“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.””

–Kashmiri Ahmed Bin Qasim