Four more Kashmiris have been killed by Indian forces as part of a nationally sanctioned effort that sustains a condition inside Kashmir in which more Kashmiris can die, or be done to death in similar fashion. Grief and tragedy has struck again, but is any one surprised! The state is more than prepared to handle what will follow, the only thing that will, or has in the past too. More anger, more protest, more condemnation and more shameless calling of inquiries. But Justice? That is in the future when the Kashmiri right to freedom from subjugation becomes real.
The new chief minister has already responded like her predecessors in similar situations. In between a contest of a Kashmiri struggle and the monstrously impersonal state machinery will flow the course of the law, only to end in a tumultuous sea of Kashmiri memory. Those, like the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, whose ostensibly liberal hearts have bled on their way to vassal power know the truth as much, if not more, than the ordinary Kashmiri who continue to keep dying. The class of people who can stay in power only in return to their collaboration with the Indian custodians of the repressive system do not now even feel to maintain a pretence of politicking for the Kashmiri people. On a day like Wednesday, the earlier avatars of chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir would drop everything and appear on the scene for the sake of maintaining a façade. That Mehbooba comfortably chose to wander from door-to-door in New Delhi on the day instead might count as a little merciful reprieve for the beleaguered Kashmiris from having to deal with her earlier shameless pretence. She begged for more money for government employees and ‘development’, more rice for the Kashmiris, and that all important promise from India’s defense minister for only for a time-bound inquiry. Isn’t it where it all always ends!
This banality has become so institutionalised that the so-called international human rights watch dog like the Amnesty International’s India chapter appear to be subsumed under it. The NGO, otherwise of some repute elsewhere, called for an “independent criminal investigation into the killing of three protesters in firing by Indian Army personnel in Handwara.” “Anyone found responsible for having used excessive force must be prosecuted in a civilian court of law,” AI-India said in a statement. How is this demand any different from what the politicians, state officials or an Indian Army general has asked for or promised? It amounts to a more cleverly deceptive collaboration with the state helping kill a reality, the sovereignty of citizens.