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Kunanposhpora: Rape As A Weapon Of Intimidation And Humiliation

By Hameedah Nayeem

25 February, 2014

KCSDS (Kashmir Centre for Social & Developmental studies), a civil Society group of Kashmir, in a meeting commemorated the Kunanposhpora rape survivors of 23 feb 1991. Needless to say that rape has been and continues to be used as a weapon of intimidation and humiliation by the powers that be to crush the dissenters both physically and psychologically.

This is a demonstration of the patriarchal macho nationalism of the Indian state which by targeting women ‘s dignity and bodily integrity seeks to achieve absolute and abject surrender of the populace in Kashmir. Had that not been so the Verma Committee recommendations which were based on the depositions of prominent women from across India had not been thrown into the dustbin of history. Depositions were about women’s rights and the gross violation of these rights at the hands of the state agencies and the civilians . Verma Committee had for the first time proposed a bill of rights for women and had opined that they can not be held hostage to any interest whatsoever . It had recommended in quite categorical terms that rape cannot form part of any duty whatsoever. Because under the protection of AFSPA, army has been pleading that they can do anything while serving ‘’ the national interest ‘- which in our context means controlling the territory and people against their will by using the most inhuman barbarous ,Violent; humiliating , degrading , abusive and tortuous tactics. Verma Committee categorically said that bodily violation and defilement of women cannot form part of any national duty.

Since its jurisdiction was only violence against women, so it had neither tampered with AFSPA nor questioned such concept of duty which arises from unbridled use of power but did opine that rape cannot form part of any duty and therefore it should be delinked from the proverbial immunity which Afspa bestows on army. But lo and behold! Before the govt particularly the law minister Ashwani rejected the specific recommendation by saying that’’ anything could happen in the line of duty’’, the media had already prepared the ground of such rejection by keeping on reiterating that this specific recommendation will not be acceptable to govt.A country where the media ‘s values are so distorted and perverse which only embolden the govt in its fascist and draconian ways and machinations, where will the hapless people of Kashmir look for support and solace?

Today we salute the courage and determination of the survivors of Kunanposhpora that they have managed to endure despite all odds . We are sure that one day their and others who have been brutally violated, sky –rending cries will reach the heavens and change situation of Kashmir for all times to come.

Prof. Hameeda Nayeem is Chairperson of KCSDC



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