Kashmiris Practicing Peaceful Civil Disobedience, Says New Fact-Finding Report

Kashmiris Practicing Peaceful Civil Disobedience, Says New Fact-Finding Report

New Delhi: A new report released by a team of four academics, activists and journalists has chronicled the ways in which Kashmiris have been dealing with the lockdown in the Valley following the government’s decision to read down Article 370 on August 5.

For example, the fact-finding report says that many shops and offices have been closed, but this is not due to them succumbing to the calls of militants, separatist leaders or political leaders. It is, in fact, an “act of resistance against the Indian state”.

The team found about three instances where people said they saw posters possibly by militants, asking people to shut their shops. Instead, they say that many more people claim that they were being forced by Indian security personnel to keep their shops open.

“These are people the Kashmiris are equally scared of. It is at their behest that people are being arrested. So the decision to defy them is significant and brazen. And yet, that is the choice most Kashmiris have made. To go against the diktat to open shop.said a report

Their report says that the fact that there has not been any violence from the people of Kashmir “has to do with the resilience of the people. It is an active and collective choice being exercised each day, to observe a civil disobedience. In feeling rejected and betrayed by the Indian state, Kashmiris have chosen to respond back, through a largely non-violent protest.”

The authors say that this method of protesting is a marked difference from how Kashmir has protested in the past: “People in Kashmir are no longer interested in an interaction with the Indian state. That space is now dead.”

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