Eid in Kashmir

EID UNDER SIEGE

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Kiran Butt

Writer at Indus News
The author is a Correspondent and Associate Producer at Indus News
Kiran Butt

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While 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe celebrate Eid ul Adha, Kashmir remains a clampdown. The streets of Srinagar were deserted at the most festive day for the Muslim community. Indian forces could be seen on every nook of the streets. People were not allowed to say prayers publically in the mosques nor could they fulfill the ritual of animal sacrifice. What a shame for the so-called secular India.

Eid ul Adha is the second of two Islamic holidays and also considered the holier one of the two. It falls on the 10th day of Zill Hajj according to the Islamic calendar. The Muslim community gathers in Arafat and performs Hajj before starting the celebrations of Eid.

This day honors the readiness of Prophet Ibrahim to even sacrifice his son to show his obedience to Allah’s command. But God almighty, the most merciful replaced a lamb to sacrifice instead of Ismail (his son).

Imagine, you are a Christian and you face a lockdown at Christmas or you are a Jew and your home is under curfew at the time of Hanukkah. What will your reaction be? Many Muslims are facing these brutalities over the years on their religious occasions. Whether it is Eid, Ramadan or Muharram; Muslims of Palestine, Syria and Kashmir experience these atrocities on their festivals and international community just issue some statements and brush the issue under the carpet.

We cannot understand the pain of these people till we see for ourselves. Talking to a friend in Kashmir I asked him about what are the plans for Eid and he said “Under curfew, we don’t know. We are a little relieved that there is news going out of this side of Kashmir. I live near the airport so I get signal for two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening. There are people on the airport who are handing their work in pen drives to get out from the Kashmir and reach their news desks. People are sending medicines through different passengers who are traveling in and out. Authorities have sent all the domestic workers back who had been working in Kashmir for decades. We are not even allowed to go to the local mosque for daily prayer or even for the Eid prayer. There is anger building up in people. They cannot put us in this prison forever.”

While talking to another Kashmiri who is already living in exile got to know that he hasn’t heard from his family since last week. He said, “My mother used to call me in morning for Eid wishes always. This year I haven’t received any call and I don’t know whether they are okay or not.”

If this is India’s plan for Kashmir on the occasion of Eid we can imagine the rest. You cannot just snatch the right of people to practice their religion. With this, you are infuriating them rapidly.

Meanwhile, Anuradha Bhasin, the Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India seeking directions to ensure that the State creates an enabling environment for journalists and all other media personnel in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir to practice their profession, and that the debilitating restrictions imposed through the complete shutdown on internet and telecommunication services, and severe curbs on the movement of photojournalists and reporters be immediately relaxed in order to ensure the freedom of the press and media.

Since morning I have been receiving calls and messages of Eid Mubarik and people showing sympathies. It is like them feeling sorry for me and my friends.

I am not sorry for them and I will never feel sorry for them. They are born very strong. Strong enough to fight. They have and they will always find us standing by their side. I am not wearing new clothes, bangles or celebrating any festivities. My Kashmir is burning. My brothers and sisters are fighting the cruelties of Indian armed forces alone. I do not know whether thousands of my sisters got any food to eat or got new clothes to wear.

Under siege, they are showing the actual face of India’s failed attempt to annex Kashmir. This land has been giving blood to their freedom movement for decades and they will not let any political stunt sabotage their struggle to freedom.

Long live Resistance!

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Kiran Butt
The author is a Correspondent and Associate Producer at Indus News

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