The Karobar of Occupation: Media, Cricket and Lies

So, at the end of May, with all the hoopla about assembly elections washed out by a very poor turnout in the Parliamentary elections, ‘Kashmir-watchers’ from India were bitter. So they turned to cricket and other usual diversions. Lucky for them the Indian Premier League was going on; the Indian middle-class divided its loyalties and short attention span toward fancily-named cricket teams—Lions, Royals, Chargers, Knight Riders, Big Talkers, Useless Stinkers. News channels, to show that they also speak about the underside of their Greeeeat Democracy, chose to speak about the low-turnout in Lalgarh instead of Kashmir.

NDTV, which seems to be suffering from some kind of a cognitive disorder, in fact advised the people of Mumbai for their low-turnout(43 percent) to learn a lesson from the faith Kashmiris were putting in the Indian democracy (23 percent turnout). Mumbai attacks last November, which apparently should have stirred their conscience, hadn’t. (And, by the way, if you want more examples of NDTV’s disorder recall when William Burns came to India carrying Obama’s most recent letter to Manmohan urging India and Pakistan to start talks, adding that both India and Pakistan should determine where and when, Vikram Chandra forgot the “both” and self-congratulatingly stated that Obama said India will determine everything.) But anyway, that is how things are.

Around that time, two women were gang raped and murdered in Kashmir. It happened during the night of the last Friday of May, and by Sunday, as news reached and shook all parts of Kashmir, people started pouring out of homes to protest. Monday was total strike. Tuesday and Wednesday witnessed more protest and strikes. As the pace of the protest gathered, the young CEO of Kashmir, the darling of teenagers in India, a two-line-in-Indian-Parliament-wonder-kid (two-lines to wash away his past association with a government that gave clean-chit to Narendra Modi government after the Gujarat pogroms in 2002), said that an enquiry would be conducted but that there was not much to it as it was a simple case of drowning. It didn’t matter that the bodies of the two women had been fished out of land and not water. People got angrier still.

I don’t understand why people get angry with him. As a member of the family that has long represented the interests of Indian political establishment in Kashmir, he said what his brief from India allows him. Nevertheless protests continued.

At this point, NDTV’s polished and articulate Kashmir correspondent Nazir Masoodi came on TV (did you catch it?). With his head held high and a demeanor suggesting a lot of personal commitment, he candidly stated “NDTV’s position”: we have maintained all along that rape has happened but murder hasn’t. After that he had nowhere to go but underground. A friend suggested he might be in a bunker under the 15 Corp HQ information centre in Srinagar. His vanishing act was brilliant, giving a distinct impression that there were these imaginary murderers after his life, when no one gave two hoots about him. But, no, he failed to get attention similar to what journalists imprisoned in North Korea or Iran normally get. You might have also noticed the Sunday story in the Indian Express by Muzamil Jaleel who re-wrote the most popular family story of the Abdullahs? It reminded Delhi of whose son and grandson Omar was, at a time when doubts were being raised about his ability to rule.

People, on the other side, with no other available way to express solidarity with the victims continued the protests. Geelani and his camp followers, with very limited imagination, continued to call for more hartals. And, soon, hartals began to pinch hard. As if the Indian occupation was not enough oppression already, hartals began to look like self-inflicted wounds. I was surprised to see a national movement act like a railway union. I mean, striking is like legitimizing a government; saying that the state (or the Indian) government could address grievance. I mean the only way these governments can address grievance is by not being there; they are the grievance.

Look, how many cases of rape and murder in Kashmir have happened? Has any substantial change taken place on the ground? On Kunan Poshpora incident way back in the 90s, Indian media denied that any rape had happened at all. Then there are rapes in Pahalgam and other places. Unless events like these are woven into the larger struggle for national independence, media will always portray them as small crimes, instead of built-in systemic requirements of a military occupation.

Now that Jan Commission has established both rape and murder, and indicted the administration for carelessly letting vital evidence be lost, one shouldn’t expect any drastic changes. There will be some transfers, some suspensions, just to give an impression that heads are rolling. The draconian laws will continue. Military presence will continue. The karobar of the occupation will continue. And I don’t think evidence was allowed to be lost so carelessly!

Indian media, which was planning to spend the next few weeks celebrating Team India’s T20 victories, is suddenly speechless. Cricket was supposed to smother Kashmir. But, na, it didn’t happen that way! On top of that, the Pakistani win in cricket has come as a personal loss to India.

When a Jessica Lall or a Priyadarshini Mattoo gets raped or murdered Indian media acts as if their own sister or mother was raped and murdered, but when it comes to Kashmir they take the “principled stand.”


7 thoughts on “The Karobar of Occupation: Media, Cricket and Lies

  1. Well written brother. Your post reminds us of Kunan Poshpora. 19 years back when women of Kunan were raped which included one 80 years old female, one of the greeeeat Indian Intellectuals who was on the fact finding mission termed the Raped Women as Women with Loose Character. He even did not visit the place. He came to Srinagar and tried to visit Kunan. But he was stopped before reaching there by Army and briefed and sent back. During these 19 years not a single soul from Army has been named or booked.What happened to Bomai, Sopore murderers. Nothing!What happened to Pakherpora Murderers, Nothing!All the enquiry commissions are just pain killing tablets. India knows that Kashmiris get pacified with these lolly pops. The are using this lolly pop again in Shopian. By the way if an assembly election is again held in Kashmir, three months from now, the voter turnout will be 60% or above, believe me. We are like that.When Sheikh Abdullah signed an accord with Indira Gandhi in 1975, Bhutto asked Kashmiris to go for the Hartal. 100% and unprecedented Hartal was observed throughout the valley and when that very Sheikh came back from Delhi, 10 lack people went to receive him at airport.Slogans likeRai Shumari Barikh Dabas, Aolov Babas Mubarakh andYi Kari Ti Kari Bab Kari Lo Lowere chanted with zeal.We Kashmiris do not deserve to be free. We are destined to die like slaves because we are having lot of other priorities in our minds besides Freedom. And one of the priorities is Sadak, Pani, Naukri. and Bijli.

  2. I am an Indian Muslim. I am not sure if you are an Indian or a Pakistani. I have sympathy for Kashmiri people and every Indian has a lot of sympathy and want to help you all. I always see that you all keep on blaming India and trying to be anti-India.I agree that there is some injustice often done to some Kashmiris. But I would like to inform you that from what I can see in most cases Kashmiris are also to blame to some extent.I dont understand why some bustard Kashmiris act like India is anti-Islamic or anti-Kashmiri. I am a Muslim too born and brought up in India. I love my country from the depth of my heart and we all Indians are brothers and sisters. But I see most Kashmiris acting as if they are not Indians. Why do you do that? It really makes people angry and I also get angry at many Kashmiris for such behaviour. You all should act like proper Indians and not act as if you are away from India. I even see Kashmiris supporting the Pakistani dogs in cricket matches etc. At first how the hell can you support a terrorist country like Pakistan and especially the terrorists. And own country comes first. So, you have to respect and honour India above any other country in the world.Act like Indians and I am sure every Indian would be more than ready to help you all and work for your developement. If you say that there was some injustice done to Muslims in Kashmir then the fact is also that the way in which Kashmiri Pandits were treated in the valley was not right. Our religion teaches us peace and humanity and if you all follow our religion properly too then you would be liked a lot more in India.We Indian Muslims are an integral part of India and have been successful in all spheres of public life. Hope that the Kashmiri Muslims also get their share of support and success in the great Indian democracy. But please behave properly and stop acting like Pakistanis in order to be respected and liked all Indians including Indian Muslim.May Allah open all your mind towards India and bring peace, stability and success to your lives. India is the best country in the world and we all are lucky to be born in this great nation. Hope you also understand this and stop supporting terrorists and behaving anti-India.

  3. I just read your post once again.. did you bloody support the Mumbai attacks.. if you did so, then you are a dog and surely not a Muslim.. Islam is against all forms of violence and Mumbai attacks was a huge scale violence of innocents.EDIT: In fact I would call you a dirty filthy pig if you said that you supported Mumbai attacks. Hate you all who have disgraced the name of our great religion as well as the name of our great country.

  4. @Zaman Asalamalikum Indian Muslim Brother.To start with please stop using a Muslim Alias to convey your thoughts.Kashmiri's are neither Indian nor Pakistanis, Kashmir is a separate country just like any other nation. It has no cultural, geographical, historical links with India or pakistan. India has been ANTI-KASHMIRI all throughout 62 years of history. Millions of innocent Kashmiri's have been Killed, Kidnapped, Raped by Indian security forces. Can you give a reason for it, leave aside cricket and all other issues. VISIT MY BLOG

  5. @OmarWalaikum As Salaam OmarTo start with please don't give any shit and predict everything based on your own assumptions. I hate people who reach conclusions without knowing anything. Maybe such an attitute is the reason that Kashmiris have not been as close a part as rest of India as we are. Your statement that I am using a Muslim Alias really made me go mad. I am an Indian Muslim and Zaman is my real last name. So, please dont give any such shit and act like a jerk and jackass without knowing anything about me. Regarding India being Anti-Kashmiri, I dont agree with it. At least, India is never and can never be prejudiced against anybody unless the people pisses us off. We do not like Pakistanis because they support terrorists which is also against Islam. I have never been to Kashmir and so I cannot exactly confirm or deny about the Indian security forces thing. I am not sure why it would do so as Indian army even gives away their lives to protect us (including Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, atheists etc.) in the rest of India. I love India and would love till my last breathe. We all Indian Muslims are an integral part of India and frankly speaking we all Indians also want Kashmiri Muslims to be an integral part of India. We want that you all should also benefit from India's success and development but the attitude of Kashmiris really piss us off. Some of the most successful Muslims in the world are Indians and India has never been partial based on religion, caste, creed etc. We are united and will remain to do so forever. Another thing which Indians dislike is that many Kashmiris support terrorists which is against our religion too. Violence and murder is not allowed in Islam and to support it is a sin in our religion. But we normal Indians including Indian Muslim really get pissed off when we hear Kashmiris supporting terrorists and Pakistanis. Also acts such as the acts against Kashmiri Pandits were not acceptable too.Hope that you all end acting anti-India and hope you gain the respect of Indian people soon. We all Indians including Indian Muslims want the unrest to end and Kashmiris to become as successful as normal Indians. Insha Allah the time would come soon and all Kashmiris will realize and become an integral part of India from the depth of their hearts.I am proud to be an Indian Muslim and hope all Kashmiris Muslims also do so.

  6. Zaman,I respect your patriotism. That you are an Indian and you feel strongly for India is ok. However, I don't understand why you should force a nation that doesn't want to be part of India and doesn't feel Indian to share feelings similar to you. I always give examples of the British rule in India. Indians did not feel they were British, that is why they struggled to get their independence. Kashmiris are doing the same. Kashmir was never part of India–and if you look historically there was nothing called India (as it exists today). India and Pakistan came into being in 1947 and both wanted to usurp different kingdoms around them. Kashmiris resisted this because we believe we can never succeed if we are ruled from Delhi or Islamabad. Our experience with India tells us that neither can democracy succeed in Kashmir nor can Kashmiris develop economically or culturally. Indian state has stiffled us. It is a military occupation. India occupied us by saying that they wanted "to liberate us" from "tribals". But once the tribals left, India stayed. It is like if US troops stayed in Iraq or Afghanistan forever.Your posts are full of rage and rabidness, somehow pointing to your frustration and desperation. It seems you are using an obscene langauge for a Kashmiri to please someone else…may be your Hindu friends who still question your patriotism. That is the tragedy of being an Indian Muslim. You are a true patriot but those who claim to be the true heirs of the nation–the Hindus–feel you are Pakistanis. It has been going on for 60 years and it will continue. Rich Indian Muslims is a myth. A Premji or a few Khans don't make Indians rich. Read the Sachar Committee report: Indian Muslims are very highly underrepresented in jobs and education, they are on the same socio-economic level as Dalits, but quite overrepresented in jails. I am not saying that Indian Muslims should leave India or something like that. You are an equal heir and have equal rights to Indian nation. You should fight for secularism and deepening of democracy in your country. Otherwise minorities in India are dooomed. I hope you don't want repeat of Ayodhya, Gujarat, Kanpur, Jamshedpur, Maliana, Nellie. And it is not only few, the BJP/RSS. It is Congress too. Sikhs know it better. I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Bombay. Kashmiris have nothing to do with those attacks. The only terrorism Kashmiris know of is the terror unleashed by the Indian state on them. We don't expect Indian Muslims to support Kashmir's right to self-determination. They have their own problems. Kashmiris extend their solidarity to all the minorities and struggling people in India so that their country treats them better. As for Kashmiris we will struggle for our independence and freedom.

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