Crowdfunding Countercurrents

Submission Policy

Popularise CC

Join News Letter

Defend Indian Constitution




CC Youtube Channel

Editor's Picks

Press Releases

Action Alert

Feed Burner

Read CC In Your
Own Language

Bradley Manning

India Burning

Mumbai Terror

Financial Crisis


AfPak War

Peak Oil



Alternative Energy

Climate Change

US Imperialism

US Elections


Latin America









Book Review

Gujarat Pogrom

Kandhamal Violence


India Elections



About Us


Fair Use Notice

Contact Us

Subscribe To Our
News Letter


Search Our Archive

Our Site



Order the book

A Publication
on The Status of
Adivasi Populations
of India




Kashmir: Oppression Inevitably Breeds Resistance

By Sheikh Shahid

06 June, 2015

Oppression breeds revulsion & that revulsion, when treated with more
oppression, inevitably gives rise to resistance, thus shaking the
oppressor & shredding the false notion of pussillanimity regarding the
oppressed. As a Kashmiri, born one bloody afternoon in the spring of
90, just a few moments after the grenade went off in the hands of
Ashfaq Majeed, the revolutionary founder of the unorthodox resistance
in Kashmir, I, like thousands of my contemporaries, am witness to one
of the crucial periods of our resistance against the Indian occupation
of our land. It was the time where oppression had reached beyond the
point of tolerance & where the only shadow that could shield Kashmiris
from the Indian oppression seemed the shadow of the guns.

Young men crossed the endless helices of barbed wire & came back with
AK-47 rifles hanging from their shoulders, promising Aazadi for their
countrymen. India retaliated with its full military might & the dirty
covert wars of counterinsurgency. Hundreds of fake encounters resulted
in countless mass graves under the velvety green of meadows, where
some got accidentally exposed with time, while still a thousand might
be deep under the debris of Indian 'democracy'.

Life under these circumstances seemed to throw only one single
question our way. The question of existence. Other tasks were
decidedly quotidian where some things got worn down by the waves of
time, while some others got incised deep into the psyche. Times under
the occupation only added up to the bitter memories.

Occupation as a domineering thing, is not confined to mere physical
contours of humans, but it sinks its pernicious fangs deep down one's
subconscious & thus percolates down through the social stratum as a
whole. It defines the existence of its subjects in more ways than
meets the eye.

When we were kids, messing about, we didn't play hopscotch or hide &
seek much often, but rather Police & Thieves, exchanging imaginary
bullets fired from wooden guns, the ammunition of which would never
exhaust. Often police would be made to capitulate. It was during our
childhood that we perfected the enunciation of 'dishkyov', that
ubiquitous & reverberating music in a conflict. The more clear & sharp
the accent of it, the more police it will kill. Then as we grew up,
perpetually under the babel of bullets, we witnessed our game of
Police & Theives being played in the real world. The imaginary bullets
reified with a mettalic buzz & the illusory blood drained off pure
red. At first it all seemed to be a sort of delirium, until we joined
some big protests led by some men carrying a deadbody on their
shoulders & shouting anti-india slogans with their faces telling a
thousand stories of persecution. Sometimes a fake encounter & someday
a sudden disappearance, those protests are a regular spectacle till
this day.

With time, everything revealed itself like a bud developing into
flower (if flowers grow bloody at all, somewhere in this world!) & we
realized that we were the children under bloody occupation where all
life teaches you about is the absurdity of life itself. We learned
that there are children who are sold even before they are born & that
they unlike others are born just to set, if not themselves, at least
their 'still unborn' children free. That occupation is such a monster
that would not spare even your dreams & the silence of nights was a
cataclysm in anticipation of a sudden knock on the door.
Life went on & everyday, we would be reminded of our chained
existence. If we somehow forgot it for a moment, a slap on our cheek
or a beating with the butt-end of AK-47 would come to us as a perfect
reminder. A reminder that is there all over us whenever we fail to
prove our identity (not quite ironically at our home!) before someone
from some hinterland of India. Or when we, in trepidation, would
forget our own names when enquired by an Indian soldier by the

Early morning crackdowns with the Muazzin instead of calling for Azaan
ordering people to gather in the Mosque compound or the school
playground was a sharp gesture to remind ourselves, once again, of our
occupied identity. It was to remind us that we were a flock of cattle
to whom the call of their master was to hurry up & gather around him.
I remember one morning while still sleeping in the bed, someone woke
me up & told me to wear my 'Pheran' & swiftly leave for the Mosque
compound, failing which would invite a beating from the Indian
soldiers. I left & reached the compound where the rest of the male
villagers had already arrived. Everyone was told to show their
Identity-cards & everyone began to rummage through their pockets. One
of my friends looked frightened while looking at his identity card in
his hands. His fear was reasonable enough as the identity card lacked
the requisite photograph on it. Consequently, he was tossed flat on
the ground & bastinadoed with the gun butts & truncheons while we all
silently watched the whole episode & sank our heads in a blend of
anger, shame, & fear. Then the soldiers harrumphed, spat & left & my
friend limped back to his home. A kick here & a punch there, the
Indian forces would leave, only to visit us again, soon. It would take
years of sweat & blood for us to make our homes, the destruction of
which would take Indian troops a speck of gunpowder & a few bullets
during an encounter. We own the responsibility to build & they have
the legal impunity to destroy at will.

Yet, one thing was clear. Reminders like such were weighing heavy on
our hearts & exacerbating the revulsion inside. As time passed by, the
occupation was still there, but something had begun to change. It was
fear, the fear of being killed, tortured or maimed. Revulsion had
grown to a point where the hearts could not contain it anymore. So, it
took the shape of the mammoth protests buzzing with the noise of
stentorian slogans, bullets began to be answered with stone
projectiles & the so called security forces were seen eyeball to
eyeball. It was the call of Freedom that united people from all
corners of the valley. Stones were hurled together, slogans were
answered in one voice & Kashmiris began to write for a cause.
Intellectual integrity saw a new dawn & the false notions &
fabrications were pulled down with a thud.

We can trace the origins of this anti-establishment struggle from the
autocratic dogras in 1930s, but the summers of 2008 & 2010 can be
rightly defined as the renaissance of Kashmiri resistance. Where the
world community got to witness the brutality of Indian occupation in
Kashmir, the manifest lack of justice here & the exceptional show of
resistance by Kashmiri people. Young men took on India's military grid
of nearly 7 lakh in a 'kani jang' (Bullets vs Stones) in a way that
shook the foundations of India's false claims to the land of Kashmir.
Every killing was a cry of forced accession & an expired legitimacy.
The determinant slogan - 'Hum kya chahtay, Aazadi' was a clear
message to the world in general & the Indian establishment in
particular. Kashmir was no more a mute entity to be contained at gun
point, against their will.

India on its part relied upon the only language it speaks, the
language of coercion. A security build-up, close to a million men was
built up & new types of weapons introduced. Some lethal & some
'non-lethal'. One 'non-lethal' weapon announced by New delhi was a
pressure-pump pellet gun that shoots hundreds of high-velocity plastic
pellets simultaneously. It proved its 'non-lethality' the other day in
the northern town of Sopore when an Indian soldier fired at close
range & killed a man. After all, where else in the world could be the
effectiveness of the new weapons be tested, if not under an

Other such 'non-lethal' thing was the Y-weapon aka the slingshot. It
was a thing that was sweet to the public relations as it didn't kill
anyone. Least it did, was to blind a stone pelting man! It was only a
few days back when 16 years old Hamid Ahmad Bhat was blinded by the
Indian soldiers who fired a volley of pellets into his head in
response to a stone, that he dare thorw at the so called 'Security

But, even then the grip of Indian establishment was made slippery as
the Sang-baz were high on the drugs - The drugs of Freedom.
If today, Kashmir seems relatively calm it is not that the sentiment
of Aazadi is dead, but that in absence of a resolution the summers are
bound to return anytime, with a renewed dynamism. Hence, a solution to
Kashmir conflict is to be found without the banal time-buying tactic,
that only provide a silent impetus to the bloody summers.

Sheikh Shahid
From Thamuna Pulwama.
Student of English
Literature & Philosophy.








Share on Tumblr



Comments are moderated