“When Columbus traveled to America, in 1492, he described the natives as “peaceable” and “tractable (easy to control)”. He called them “sweet and gentle.” He was moved by how beautiful the island of San Salvador was. The native Americans presented him with gifts and treated him with respect. The Europeans preyed on the niceness and welcoming nature of the natives and colonized America. They killed them, plundered their homes, destroyed their crops and abducted their women and children. If the natives tried to fight back, they were called “savages and uncivilized”.
Nehru described Kashmiris as “not what are called virile (valiant) people. They are soft and addicted to easy living.” The Indian tourists over the years have called Kashmiris as warm and hospitable people. “Kashmiriyat” was the term manufactured, to define our friendliness. But just like colonizing Europeans, India too exploited our kindness. Today, they dream of settling in “heavenly” Kashmir, even at the cost of suppressing the locals. And if we resist it and fight for what belongs to us, we are called “intolerant and terrorists.””
Kashmir is now referred to as the “erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir.” That juridical status will entail many changes & may make the struggle for self-determination much more difficult because of iron-fisted & fascistic control by India. But it will not defeat Kashmiri resistance nor crush the spirit of azadi. Kashmiris will be free. Forging active solidarity in unity with Palestinians, Rohingya, Uyghur, & others sustaining dispossession & genocide will make that day come sooner for all.
It’s been recently reported that Kashmiris, Palestinians, & Rohingya all suffer heightened degrees of mental distress in response to genocide. Shobna Sonpar is a Delhi-based clinical psychologist & psychotherapist who has studied & spoken often on the issue in Kashmir, including one study on Kashmiri militants. She discusses the problems of approaching mental distress caused by war & genocide using only a mental health & medical model when its origins are violent oppression. She’s very insightful but you can see the problematic nature of analyzing mental health issues among the oppressed when she discusses violence (beginning around 7:00). It cannot be said her explanation here is sufficiently elaborated. But she does address briefly, if also insufficiently, the issue of mental health among those who support or who do not actively oppose their governments engaged in war & genocide.
“Splitting Jammu and Kashmir into two while holding the entire population hostage, Changing Radio Kashmir to All India radio , changing official language to Hindi , won’t shake us , our identity is intricately bound with our sense of who we are, Kashmiri is an identity that you can never erase, it lives with us , as along as single kashmiri is alive it’s alive .
Israel is bombing Gaza right now. They call them retaliatory air strikes for ten rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, eight of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome system for which the US pays millions of dollars. There is no evidence that any rockets were fired & of course there are no casualties. Israel said it hit “a wide range of Hamas terror targets”, including a naval base, a military compound & a weapons manufacturing plant. It’s news to the world that Gaza has a navy, a military compound, or a weapons manufacturing plant but that still leaves unanswered why Israel is targeting civilians who have nothing to do with probably imaginary rockets. It’s called genocide.