13th July: the long-standing struggle of IIOJK’ Kashmiris
13th July is a symbolic day that symbolizes the long-standing struggle of Kashmiris. The struggle for freedom didn’t start in 1947, it started even before the Second World War. It is perhaps the largest, oldest, and most ignored ongoing struggle for freedom, almost a century old. Dogra’s era was equally tormenting for the Kashmiri Muslims, as it is during Modi’s rule. They wanted Freedom then, and they still yearn for it. That shows how much they are determined for freedom.
Every year Kashmiris of IIOJK and their brethren Pakistanis observe the 13th of July as martyr day with great enthusiasm. This day marks the political awakening of the then Kashmiris. On this day back in 1931, a great tragedy happened when a crowd gathered outside the central jail in Srinagar for the court proceedings of Abdul Qadeer who defied the undemocratic, tyrannous rule of Dogra. For Zuhr’s prayer, a young man started calling for prayer but was shot down by Dogra’s guard. Another man continued from where the former left and met the same end. The Azaan was completed but 22 men lost their lives. Such was the level of determination and courage. The martyrdom of these innocent Kashmiris unleashed resistance against the unwanted, non-democratic rulers and continues to this day.
India’s hypocrisy forces it to tamper with the important day of history, describing as it the day of the sacrifice of Kashmiri pundits, making it meritorious for Hindus. Same as the tampering it is doing to the history of India itself by removing the contents that describe the glorious past of Muslims in the subcontinent like the rule of the Mughal Empire. Purifying and moulding history in such a way that it only sounds great for Hindus. Muslims have always been a significant majority in the region. Had been they ruthless as described by the so-called Hindu narrators, they would have liberated themselves from Dogra’s rule.
India’s control over IIOJK is as illegal as to breach one state’s sovereignty, as serious as the latter is. Though human rights watch organizations affirm the violence committed by India in IIOJK, nothing commendable has been done to stop India from this insanity. United Nations, founded by some great states in the aftermath of WW2 to uphold justice seems to be ineffective for IIOJK’ Kashmiris. Mere criticism isn’t all that the desolate Kashmiri need. They want practical actions like the plebiscite to occur. They just want their right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations charter. Why India is hesitant for a legal democratic and justified move? Perhaps India fears the Kashmir loss more than a war with any neighbouring state. First backing out from the plebiscite and then deployment of large forces clearly shows India’s fear of losing Kashmir.
India has made life in IIOJK miserable. Stepping outside the house is like stepping into hell. 700,000 soldiers of ISF perhaps half of Indian soldiers are deployed in Kashmir. Even in the houses, they feel like they are being watched. Their very move is monitored as if they are criminals. They are restrained from enjoying full religious freedom. The irony is that the world’s largest democracy is by far the most oppressive one. And the oppression bounds no limit.
The 21st century began with the hope that the world will be safe for humanity. A world where democracy, prosperity, and equality will prevail and Fukayama’s last man will appear at last. But for some, the world hasn’t changed, there is no liberal order for them that was cultivated by some sweet fortune tellers. They are still living in a state where might is right. If one wants to know what it is like to be invaded by so many forces, perhaps he should visit IIOJK. Massive forces keep patrolling here and there. To oppose them seems to be like committing suicide. Against advanced, weaponized, artillery and soldiers of the world’s so-called largest democracy, IIOJK Kashmiris have been left on their fate.
Against the brutality of ISF, they dare to stand alone. Kashmiris’ struggle for their freedom is almost a century old. Millions of Kashmiris have been born during this period. They grow up while singing the song of freedom. The struggle, courage, and strong Will for freedom are in their blood. This long period hasn’t dampened their courage but has augmented it. They will continue to endeavor for freedom. Their persistence sends a clear message, no matter how hard India tries to suppress them, they will always try harder.
The writer Amna is an Intern at YFK- International Kashmir Lobby Group, and a student of International Relation at IIUI.
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