In January, the J&K government issued an order to social media venues to curb ‘miscreants’ spreading rumors, fake news, ‘secessionist ideology’, or promoting illegal activities. Essentially, they were ordering Facebook, Twitter, & all the rest of social media to censor Kashmiris on behalf of the Indian government. Today, Kashmir police filed a general FIR against all Kashmiris who have defied that order & are ‘misusing’ social media.
From Samizdat literature under Stalinism to the citizen journalists of Syria & the prison memoir of Behrouz Boochani, we know those who stand against oppression will find ways to communicate. But we also understand that if we do not actively & publicly oppose the surveillance, censorship, & possible prosecution of Kashmiris for telling their truth on social media, then we will be dealing with this from our own governments. It’s that ‘First they came for Kashmiris on social media…’ thing writ large.