Every time I make a new Kashmiri friend, they ask how I know so much about Kashmir. So I ask, how have I managed to fool so many people? Actually, I never knew anything about Kashmir until Kashmiri activists on FB began badgering me (there is no more apt word) to study & write about their struggle as I did about Palestinians. Repeatedly I put them off & repeatedly they would send me photos & articles accompanied with more badgering. Eventually I buckled to their endearing pressure & spent some months in the local university library trying to understand what was going on. As you can imagine, the available resources were most often from a US State Department point of view & not very useful except in understanding how the US viewed Kashmir. But slowly I began to understand what was going on & the political importance of the Kashmiri struggle against occupation & for self-determination. Most of my real education has come from Kashmiris &–dare I say–Kashmiri & Indian MSM.
I am truly honored to be part of building solidarity with the Kashmiri freedom struggle but I don’t presume to more knowledge about Kashmiri culture & society than one can get from studying their freedom struggle. What I know for sure is that their dogged persistence, humanity, & humor are an invincible force that will eventually triumph. That will be a glorious day for all of humankind.