There are several posts chastising Kashmiris for not holding public protests over the Bandipora incest-rape-suicide case. There is also an article titled “Kashmir’s Silence Over Rape: Why is Kashmir so quiet over the horrific Bandipora incest-rape-suicide case?” The author of the article writes, “Although gruesome incidents of sexual assault shake the Valley, they are downplayed in Kashmir’s political & media circles. The only narrative that seems to matter is the “Kashmir cause”. Even incest & rape get buried under that.”

No feminist would deny that rape & incest are political acts of women’s oppression, not just personal crimes. But there is an important distinction between rape & incest within a family & crimes like Kunan Poshpora where mass rape is an instrument of occupation & state oppression. One can hold public protest rallies against state oppression & crimes committed by occupation forces but it would be peculiar & inflammatory to hold a protest outside the family home of the rape & incest victim. A public & political response is required but its character would be different than a protest rally & have more the nature of a vigil for the young victim who committed suicide. Laws protecting women & children would have to be examined to make sure they are effective, operative, & enforced. The women’s movement has only begun work on these important issues & now must get past its apolitical self-indulgent ‘empowerment’ phase to doing the political work of addressing personal crimes that fall squarely under the rubrics of women’s oppression.