By Yasir Altaf Zargar
A cricket world cup generates interest across the globe. But Asian countries were disappointed this time since no team from the continent made it to the final of the T20 World Cup. India’s defeat at the hands of the West Indies brought disappointment to many Indian fans, but in Kashmir the situation was different.
Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute. Due to the harsh behaviour of Indian forms of governance towards the people of Kashmir, Kashmiris have never supported India in any game or in any event. The people of Kashmir are likely to support any other nation playing against India. It is because of Indian oppression against the people of Kashmir that it failed to win the hearts of people, and the effects are now obviously visible to everyone.
The people of Kashmir always enjoy India’s loss, whether it is cricket or hockey. There is also a fact that Pakistan enjoys unconditional support from the people of Kashmir, and that is why people from Kashmir went to each stadium where Pakistan played their world cup matches. Social media in Kashmir circulated images which were taken by Kashmiri supporters with Pakistani players. Some videos showed supporters from Kashmir singing paeans to players from Pakistan. Unfortunately, there was much disappointment in store when Pakistan lost the match to India.
Pakistan didn’t qualify for the semi-finals, but India did. But even Virat Kohli’s brilliant performance didn’t enable his team to defeat the West Indies. The situation in Kashmir turned into a celebratory one when Russel slapped the ball out of the stadium, defeating India in their home ground. People of Kashmir came out on the streets and celebrated India’s loss. Slogans were chanted, firecrackers were set off and the “Mauka mauka” trolling became rife on social media. Indian supporters abused many Kashmiris; some were called traitors if not anti-nationals.
Meanwhile, while all of Kashmir was celebrating India’s loss, so were some students at NIT Srinagar. This enraged some so-called Indian nationalists in NIT, who took out a procession, shouting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” on the soil of Kashmir. The Indian tri-colour was also hoisted inside the campus. These ‘nationalists’ didn’t stop there, but attacked many local students and teachers. They were behaving like ABVP activists, the BJP student wing, at JNU and other campuses. The non-locals and local students confronted each other the next day. The outsiders, in some videos, were seen destroying property, kicking some locals and the police was not taking any preventive steps. The outsiders blamed locals for chanting Pakistani slogans, and shouted anti-Pakistani slogans in return. Hoisting the tri-colour in a disputed region has always underlined the question of India’s administration in Kashmir. This sounds like an “occupational hazard”. The situation inside the campus pushed the authorities to close the campus for a few days.
While Kashmiris are being thrashed in every Indian state, on the other side murky politics is being employed on the people. The PDP led by Mehbooba Mufti has now renewed the collation with the BJP. A mistake which Sheikh Abdullah made during his tenure is being repeated by the new politicians, accepting Delhi’s demands and selling Kashmir at a national level.
Kashmir has always seen many uncertainties. And the current uncertainty is proving the dire situation Kashmiris face. The beef ban, attack on Zahid and now the attack on students inside universities and colleges makes for a very intense and intolerant environment.
The so-called nationalists should refrain from attacking others, it is an individual’s choice what he should celebrate and what he shouldn’t. They must remember Kashmir is a dispute, and force and Indian nationalist slogans are not going to solve it. Let’s hope for peace and a solution to the Kashmir issue.
—The writer is a web security analyst