I’m working on a series of posts about the struggle in Kashmir against the brutal Indian military occupation. It is not an exaggeration to say there has long been a news blackout on one of the most important struggles in the world today. Important if for no other reason than India & Pakistan contesting Kashmir in repeated wars are both nuclear powers. But from the point of view of justice, important because Kashmiris are being hammered by human rights crimes & violence at the hands of the Indian military–& this is being hidden from the world.
There were no books in the excellent local library about Kashmir (except tangentially in books on India & the 1947 Partition) & only about 15 in the University of Texas library which has umpteen thousands of books. Another resource is the hundreds of articles written for academic journals.
What is striking about the books & most of the articles, many written by government analysts, is their inability to present a coherent narrative. One can excuse lousy writing; that’s pro forma media-speak. But what’s most remarkable is that so few write from the point of view of what is called the Kashmir Intifada, of Kashmiri resistance to the occupation, about what the occupied feel & think & endure. It’s all analyses of power politics & maneuvering between the competing regimes, including US meddling–as if Kashmiris don’t count & shouldn’t have a voice.
That’s why alternative journalism is so vital–to allow people to speak for themselves, to tell the truth about what is happening, not within the framework of phony agreements & power politics but according to the demands of justice & those demanding it.