‘They Beat Me In School Because I Am Kashmiri’
On March 2, 2014, as Pakistan defeated India in a cricket match during the Asia Cup, the usual cheering for Pakistan brought a heavy price for Kashmiri students in mainland India.
This ‘grave crime’—cheering for a foreign team playing against India—led the management to expel 66 Kashmiri students from the College of Swami Vivekanand Subharti University of Meerut, on the outskirts of New Delhi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
UP is the most powerful state in the Indian union. It is the base of the Hindi-speaking ruling elite of India. The nation’s federal capital, New Delhi, is located within this state.
In recent years, UP has become notorious for other things, like the astronomical rise in Hindu extremist groups, and the embarrassing rise in rape cases against Indian women and foreign tourists.
Gulzar Ahmed, one of the 66 students expelled from the Meerut college, said that he and his colleagues did not do anything wrong. In fact, local Indian students attacked the Kashmiri students with stones and verbal abuse after the match. The college administration, in Gulzar’s words, instead of taking action against the attacking Indian students, took the Kashmiri students to a local bus stand and told them to leave for Kashmir.