History tells us Kashmiris had been a prey to pessimistic fortunate and been fighting for the recognition of their rights since pre division era of sub-continent. One of the chronic and devastating incidents that took place in Kashmiri history was when 22 sons of IIOJK victimized by the brutalities of Dogra forces. This was tragic incident for Kashmiris and left them stunned and saddened for murders of their young brothers.
A Kashmiri leader, who was a young political activist, was put under a sham trial by the autocrats of Dogra dynasty in the year of 1931. The latter’s crime was that he resonantly talked about the policies that were oppressive and being imposed on Kashmiris. Obeying the quote “Might is right” Dogra authorities got offended and arrested him on 25th June. He was charged under section 124-A and 153 of Ranbir Panel. Muslim showed resentment towards their leader being charged and arrested. His arrest warrant led the people to be protesters on streets. On 13th July 1931, the proceedings of trial occurred in the court. Thousands of people were gathered to express solidarity for their leader. The protest was peaceful till Zohar but environment went agitated when Dogra forces burst the bullets on protesters. As an outcome to these shots 22 young protesters laid their lives and their families were in deep sorrow. These martyrs encouraged their Kashmiri brothers to go against the tyrant and their struggles are even continue today against India. So the day on which they laid their lives, 13 July, is known as Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir.
Why were they being victimized by the Dogra forces? Any religion in power would definitely suppress the rights of people of other religion. This is an indispensible truth to accept by, contemporarily, India. As Kashmir is the dwelt of Muslim majority and it was ruled by the Dogra dynasty till the sub-continent was divided. Dogra dynasty was a Hindu family which was resented naturally by the Muslims due to different practices and values. So it is apparent there would be riots, oppressive policies and racism. This is the reason Kashmiris were being killed by the Dogra forces.
Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir is being observed by the Kashmiris on both sides of Line of Control (LOC) and even across the globe. Every year, the rallies and ceremonies are staged for memorandum of the 22 martyrs and by remembering them; Kashmiris motivate themselves to continue their struggles to exit the draconian policies and rule of India. There is a clash of Ideology among the Muslims and Hindus so, how can a religion be dominant or live together with distinguished ideologies?
Illegally Indian occupied Jammu is the today’s region of oppression over Muslims. Kashmiris escaped the rule of Dogra dynasty but got trapped under the claws of Indian violent rule. Muslims are struggling to gain accession of Kashmir with Pakistan but India is determined not to lose it but continue to suppress the rights of Kashmiris. Several conflicts were fueled due to different cultural and religious practices of Hindus and Muslims. India is in persistent struggle to make IIOJK a Hindu dominant society but the determination and Kashmiris laying their lives for their rights are hindering the Hinduism to take over the society. This is impossible for them to live under the oppression of other religion and obey their laws. A society in which discrimination is fostered at a level where any issue leads to the killing of Muslims would be an unfair and unstable society.
The article 370 and 35- A granted rights to Kashmiris and these rights were withdrawn by the India in 2019 when Indian government abrogated the articles. Muslims were left in shock and once again faced the tyrant actions taken by the Indian government. As India has an imperial rule over Kashmir so gradually they are striving to saturate the IIOJK with Hindus and this will feeble the voices of oppressed Muslims, those Muslims which had been struggling to be heard by the authorities for justice and rights.
Pakistan expressed solidarity with their oppressed Muslim brothers of Kashmir and call out to the international communities for arbitration and to take action against India due to its violation of International law. On 13 July people of Kashmir and Pakistan observe the day by arranging social programs and backing their Kashmiri brothers for freedom.
The martyrs of 13 July are being remembered and honored by the Kashmiris around the globe and by Pakistan as well. This specific event holds significance and is considered as a turning point of social and political landscape. It is a symbol of resistance showed by the Muslims towards the injustices and exploitation of rights by the tyrant dominants. India should keep its words and plebiscite should be held in Kashmir to get aware of the majority perception.
The People of Pakistan and its government is always standing beside their Kashmiri brothers to support them in every thick or think until the achieve they right to self-determination.
The writer Shehryar Irshad is an Intern at YFK- International Kashmir Lobby Group, and a student of International Relation at NUML, Islamabad.