Memory is the most important tool which oppressed people have. The oppressors want us to have amnesia. The only potent weapon we have as people is memory. “Our memory will always help us to sustain the struggle against injustice,” said Khalid Parvez in an interview with David Barsmain. Indeed, between the neat beds of crimson bloom, her fragrance is like a time machine, granting me a fleeting visit to the land that clings on to nothing, but memories. To my mother’s land. To memory.

Aayat: “Appi it’s not working, why can’t click a photo?”

Mir: “Give it to me, give it to me, I know how to do it…It’s on video mode, now try it like this.”

As god sits on a Shikara painting the paradise, he paints it deep blue and green. A lake so magnificent that it reflects the willing canvas of the mountain and sky. And when he strikes the brush he weaves strings of harmony, and when he strikes the brush he writes poetic songs of the light that is played upon the wind dancing ruffles of willows and trees, and when he strikes the brush he breaks dawn in crimson and wine red, giving it a
watercolour effect. But if the kahwa in his hands slips into a tumultuous storm that wipes the sailcloth grey, was it man who did it or was it divine justice that did not come into play?

Sitting in the university garden, in the serenity of the whistling waters of Dal, our hearts tuned to the flow striking the fixated stones; it was then that I had believed so much in beauty, it was then that I had believed so much in its imposing power that transforms any human being. Every second spent in Kashmir is etched to me like a memory, that if ever revisited, redefines each moment that has ever lived in me, in my mind’s eye.

We were happy. Mountains in summer, lawasa and noon chai, spinach curry dinner on red carpets. The intoxicating smell of afternoon rain with nadru (lotus root fritters) in newspaper wraps. All year round we waited for summer, because summer meant holidays and holidays were a month-long dip into the relieving
waters of a home far away, a fernweh. And because holidays were the hugs and kisses of khala as she spoiled and stuffed us until we turned into a burrito. And because holidays were not only days spent playing
in doll houses or snow-laden balconies, but by then holidays were like a dream that kept on returning to kiss greater life into our souls.

Dated: 12/6/2019
Walking bare feet on wet grass in Shalimar does not equate to the baghs in Delhi. How can nostalgia be so weak that it can’t cling to the last pieces of what is lost? It is because so much is lost. Nothing is the same.
Jhelum boils red in the loss of mothers, endless suffering, endless pain, the endless murder of life, widows, orphans, rape, politics, law and order. Oh, the border, the border! Shelling and pelting, take the youth to detention centers so that the ‘high sir’ can do the belting, the shooting electrocuting.

Nothing is the same. Life is cheap. The winter wind comes with its hollow screams, its quiet cries. But the whispers linger on, the blood dries out, covered under the snow. Don’t let yourself show. Out in the dark, at night. A son born here is a son died. Nothing is the same. Army bunkers and barbed wires surround the roads, mental agony surrounds the people and it is grief that they breathe in. I live in Delhi now, Lucknow feels unlike home. Mir left college after his father died of a heart attack. He sits at the shop now with his elder brother. That is how they earn a living. I went back there after 7 years. Sitting on the stairs at Hazrat-Bal, I see a gamut of pigeons flying. The people often feed them. Just like they feed the hope inside. The walls are scribbled with Azaadi, of what they want, but who are they? Are they some of them or all of them, and if they are who they are, who gives them the liberty to want what they want? Who gives them thought? They are nobodies. No blood and bone. No skin and soul. They are dust. They are ashes. They are long-lost dreams. They are the wind-blown chinar leaf you step on while you walk in and out of paradise(hell) in peace.

“Jis khaak ke zamir mein ho aatish-echinar
Mumkin nahien ke sard ho wok hake arajmand

Wo arajmand ab hogaya hai sard o iqbal
Ab ro raha wadi-e-kashmir phir se ek baar.”

Aayat Farooqui

[email protected]

Read about the problems faced by students residing in Kashmir in accessing e-learning resources online due to low-speed internet.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration said that only 2G internet will be available to residents till April 3rd amid calls for restoration of high speed 4G internet in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

This poses a grave concern for students – as the world resorts to online classes for regular classes and lectures, students residing in Kashmir are troubled by frequent disruptions and delays in their educational pursuits. The learning process isn’t facilitated well, because the streaming quality is often poor due to low-speed internet. The union territory of J&K has over 15,000 schools and colleges catering to tens of thousands of students.

Bareen, a student of Jesus and Mary College, explains how difficult it is to continue and keep up the pace with everyone residing in the rest of the country when it comes to even basic tasks, “We are often not able to access video lectures, apart from this; National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) aspirants are facing problems in filling up forms and studying without able internet. Internet Banking has been absolutely crippled, failed transactions is the norm now due to slow net. Basic communication through mediums like WhatsApp is hard; downloading audios, videos and documents has become a huge problem. There is no question of even accessing other websites like Netflix, YouTube and social media for recreation and leisure.”

“Restore 4G internet services to help student learn from home,” an association of private schools in the valley has said in a message. The association said the ban on high speed 4G internet services has been preventing schools from offering Google classroom teaching to students in the region. “While private schools show their readiness to shift to online lesson plans, they’re running into limitations of our broadband networks,” said G N Var, president of the Kashmir Private School Association.

Feature Image Credits: Instagram / Stand with Kashmir Feature Image Caption: A letter written by a 5th grade student to address his lack of access to online classes.
Image Credits: Instagram / Stand with Kashmir
 Image Caption: A letter written by a 5th grade student to address his lack of access to online classes.

Doctors and other health care personnel have also faced significant predicaments. With concerns arising over the coronavirus pandemic, the risks to life and lungs have increased. A Kashmiri doctor recently tweeted his frustration over not being able to download the ICU guidelines for COVID-19 even after an hour of trying, due to the low-speed internet.

Feature Image Credits: The Hindu


Paridhi Puri

[email protected]

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]


In order to embrace the Kashmiri culture, University of Delhi (DU), announces award of 1 lakh to students writing papers on the said topic.

Yogesh Tyagi, The Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi, announced on Tuesday, 18th February,  an award of 1 lakh to any student who researches and publishes a paper on the Kashmiri culture. This followed, the first event organised by the Varsity showcasing Kashmiri folk-music namely “Meeras-e-Kashmir”, under the banner of “Cultural Flavours of India”. Karan Singh, Rajya Sabha Veteran, and Amitabh Mattoo, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Professor, were guests at this event.

The Congress veteran discussed the essence of Kashmiri culture, heritage and the rich pursuit of traditional knowledge by various prominent saints from the valley. “Never give up faith in your culture. We may be surrounded by corruption and violence everywhere, but we have to maintain ourselves. It is only then we will fulfil our potential,” the former MP said.

Singh shared several anecdotes from Kashmir, further adding “It is important for us to emphasise the diversity and inclusiveness of Indian culture and never get into exclusivism mode”. He also talked of the time when Sufis came to Kashmir. “There were places in Srinagar where people would pray namaz on the first floor and do aarti on the ground floor. That was the synoptic philosophy particular to Kashmir, which is now shattered,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor of DU too talked about India being the hub of cultural diversity across the world. He suggested, “being the premier institution of India, the onus is on us in academia to appreciate the importance of geographical location, natural beauty, culture, cuisine, tradition, literature of Kashmir”.

Mattoo, JNU Professor,  talked of ways to strengthen our ideas of coexistence. “The first is the history and idea of Kashmiri Shaivism, the second Sufi tradition and finally Kashmiriyat. The recovery of the tradition of Meeras-e-Kashmir is the recovery of pluralism, co-existence and diversity, which will form the bedrock of the idea of India,” he further added.

Feature Image Credits: Easymetrip

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]

A play titled ‘Aksariyat Akliyat’ to be performed in Delhi University’s Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies(SSCBS) was cancelled by the college due to being based on Kashmir.

On the 25th of January, a Parindey Theatre Group was all set to perform a play, titled ‘Aksariyat Akliyat’, in Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies affiliated to the University of Delhi (DU), at the pre-event of Crescendo, the annual cultural fest of the college. The theme of the play was centered on the history and politics of Kashmir along with narratives of mythology. Owing to this characteristic, the play was cancelled by the college administration.

The college administration decided to cancel the play because they were apprehensive of the sensitive nature of the issue based on which the play had been developed. They were of the idea that the play could easily land the college into trouble.

The play had to be performed at the annual event, titled ‘Crescendo 2.0’, and essentially outlined the political dynamics of the formation of Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Rishi Sahai, the Head of the Management Committee claimed to be unaware about the content of the play as well as the lineup of the event.

The Students’ Council had to look into the matter and signed the letter of settlement of behalf of the Principal of the institution. The Principal also suggested modifying the play for ‘avoiding controversy’ and also made an offer to the theatre group to perform at another time, which was later declined by the team.

Further, a student of the college, who wished to remain anonymous, said,”As is usually the case with government colleges, the administration tries to distance itself from anything that is political, in order to stray clear of trouble. Although, many students do feel that this may not be the correct approach, always.”

According to Vivek Tyagi, the director of the play, “The play had been performed in 5 different cities and over 15 times, and nothing was ever registered as controversial, and moreover, a great stand-up comedian such as Rahul Subramanian was in full support of our cause.” Subramanian was also scheduled to perform at the event. He had also added that it was a demotivating moment for the team and that they were expecting support from the Delhi Theatre Circuit, but no such gesture was made.

Image credits- ED Times

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]

Amidst sloganeering and illustrating placards, Left Wing collectives from Delhi University (DU) including All India Students’ Association (AISA), PACHHAS, Pinjra Tod, and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) organised a protest, and a memorial for Kashmir Lockdown and SAR Geelani respectively at art faculty today.

“Kunan Pashpora yaad karo, AFSPA nahi chalega (Remember Kunan Pashpora, Bring Down AFSPA)” and similar slogans ran throughout the protest organised to commemorate the memories of S.A.R. Geelani, an Arabic language professor from Zakir Hussain College who passed away on 24th October following a cardiac arrest. Geelani was a controversial figure; a native of Kashmir he was first convicted but subsequently acquitted in 2001 Parliament attack case.

On Tuesday, various student organisations from DU including the likes of AISA, PACHAS, Pinjra Tod, and SFI organised a protest at Arts Faculty to celebrate him. Simultaneously, protesters also brought back the diabolical memories of Kashmir Lockdown which completed 100 days on 13th November.

On merging two separate incidents into one protest Nandita Narain, the former President of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), told DU Beat that because Professor Geelani was also a Kashmiri who felt deeply for the valley it would be befitting to combine both the events. On asking if yesterday’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protest has defoliated the amount of attention this should have gotten, Professor Narain said, “ All these things are related. The policy that the government is following are connected with each other. JNU students must be extremely traumatised and busy with their own protest otherwise whenever we call for a protest, they always come in large numbers.”

Remembering his late friend, Professor Rakesh Ranjan told in his speech how much Professor Geelani felt for political prisoners who get framed wrongly. About Kashmir, Ranjan said that Geelani always believed that Kashmiris will decide for Kashmir themselves. He added, “If we want to defeat fascism, we’ll have to strengthen democratic right movement in this country.” His speech ended with crowd cheering the slogan, “Long Live  Right to Self Determination”

Talking to DU Beat, Abhigyan, former Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Presidential candidate,  lashed out at Government’s repulsive behaviour towards Kashmir as the valley enters 107th day of lockdown. He said, “The way Kashmir was made a UT by abrogating 370 following which the way in which opposition voices were crushed there, it’s evident that this is not just a mean to curb dissent but also democracy wholly.”

Amidst the protest, a reporter from Zee News got heckled while she tried to talk to the protesters. The enraged protesters turned hostile towards her claiming that the channel reported lies against Professor Geelani, and did biased covering on the abrogation of Article 370.

Feature Image Credits: AISA Delhi University (Facebook)


[email protected]

The rhetoric of development has always been used as a method to lure people. The cost of this kind of development has always been borne by the marginalised and voiceless people, or the environment. In such a context consent becomes an important parameter if one really wants inclusive development. This open letter describes the plight when the rhetoric wins over the essence of development. 

Dear Development, 

I was in awe of you when they said you will improve my life. You would ease these sufferings and would take the “underdeveloped” in me to a “developed one”. I hoped to come out of this vicious cycle of poverty, as is what meant development to me. I expected to avail a better physical quality of life as that meant development. You were my ray of hope of becoming a human. They said you were good for me, and I simply agreed, because how does my consent matter any way. They know what is good for me. They know what is the best in the interest of development.

I have always aspired to become like the developed countries, as that is what a better life means. I was appealed to, by the common rhetoric of development. Little did I know my cost for development had a bigger picture, vested interests, and a propaganda complementary with it. My development never took my consent. I am the trees of Aarey and I paid the cost of development. I am a slum dweller and I paid the cost of development. I am a native of Kashmir and I paid the cost of development. Only to realise that I had a flawed notion of development being inclusive, holistic and for my benefit and well-being.

That is when I realized the importance of Consent for Development. You can have growth, you can build those structures, but how will you build my inner self?

You came for me and made me a destitute in the name of development. This development was not my development. It was largely governed by the vested interests and the public opinion professed by the propaganda of development. 

You came for me because I was the easy, soft target, I was voiceless and lured by you, development. 

I never wanted this type of development to happen. I never wanted your parenting for my good. I never wanted your progress at the cost of my own. India is my country defined by secularism and democracy. India is my country flaunting those plush green forests. India is my country defined by religious tolerance. But my idea of India does not matter, because that is not what the consensus today says. Surely there was vikas, but not sabka saath. You cut me down, you shut me down, and you threw me out because you were going to make my life better. I am still waitingf for that day to come, if ever it does. 

Yours truly,

The cost of development.

Feature Image Credits: Greenbiz

Sriya Rane 

[email protected]


Amidst outpouring sympathies after the failure of the Chandrayaan 2 mission, questions arise on “losing communication”. Read why mainland India has forgotten Kashmir from its memory.

Chandrayaan 2, India’s second lunar mission was meant to explore an area never explored before, the south pole of the moon. On 7th September, as the Vikram lander began its descent to the lunar surface, the country watched carefully. Just 2.1 kilometres over the surface of the moon, ISRO abruptly lost contact with the lander. The rover was found on 8th September, with a possibility of a harsh landing. At the time of writing this article, NASA promised to send pictures of the landing region and the rover for ISRO’s analysis.

A wave of social media sympathy took over. People immediately took the responsibility – for being proud of ISRO and for the failure of their efforts – into their own hands. A video of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the ISRO Chairman, K. Sivan, emerged where Sivan can be seen wiping away his tears. Trolls took to mansplaining a female engineer who worked on the mission. Hate politics on social media also emerged between India and Pakistan, leading nowhere.

On social media and otherwise, the issue was widely compared to the communication blockade in Kashmir. Importantly, analogies were drawn between ISRO’s loss of communication with the Chandrayaan and the Kashmiris’ loss of connection with the rest of the world. “I want to know how India feels, knowing that there is no connection even in modern times like these. It also raises questions about if India is progressing at all,” a student from Kashmir said, under the condition of anonymity. “On one hand you claim the knowledge of the moon, but Kashmir has gone back several decades with a complete gag on communications for (now) more than 40 days.”

The Kashmir Valley has been under clampdown since 5th August, the day Article 370 was abrogated. Curfews have been imposed almost regularly. The clampdown has also been criticised for its authoritarian and colonial nature. Freedom of the Press no longer exists in the Valley and reports of violence, curfews, and killings have emerged as the Indian state urges that “the situation is normal”.

It is interesting that people chose to mourn the lander, a non-living object, instead of an entire state of over six million under clampdown. The poignant question to ask is this: if the people of this state are your own citizens, why are you not worried about their repression yet?

The insensitivity of the masses adds to the absurdity of the situation; as if it is normal for a population to exist without phone networks and the internet for more than a month! The common argument that the Bharatiya Janata Party propagates is that people lived before there was the internet. Yes, but the times have changed and because of an ambiguous “threat from militants”, it is not justifiable to keep human beings deprived of their civil rights.

The Kashmir clampdown is no longer seen in the mainstream media channels or the front pages of newspapers. Kashmir has been an object of selective outrage, or rather, an intermittent outrage.

Dr. Dharan Sharma, a senior aerospace engineer at NASA, said, “The timing of this mission was wrong, the mission seemed to have bleak chances of success. The economic crisis means every penny is priceless. The failure of this mission could mean the loss of what India has gained on the international space platform. It will weaken the flow of investment in science and technology.”

Many scientists on Twitter refused to call Chandrayaan 2 India’s greatest scientific feat since it takes away the light from other fields of science which lack funding.

India has been seeing disasters from multiple sides – be it the floods, the Kashmir issue, the economic crisis, or now the failure of Chandrayaan. What remains to be seen is how the Government deals with them to ensure that no more damage, than has already been made, is endured.


Feature Image Credits: BBC


Maumil Mehraj

[email protected]

Jaishree Kumar

[email protected]


In the wake of alleged incidents of the Delhi police visiting college hostels and PGs, and inquiring about Kashmiri residents, Pinjra Tod has written to the Commissioner of Police, Amulya Patnaik, opposing such visits.

Pinjra Tod, an autonomous collective to ensure secure, affordable, and non-discriminatory accommodation for women students across Delhi, has written a letter to the Patnaik alleging that “the Delhi Police has been going college to college, PG to PG in the neighbourhoods of Delhi, trying to identify and mark Kashmiri women students over the past few days.”

Citing an alleged incident, the collective shared that the police went straight to the warden of Miranda House College to collect the list of the names of Kashmiris, and their local and permanent residences. It was only after the intervention of the college Principal that the police returned.

“It would be better if they issued warning to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs)/hotels indulging in harassment of Kashmiri people instead of surveilling them”, said Pinjra Tod, describing another occurrence which reportedly took place in Jamia Nagar, where the police went to residential colonies, inquiring if women students and working professional staying there were from Jammu and Kashmir.

The collective accused that these visits made in the name of “students’ own protection” has on the contrary, “made people feel threatened and exposed in times when Kashmiri students are already facing public hostility from many corners.”

Pinjra Tod has also said that such “visits have been made in hostels and colleges across the University of Delhi and even off-campus residential areas around Jamia Milia Islamia.”

Linking these visits to the recent abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A by the centre and expressing their opposition towards the same, they said, “A mass hysteria around the triumph of Kashmir has been mobilised to polarize the country, unleashing the most Islamophobic, misogynistic, and genocidal impulses in our society” and these police visits and enquiries have “fueled fears of persecution in an atmosphere where the Indian state has acted against all its own constitutional commitments and past assurances.”

“This intimidation of Kashmiri women students has not stopped with the submission of our letter. Two days ago, Delhi police approached the Indraprastha College authorities and demanded information on Kashmiri students who lived in the hostel. In a context when Kashmiri students are being targeted, harassed and evicted out of houses, these steps taken by the Delhi Police only adds to their sense of insecurity on campus and leads to further targeting,” said Diya Davis, a member of Pinjra Tod.

They have demanded the police to be more “receptive and quick to act on any instances of harassment being reported by Kashmiri students, by landlords, neighbours and others.”

It is to be noted that on 5th August, on the day of the scrapping of the special status granted to Kashmir, Patnaik had issued directions for enhancing police presence in vulnerable areas and places frequented by Kashmiri people such as university campuses and markets in the national capital.

“Enhanced police presence will inspire confidence among the Kashmiri residents,” a senior official had said.

The veracity of the occurrences is yet to be ascertained.


Feature Image Credits: Pinjra Tod


Shreya Agrawal

[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]