Saturday, July 16, 2016

This wasted land, Kashmir

For a while now, I have not blogged anything that is focused on India.  Of course, I refer to my experiences in the old country because of the autoethnographic approach in my way of understanding the world.  But, it has been a long, long, while since I commented on anything that is going on in India.

All because--and this will not agree well with Indians, and with Ramesh in particular--I have given up on India :(

Like how a family simply gives up after years of riding the roller coaster of emotions as the relative continues to go down a destructive path, I decided a few months ago that for my own sanity I needed to disengage from the internal happenings in the old country that is so dear to me.

But then, it is not as if we can completely shut ourselves off.  We might get updates about the relative through the grapevine.  An occasional sighting somewhere.  Or the news of something that happened.  It is an unfortunate development that compels me to blog about the old country.  The news reports from Kashmir.

One image, among many, brought me to tears.  Literally. I paused to clear my eyes before I continued to read on.  It was this photograph:


That is an x-ray of a boy who was one of the many Kashmiris who were pummeled by India's military with pellet guns.  The sparkling rhinestones in the x-ray are the tiny iron balls, the ball bearings, that got lodged in him.  Count them! 

The tiny iron balls have also blinded--yes, blinded--so many that eye surgeons have been rushed to Kashmir to treat them, most of whom will not get their eyesight back. (The number of reports of people--including kids pelleted--is why I am convinced that the x-ray image is real.)  Those with the tiny iron balls in their eyes include this Kashmiri:


When a democratic government uses such cruel violence against its own people, pacifists like me lose all hope.

I found it particularly awful to look at the following photograph of India's military shooting at Kashmiris, after aiming at the target--humans:


It reminded me of a notably violent incident from the decades of the white supremacists' political control of the Subcontinent: The afternoon at Jallianwalla Bagh a hundred years ago, when civilians who had gathered at the park for a political rally were mercilessly gunned down, was one of the darkest of the darkest of the many dark moments of the British Raj, 

The Indian government behaves as if it is a nineteenth century European colonizer, controlling the natives.  The Indian government in New Delhi has merely replaced the Queen's Viceroy!  If the natives rebel, they shall be put down with brute force.

If only a referendum had been held decades ago, soon after the departure of the white supremacists.  Instead, we have witnessed India's occupation of Kashmir and the wars with Pakistan, we bear witness to the violence that continues on, and Kashmir is the most militarized region in the world.

The government violence in Kashmir, and the lone-wolf violence in Nice have crushed me inside.   I will return to blogging after a couple of days.

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