20 October, 2020

Opinion | Dissent Is A Kashmiri Carpet Woven Over A Century: Three Instances When The Murmur Became A Roar

If the political history of Kashmir is a muffled tragedy, the cry for self-determination punctuates it like a balladic refrain, writes academician Vanessa Chishti

Photograph by Umer Asif
Opinion | Dissent Is A Kashmiri Carpet Woven Over A Century: Three Instances When The Murmur Became A Roar
outlookindia.com
2020-07-25T13:01:13+05:30

In conversations about Kashmir, scarcely any moment receives as much attention as the accession. Advocates argue that the settlement is a just and final one: the Maharaja ratified the accession, and Sheikh Abdullah, ostensibly the ‘undisputed leader’ of Kashmiris, supported it. Those who contest its legitimacy argue that neither of these figures represented the aspirations of Kashmiris. The Maharaja had, by 1947, been reduced to a cipher by sustained political agitation and mass uprisings. Abdullah, viewed with suspicion for his proximity to the Congress, swiftly fell into disfavour with Kashmiris for his role in securing the accession, and his initial insistence on its finality. Without the presence of the Indian army, and the J&K state’s own considerable capacities for coercion, Abdullah’s government would not have withstood the groundswell of political opposition. New Delhi’s policy has since remained one of foisting client regimes on Kashmiris, while repressing popular mobilisation and stymying the functioning of an independent political...

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