusses the motives behind such a creative undertaking and the larger questions that emerge as one begins to engage with Kashmiri Aesthetics on a popular social media platform.
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
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.
Opinion: New Land Laws Put All of Kashmir up for Sale — by Muzamil Jaleel
In this opinion piece featured in our Acquaintance section, Muzamil Jaleel argues that the October 26 order repealing and amending a series of J&K laws rolls back over 70 years of reforms that previously empowered the region’s Muslim majority.
Clean Slate: New “Elected” District Councils Will End Politics in Kashmir — by Muzamil Jaleel
In this opinion piece featured in our Acquaintance section, Muzamil Jaleel provides perspective on a new layer of ‘elected’ bodies as part of the Sangh Parivar’s plan to create a new pro-India political structure in Kashmir that does not indulge in any politics, or even rhetoric.
The ‘Not-So-Secret’ Life of My Long Hair – A Personal Account by Shahid Shabeer
Shahid Shabeer shares his experience of roaming around his native Kashmir while styling long hair, a feature that over time has become synonymous with Kashmir’s militants. He describes the state profiling he was subjected to, and the manner in which his family and community members responded to styling his hair the way millions of young men do the world over.
That Home in Our Heart: An Allegory of a Struggle Against Forgetting in Kashmir — by Muzamil Jaleel
Muzamil Jaleel brings us a long-awaited allegorical account of August 5, 2019, the day Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered and its last protection against complete demographic change was snatched away, while people remained caged and silenced for months. The senior journalist, editor and writer employs allegory to refer to those who cannot be named and recounts the days and nights that followed as he bore witness. In the process of reflecting on such unprecedented changes, the writer produced a piece that is at once a story about home and about the struggle for life as well as a series of meditations on being Kashmiri and why we must memorize our homeland against any and all sense of loss.
The piece is published in our Acquaintance section dedicated to opinions, perspectives and first person accounts and is accompanied by haunting illustrations produced by artist, designer and political cartoonist Suhail H. Naqshbandi.
On the Securitisation of Truth and Facts: How I Lost my Brother — by Syed Tajamul Imran
Syed Tajamul Imran responds to an opinion piece by SSP Sandeep Chaudhary entitled “TIME drew red X for Osama. But Western press humanised Riyaz Naikoo with pre-gun stories” (The Print). In a rather extensive opinion piece of his own, featured here in the Acquaintance section of Inverse Journal, Tajamul Imran provides an incisive critique of SSP Chaudhary’s “indictment as opinion piece” while covering major issues of relevance overlooked by its author. The young student activist and columnist then proceeds to narrate how his own late brother, Syed Ruban, became a militant commander after being tortured in illegal detention, tying his experience to that of many other youth who joined militancy after being subject to such unlawful treatment.
We all need to stand up for protesters—and say NO to Trump’s militarized response — by Mary Zerkel
“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.
Naya Kashmir is a Century Old — by Maknoon Wani
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.