Force Feeding India To Kashmiris


The write-up by Kashmir Observer Editor-in-Chief Sajjad Haider, “Force Feeding India To Kashmiris“has elicited feedback from across India and abroad. We reproduce a select few for the interest of our readers. —Page Editor.

We Need to Treat Kashmiris as our Own

Your article “Force Feeding India To Kashmiris” comes across as a rare voice of reason amidst a cacophony of uncompromising voices.

I am an ordinary middle class man from Mumbai. My only connection to Kashmir are a few fond memories of the place when we went there for holidays, once as a kid and more recently after my wedding. Unfortunately, very few people around me, and I suspect in most parts of the country, feel much empathy for the ordinary Kashmiri, who like us may have a family to provide for and a yearning for a simple and a peaceful life.

As a proud Indian citizen, I would never consider the idea of Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan as anything other than a raving lunatic’s fantasy. But the use of undue force by the armed forces and the pain inflicted on our fellow citizens in Kashmir is also equally appalling and unacceptable to me. We need to understand that the more we try to suppress the people of Kashmir, the more alienated they will feel. What is happening today in Kashmir is a direct result of this alienation. India needs to treat Kashmiris as its own and not as people they need to control with arms and excessive force.

I honestly hope that Kashmiris and the rest of Indians find a middle ground soon. I also hope that the security forces understand that humiliating innocent Kashmiris is humiliating their own fellow citizens. May the voices of sanity prevail.

Vinay Upponi 


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I’m Numbed

Read your article on what do we need to know about Kashmir. I was totally numbed as always happens after each and every episode.  Numbed  by images of youth and school children with terrible pellet injuries.

I am a college teacher and  have been taking my students along the path of inquiry, about Muslim issue, about Kashmir.  That’s perhaps the only way.

You know Indians from the rest of the country too have been fed with falsehood for too long. But I see little glimmer of hope with Dalits rising and questioning the popular narrative.

They are questioning other myths too.

Another issue which should be taken up – the Jawans who bear the brunt of conflict,  are normally from depressed castes and have no stake in it. Agreed that they are part of the state machinery but they too are scapegoated as you have rightly mentioned. We need to escalate this issue, don’t know how. May be families of those who lost life in conflict should speak up.

They are not even looked after well.

Lastly power to you!

Alka Gadgil

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Have we lost Kashmir altogether?

I want to congratulate you on an insightful article by you. I do have many questions about the issue but I will not drag you into tedious, redundant discussions about Kashmir.

Taking forward to what you suggested about treating Kashmir at par with other states, can we not start a discourse on the daily lives of Kashmiris, the one without the stones and tears and the darkness thats enveloped the state?

About how Kashmiri parents are raising their children. How Kashmiri youth is falling in and out of love. The ambitions of Kashmir and also the shortcomings of the state without antagonizing it. I’ve tried to keep myself away from Indian propaganda machinery and instead of starting an argument with them I’d like to see and present an alternate reality of the state and it’s people to the rest of the nation.

My fear, out of my ignorance about the state is that, is there an alternate Kashmir? Or have we lost it altogether?
Forgive my ignorance in this regard.

With sincere respects,

Sidharth P 

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Kashmiris are not any different from us

I appreciate your article and Mr Tathagata Satpathy’s speech on problems in Kashmir, both of you have brought out relevant points regarding current day problems in Kashmir,most of the people outside Kashmir don’t understand the Kashmir problem and issue.

Having operated in the area to which Burhan Wani belonged and the present CM is also a native of, I am more aware about the psyche of the local population than an average citizen of our country.

During my stay in Kashmir, some 16 years back, I found Kashmiris especially South Kashmiris to be simple villagers who only cared about what their next meal of the day was going to be. All they cared about was leading a simple and a peaceful life.  There were very few persons supporting the militants or their activities. The local population’s major concern was lack of education and employment opportunities for their kids and I am sure that position hasn’t changed even today. I remember once a local practising village doctor came to me and requested me to recommend his name for the post of a peon in a government schools.

We need to understand that Kashmiris, just like us, are simple minded people who have the same day to day struggles which every single one of us faces. They too are concerned about their future and the future of their children like every one of us is. They are not some ferocious terrorists who go about raining bullets on every non-Kashmiri that they come across.

I am sure if ample employment opportunities are provided to the present Kashmiri generation, they will not indulge in the current activities as they are fully aware of the situation on the other side of the fence. The media should report the facts rather than try to feed us with their versions of the truth. Truth and honesty has to prevail sooner or later and better sooner than when the situation has turned into an uncontrollable volcano threatening to engulf the entire country.

Manmohan Chamola

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Why So Much of Sympathy for Independence

Just finished your article written on Kashmir issue “What nation should know..”, Very well written and you have aptly made a statement about the reality of common citizens around country and abroad.

We actually want to know basically what’s the real reason behind so much of sympathy for idea of “Independent Kashmir” ?

Unfortunately we have a fringe who just in the name of “standing with fallen and minority” supporting the idea of an Independent Kashmir.

But any damn soul on earth with even least bit of logic can easily guess that, they (Kashmiris) wont be there to enjoy that independence. Either Pakistan or China will occupy them and push the usual ethnic cleansing inspired agenda so that they can claim the land and further push more militants to later add on more Indian states like Punjab etc. Well that’s the whole purpose of fueling the unrest.

My question to you being a native Kashmiri is – what exactly fuels thought of Independence amongst Kashmiris while they are aware of what they are getting being part of India ?

Where and how our machinery is failing to stop the radicalization of youth against its own state? While locals start pelting stones and support militancy how can they blame army or police for reacting or have the armed forces the really pushed the state back to 90s?

Sharad Pandey 

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More Questions

First of all I would like to say that the article has been an eye opener in many sorts. As an ordinary citizen of a democratic country like India I am appalled and shocked to see the situation in Kashmir. It is not the first time that that I have seen such horrifying images on the television screen, questions have cropped up each and every time in my mind as to why Kashmir has become a ‘hell in paradise’.

Your article has thrown many questions in front of me and being a media student, I need answers. Infact I believe every Indian should know and understand the complexity of the situation prevailing in the valley.

Saptarshi Chowdhury 

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How Can I Help?

First of all thank you for writing the plain truth about what’s happening in Kashmir.

I live down south in Cochin, Kerala.

What can I do to help in any which ways? This is totally not acceptable. I am worried about the youth of Kashmir who should be striving to make a good career are now in the midst of fighting for something they don’t know would lead them what.

Jacob Mani

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