Concentration Camp called Kashmir
Sumera B. Reshi
A few months ago, I read about the atrocities of the Nazi regime that during the first six years of their tenure how Hitler and his cohorts detained thousands of Germans and confined them extra-legally what was later known as ‘Concentration Camps’. People were sent to these camps so that their voices could be curbed. These camps were not summer camps, however, these camps were known for harsh treatment and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that were acceptable in a constitutional democracy at that time. I didn’t know that time that I shall also be a part of a concentration camp very soon. Kashmir, a tiny piece of land in comparison to mighty India existed way before India and Pakistan came into being. And this paradise on the Earth has its constitution, flag and anthem yet it was enslaved by the two arch-rivals of the subcontinent.
There was a time when this paradise was free and peaceful, nevertheless since 1947, its peace and free were shattered by India as well as Pakistan. The pain of lost pride and its freedom remained dormant but not dead. Persistently forced occupation by India and Pakistan activated the anger of Kashmiris. Over a long silence, it erupted in 1989. Since then, there is no end to the atrocities. People are dying like animals, women being raped and youth being humiliated now and then. Ask me what confinement means, I shall burst into a sea of tears and narrate to every sane soul what we the people of Kashmir has gone through. Kashmir isn’t a vast oil resource, however, it has huge water resources and more so it has a geostrategic position and one who owns it, can have an eye on South Asia. This asset makes us vulnerable to external invasions by proxy or deceit.
And the Indian and Pakistani plan to integrate our territory has been charted out for the past three decades. They masterminded the occupation with utmost deceit. Can anyone imagine, people and warlords of the sub-continent who have been enslaved by Britain for 200 years colonize a tiny land soon after they were freed? No rational person can. The hatred for the people of Kashmir and the nasty plans to garb Kashmir was the top agenda of India. August 4, a la Nazi regime, India confined the people of Kashmir inside their home, blocked all possible ways of communication and sending additional troops to curb all the voices.
I remember, when I called my ailing dad on August 3, I could sense the chaotic air, kind of danger in the offing but I showed optimist to my dad’s broken voice when he said, “We don’t know what is next. They have sent additional troops and the roads are all deserted. We may or may not survive. Now you are the responsibility of my Allah.” With a broken heart, broken voice, I tried to show hope but my dad dropped the line with a sigh.
The world has many contested land the worst one is Palestine under brutal Israeli occupation. Yet Palestine doesn’t have the distinction of the world highly militarized zone, however, Kashmir has. We are under the vicious forced occupation of the world largest democracy, called India. Germans were subjected to concentration camps from 1933 – 1945 and Kashmir was locked completely from August 4 till date. Phones, internet, free movement and the voices were blocked, what India didn’t block is the air we breathe. Can anyone imagine the misery of our people? Can anyone feel the pain of the people whose sovereignty were torn into pieces stealthily and deceitfully? I am neither lying not exaggerating because the world media is witness to our plight. Violence is not innate with any human being, however, it is been created, seeped into the blood by hatred, deceit and proxies. That is what the so-called democratic country which chants Gandhi’s quotes, idolizes Nathu Ram Godse’s philosophy. Democracy and secularism are the biggest myths and the current locked-down of Kashmir by India proved it. You can cage and kill us but you shall never silence us.