On an uneasy Independence Day, I cannot bear to listen to my favourite freedom song


The love of my country will not allow me to celebrate Independence Day this year. I cannot bear to listen to my favourite freedom song: Door Hato Aye Duniyawalon Hindustan Hamara Hai. My country does not feel like mine any more.

I cannot bear to watch television: the images of an Indian intelligence officer eating a plate of rice with soldiers on the empty streets of Srinagar. Does he think that the sight of him enjoying a meal when Kashmiris are not able to go out and buy medicine will reassure anyone?

I do not know how to cope with my emotions. The overwhelming sadness that has settled on my heart and the utter helplessness as I watch every brick of the foundation of a secular, socialist India being smashed to smithereens.

How can a woman who has been the foreign secretary of India tweet that she was happy to learn that the Indian parliament had passed a law that will in one stroke alienate forever Kashmiris, even those who have risked their lives defending India.

I will also be thinking of the British and how much they are responsible for the partitions of my country, how Western secret agencies have played a role in the tragedy that has been enfolding in Kashmir and also in other parts which have still not manifested themselves.

What can I say to my fellow citizens in the Kashmir valley? They have always felt that Indians have loved their land more than they love the people of Kashmir. Now they have proof of this.

Our home minister told Parliament that now we will be able to buy land in the beautiful Kashmir valley. You and I will not be buying that land. It will be big corporations who will buy the land.

A friend from Jammu told me that people in Jammu who celebrated the gutting of Article 370 now are worried because they know people will not dare enter the Valley but they will buy land in Jammu; the rents will go up and now they are worried about their future.

Naga friends who have been waiting for a solution are now asking whether any constitutional promises which this government may have made to them would be just snatched away from them?

A Palestinian poem

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