28 November, 2020

The Lathi Blows That Moved Delhi

Where crackdowns are as common as the azadi chant, what is different about police action at NIT Srinagar?

Green Signal
Pak Flags At NIT
Photo by AP
The Lathi Blows That Moved Delhi

1983: Kashmiris cheer for the legendary Viv Richards and his teammates during the one-day India-West Indies cricket match in Srinagar. As India loses the match, the young spectators hold celebrations and jeer at the team led by Sunil Gavaskar. Cricketers from the Caribbean, meanwhile, can’t figure out what’s happening.

2016: West Indies beats India in the T20 World Cup semis in Mumbai, and many Kashmiris, including students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar, rejoice. But unlike the 1983 incident, the celebrations and the ensuing clashes between Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri students resonate across the country.

If you don’t live in Kashmir, chances are you would be surprised when your hear Kashmiris cheer for Pakistan. Those who have lived in the Valley, though, know how routine this is. This is nothing new, thanks to 68 years and counting of the Kashmir “dispute”. Feelings ran so high even in 1984—before pro-azadi militants declared “armed struggle”...



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