article 370


Upon being caught up in a storm of charged communal and political disruption in parts of India, it is imperative to not succumb to oblivion of the Kashmir Coercion continuing for 200 and counting days.  

If anything other than Pakistan bashing validates the pro establishment notion of nationalism, it is the state of Kashmir (among other ‘verified’ indicators of course!) Kashmir has surfaced with enough frequency to be made into a cliché. It’s not actually clichéd but normalised to make it an acceptable norm for the state being the land of violence and turbulence of peace. This is in antithesis of what Hazrat Amir Khusrau saab would reckon:

“Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast,” which translates to, “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here,” 

Amit Shah's tweet post the abrogation of Article 370, via Twitter
Amit Shah’s tweet post the abrogation of Article 370, via Twitter

Contrary to this landscape of heaven is now a hellhole for mothers and fathers who ache to unite with their children- taken away from them and booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) post the 5th August 2019 contentious step of the government to revoke Article 370 in the valley. The act allows detention without any bail, trial or charge for upto two years. A report published by Al Jazeera claimed the number of detainees totalling to 500. According to sources they have been shifted out of Kashmir owing to a space crunch in prisons.

Atiqa Begum's quote given to BBC via @withkashmir on Instagram
Atiqa Begum’s quote given to BBC via @withkashmir on Instagram

Begum is a mother of 22-year-old Faisal Aslam Mir who was separated from her and charged under the “draconian” PSA amidst the clampdown. She claims that he left the house to purchase medicines and never returned. She received the information that he’s detained in a jail in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. She can’t afford to pay for the distance and just curls up in cries and duas to meet him. Another ballad is that of the father of Aqib whose son was disabled due to pellet injury and levied no mercy under the PSA.

144 detainees are identified as minors including a nine year old, as checked by the AFP in a police list, however post the 2012 amendment in the PSA, it’s prohibited to detain a person below the age of 18.

Brutality by administration has been registered in Delhi itself in the midst of protest tide against the regime. How are we to even contemplate the brutality that has been unleashing upon Kashmiris under the closed doors when they decide to speak against the power which has failed them? 85% of pellet victims examined after 2016 uprising fall victim to psychological disorders (Source: CMC Srinagar).

College students teaching children in Kashmir, via Reuters
College students teaching children in Kashmir, via Reuters
Text on Kashmir via @rhiyad_e_dehr on Instagram
Text on Kashmir via @rhiyad_e_dehr on Instagram

For seven straight months there was an internet blackout among other things, with intermittent conditions levied to operate it. The Supreme Court has already dubbed the internet ban as “unconstitutional.”  On 5th March 2019, finally it was restored but only up until 17th March. There are worries over IP address tracking if voice meets dissent and reverberate on social media against the power. This shutdown has resulted in the aftermath of the economy taking a slump thereby uniting it with India’s economy as a whole taking a tailspin. 150,000 jobs were lost as registered by Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Difficulties are faced by children attending schools and colleges. There’s an introduction of the new curriculum whereby students will learn about the ‘reorganisation’ of the state into two union territories with omission of incidents of clampdown, shutdown and communication blockade.

Skepticism arises on the construct of education as a reform when it’s orchestrated to take sides so blatantly. Generals talk of youngster’s abode to ‘deradicalization camps’ and slogans of freedom when hurled lands you to sedition. The partisanship of military swifts a silence and normalisation of control perpetuates. Entire Kashmir is in darkmode and uncertainty of prolongness of this truth is haunting.

“In the dark times

 will there also be signing?

Yes, there will also be singing

about the dark times.”

-Bertolt Brecht


Feature image credits: @inkblotsandverses via Instagram

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]


The abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A has invited a series of memes on social media which are downright insensitive and distasteful. Here’s analysing how much humor is too much, or is it really humour?

Ever since the Articles 370 and 35A have been abrogated, this piece of news has become a hot subject of discussions and debates in canteens, dinner tables, and possibly every social media platform. 

The decision taken on 5th August, which strips Jammu and Kashmir of the special status granted to it decades back, and bifurcates the state into two Union Territories has invited mixed response from the people around the country, as some call the decision a historic step towards unification of the country and an attempt to resolve the long ongoing Kashmir issue, while others find it unconstitutional and a violation of rights of Kashmiris. 

As different opinions and responses found their way to social media, so did the memes. Meme culture in the last couple of years has taken social media by the storm, and it is here to stay. 

For every recent happening in the country and beyond, there are memes to lighten up the mood and give a humorous angle to the situation. Thus, it was only obvious to expect memes flooding our timelines after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, and they did.

While a lot of memes were decent enough to be shrugged away after a laugh, there were double the ones that were really problematic and made us question- how much is too much?

Image Source: Twitter
Image Source: Twitter

From people going to buy land in Kashmir to showing their desire to marry “beautiful” and “white” Kashmiri girls, the memes turned insensitive to the people of Kashmir whom the decision impacted in the first place. 

“The memes on Kashmiri girls and land are not helping or creating humour out of this situation. It is only alienating the people of that area furthermore. It is creating a very stifling environment,” said a student from Jammu and Kashmir. 

These meme-makers and sharers turned Kashmir into a mere plot of land which they can now buy and girls from Kashmir as a mere commodity they think they supposedly have rights over. The complete lack of empathy from their end reflected their deeply embedded patriarchy and opportunism.

While it’s completely okay to take sides in a decision and celebrate where one feels necessary, it’s not okay to derive sick and problematic humor at the cost of respect and dignity of the people who are still coming to terms with the change in their lives, and are very much the part of your own nation.

Memes on Kashmir
Image Caption: Deccan Chronicle


Section 144 was imposed on Jammu and Kashmir on the night of 5th August to prevent any threat to security. While Ladakh and some parts of Jammu and Kashmir have started gaining their connectivity to the world back, several districts of Kashmir are still without internet connection. The meme-makers were/are making these distasteful jokes on people who didn’t have access to read and comment upon them. 

It’s extremely saddening to imagine a situation where our people from Kashmir will find these insensitive memes, welcoming them as they log in after days. 

“When the sentiments are so charged and atmosphere is apparently full of fear and distrust. Is it really helping the situation if you make the people of that land unwanted instead of being welcomed?” said one student. 

“The environment feels very occupationist. The way memes are being made on women and land. Trivializing the matter like that makes it seem like everyone cares not about the people But the land and girls,” added another. 

Humour is meant to convert a serious situation into something light to make people see something funny and positive in every situation. But, under this veil of “it’s just a joke”, can we conveniently forget the context sitting on our privileged positions? 

Is it okay to defend every insensitive remark as a joke without paying any heed to how the subjects of your memes will possibly feel amidst the tense situation?

It’s important for these people making careless remarks to register that the place and people they are joking about, thoughtlessly have been living a life of acute distress for over seven decades now. Sounds of bullets and witnessing dead bodies are normal of the lives of these people. Generations after generations, all they pray each day is for one more peaceful day to survive. While you and I live our lives joyously because of our privilege of being born into a state where constant terror attacks don’t haunt our lives, the Kashmiris are under a constant threat. 

twitter 3

It’s okay to celebrate the decision. It’s okay to put forward your opposition. Any debate is healthy to democracy. But what’s certainly not okay is to make our fellow countrymen feel like a commodity and their homeland, property or plot of land. 

It becomes imperative for us as people who “actually” love the heaven that Kashmir is and the people who reside in the valley, to be thoughtful and sensitive of their emotions and make them feel the sense of belonging to the country and fellow citizens. 

In our haste to earn a few likes and comments, let’s not forget that humanity trumps everything. 

Feature Image Credits: Twitter

Shreya Agrawal

[email protected]


In response to the abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370, the nation saw countrywide protests being organised by various organisations.

Student leaders, political figures, and dissenting students took to the streets of Mandi House  to make their way to Jantar Mantar to protest the abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370 which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The protest was supported by organisations including Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), and All India Forward Bloc (AIFB).

The move has left people confused and shocked. People have been vocal about their dissent through social media. The varied reactions, some celebratory and some condemning it have made Delhi the hotbed of protests and celebration rallies this week.

“There’s a new way of misogyny in the air after the abrogation. There are memes and posts about men wanting to marry a Kashmiri woman. Does this mean they intend to kill all our boys? There has been excitement over the prospect of buying land. So, it was never about the people, was it? Only the land,” said a Kashmiri woman.”I’ve been here for 10 years. I went to university here, I got my first job here. I’ve never come out for a protest ever before but the latest news forced me out of my house. I need to be seen, I need to be heard.” added another Kashmiri woman on the conditions of anonymity.Amidst placards, posters, and media personnel running around to take interviews, a few protestors drew graffiti and wrote slogans on the road as leaders from the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Lenininst) spoke about the issue.

Shortly, a counter protest by unknown people began outside the barricades. They unfurled the national flag and waved it high while shouting slogans demanding ‘azaadi’ (freedom) from ‘anti-nationals’. Their display of hyper nationalism found itself in slogans praising the nation as the police and CRPF forces formed a tight, protective circle around them. The counter protesters also chanted aggressive slogans like “desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maaron saalon ko” (shoot all the traitors of the nation).

As the valley spends its third day without any communication channels, reports and rumours of protests, stone pelting, and death in the rehion leave the Kashmiri students in Delhi distressed.Students are yet to hear from their families back home. Reports of curfew and increased military presence has only added to their fears and worries.

The abrogation has left Ladakh as a Union Territory without its own legislature. Students from Ladakh spoke against the decision. Mohammad Ali, a student from Jawaharlal Nehru University said,“The MP proudly smiles and boasts his hapoiness on TV, he say the people of Ladakh are happy, but let me tell you that they aren’t. There have been protests because we don’t welcome this move. Bifurcating the state only puts us in a more vulnerable position. Ladakh’s ecology is in danger due to climate change and rising tourism. The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A will only damage the ecology further as outsiders will try to set up their companies. Tell me, how do you take such a major decision without asking the people? Is this what Indian democracy stands for?”

Many students chose to cover their faces at the protest or chose to not show up at all. Fear of being recognised and reported grips the Kashmiri diaspora in Delhi. “As a Kashmiri woman, my fears have only increased this year. First it was Pulwama, and now this.” The suddenness of the abrogation has left students torn between the legalities and the emotions it provokes. “It’s unconstitutional and undemocratic, that’s all I can say,” said a university student. “They’ll have to lift the curfew someday, and when they will, there will be bloodshed. I am terrified of that happening.”

Feature Image Credits: Noihrit Gogoi for DU Beat


Jaishree Kumar

[email protected]


The lanes near Jantar Mantar and Parliament Street flooded with protestors as the Centre issued the news of the abrogation of Article 35A, and Article 370 which granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

This morning, Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha, that Article 35A, and Article 370 which grants the state of Jammu & Kashmir special status are to be abrogated.
As the hours went on, the bill was passed.

The move leaves Jammu and Kashmir as a union territory with its own legislature. Ladakh would also be a union territory, but without its own assembly.

Since 4th August, Kashmir has been under lockdown with a complete shutdown of internet, broadband, and cellular services. Many Kashmiris across the world have said their indefinite goodbyes to their loved ones, unaware of when the ban would be lifted. Fear, anxiety, and paranoia have gripped the valley as news of deployment of thousands of paramilitary forces spreads out. Tourists and pilgrims have been asked to leave the state immediately, in the face of intelligence reports alleging a terror threat.

On 5th August, as the news of abrogation spread like wildfire throughout the University, student organisations took it upon themselves to celebrate, and resist.

As the ABVP celebrated the move near Arts Faculty with sweets and dhol, Left-leaning parties like the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), All India Students’ Federation (AISF) and All India Students’ Association (AISA) gathered around Jantar Mantar to protest against the move. The impromptu protest which was organised within two hours saw hundreds of gatherers with placards, demanding that the Articles be reinstated.
A Kashmiri student who requested to stay anonymous said, “I’m speechless, I don’t know what else to say.”

The protest also saw prominent leaders of the CPI (M), like Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat. As cries of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ echoed through the Parliament Street, the protesters burnt an effigy in an attempt to defame the Modi government. 

“I was thinking that this might happen since it was a part of the BJP’s manifesto, but deep down, I didn’t want it to happen. It’s only about the territory now, not the people,” said Hayder, a student. 

Due to the communication blackout, students have been unable to reach out to their loved ones. Almost every Kashmiri student remembers the exact time they last reached out to their family.

Residents of Kashmir are yet to find out about the abrogation. 

Speaking to DU Beat, Dipankar Bhattacharya, the General Secretary of CPI (ML) called the move as a ‘constitutional coup’ and ‘a complete travesty of truth and justice’. “I think this is a warning to every Indian of the shape of things to come, and these things are coming conspitarioly, but are coming rather fast. This is an adventurous way of governing. This is a recipe for disaster. It’s a time-bomb ticking away for the rest of India. Just because it was a part of the BJP manifesto and that they won the popular mandate doesn’t mean that the whole of India supports this move,” added Bhattacharya.

Ehthemam, a student of Jamia Milia Islamia called the move ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘illegal’. “The army and state repression has been high in Kashmir, with the cellular and internet shutdowns, it only increases the paranoia over human rights violations in the valley. They want control of Kashmir’s resources which is why they choose to abrogate Articles 35A and Article 370. The abrogation is impractical and will only worsen the conflict.”

Kawalpreet Kaur, the president of AISA, Delhi State added “This is illegal and should be challenged in court. This protest showed us that people aren’t happy with what happened today.”

Kaur declared that the resistance would carry on in the form of another protest march on the 7th of August, from Mandi House to Parliament Street. 

“The curfew will be lifted some day, people will come to know, how long will you repress us for? What happened today was unconstitutional,” said a Kashmiri woman addressing the gathering.

Home Minister Amit Shah has assured the opposition in the Rajya Sabha: full statehood at ‘appropriate time’ after ‘normalcy’ returns.
But for a state which has been militarized for decades, what is defined as ‘normal’? Amidst internet shutdowns and pellet guns, where does the Kashmiri identity go?

Feature Image Credits: Jaishree Kumar for DU Beat

Jaishree Kumar

[email protected]


ABVP welcomes the move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status with dhols, garlands, sweets, and slogans in the Faculty of Arts of the  University of Delhi (DU) today. 

The party members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of BJP affiliated to RSS, gathered in the Faculty of Arts of University of Delhi today to celebrate the abolition of Article 370, and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir along with Ladakh.

This article provides special autonomy to the state in the Constitution of India. This article, along with Article 35A, defined that the Jammu and Kashmir residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights as compared to residents of other Indian states. 

In a historical move, this article was scrapped by the BJP-led Government today in the parliament. 

The celebrations, which commenced from 3:30 pm, saw ABVP workers marching into the faculty gates accompanied by drummers. ABVP members commemorated the event by putting garlands, and showering flowers on the statue of Swami Vivekananda in the faculty premises. 

WhatsApp Image 2019-08-05 at 16.11.30

Lead by the ABVP North Delhi head Mr. Bharat Sharma, chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram could be heard all over the premises. “Yeh humare liye hi nahi, ek ek desh wasi ke liye, ek ek kashmir wasi ke liye ek moment of pride hai (This is a moment of pride, not just for us, but for each and every Indian, for each and every Kashmiri.)”, said Mr. Sharma.

Mr. Sidharth Yadav, Delhi State Secretary, ABVP, proclaimed, “For the first time today, this generation has seen an independent India”.

The celebrations went on to see hundreds in the Arts Faculty, with ABVP flags, dancing and distributing sweets. Mr. Ashutosh Singh, State Media Incharge for the ABVP said, “Government ko abhi sabse zyada Kashmiri locals ka bharosa jeetne ki zaroorat hai kyunki humlog unke saath me hain, (What the Government needs to do right now, is to win the trust of local Kashmiris because we are all with them,)”

Shri Srinivas, the National Joint Organising Secretary of ABVP, also addressed the gathering after distribution of sweets amongst the students, and party workers, “We have been struggling due to the actions of Mr. Nehru. Now any citizen can work in Jammu and Kashmir and live there. It’s a revolutionary day.” In conversation with DU Beat, he added, “ek sarthak behes desh bhar me honi chahiye, above party politics, ki vaastav me 370 ne Jammu and Kashmir ki janata ka fayda kiya ya nuksan kiya… aur desh ka har parliament member jab desh ki parliament me khade hota hai aur desh ki ekta aur akhandta ki shapath leta hai, to mujhe lagta hai ki woh shapath ko pura karne ka time aa gaya hai (There should be a meaningful debate on the pros and cons of article 370, above party politics… since every parliament member of the country takes a pledge for the unity of the country in the parliament, it’s time they fulfill their pledge,)”

Amidst the dance and dhols, the DUSU President Mr. Shakti Singh had the following to say to DU Beat, when asked about his concerns regarding the students from Jammu and Kashmir studying in DU, “It’s all propaganda and false information being provided to the students, there is nothing for the students to be afraid of, they are safe and will be so.”

The celebrations that lasted for hours had workers dancing and embracing each other in this festivity celebrating the abolition.

Feature Image Credits: Abhinandan Kaul for DU Beat. 

Satviki Sanjay 

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Stephen Mathew

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