SRINAGAR: Winter in Kashmir was considered as a season when the Azadi movement went into hibernation. But this year, attesting to the power of the post-Burhan uprising, even the snow has provided a space to spell out the pro-freedom sentiment plain and clear.
As the snowflakes began to fall on Friday morning, people wrote anti-India and pro-freedom slogans on the accumulated snow and later posted the pictures on social media.
Professor Dibyesh Anand, head of politics and international relations department at Westminister University London, was on a visit to Kashmir. He posted on his Facebook wall a photo showing the slogan, ‘Free/ Free/Free; Tibet/Kashmir/All’, inscribed on the snow in two lines.
A youth posted a photo of himself on Facebook with a snowman whose head was covered in kifaya and ‘Don’t Pellet Me’ written on its body. In another photo post, he posed with a snowman whose neck was draped in kifaya, ‘Free Kashmir’ written on the body, and the Pakistani flag placed on the right shoulder.
Another similar post had the flag of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) pasted on the snowman. The PAK flag, a key symbol of identity for Kashmiris and associated with the Kashmiri political struggle, was adopted in 1975 by PAK’s founding president, Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan. According to the Azad Kashmir government, the green field represents the region’s Muslim majority population; the gold canton represents the religious minorities; the white stripes represent the snow-peaked mountains of the state; and the green stripes alternating with them represent the Valley of Kashmir.
“It was not a premeditated exercise. The idea came to mind when the snowfall began. The post may not bring Azadi but it gives me satisfaction,” said the youth.
The 2016 summer uprising triggered by the killing of Burhan Wani saw the use of the PAK flag as a symbol of resistance on the streets.
After the daylong snowfall on Friday, many Kashmiri youth had made albums on Facebook naming them as Azadi Sheen (Freedom Snow). A post that went viral on Facebook had Azadi written on the frosted windshield of a car.