The summers of unrest: What really went down in the Kashmir issue

As Kashmir prepares for its Global Kashmir Day tomorrow, it will be the 14th consecutive day since curfew began in the conflicted land. Much like Syria, the larger civil strife and humanitarian crisis has been going on for so long, that it hardly raises any concerns amongst the non-dwellers anymore. Contrary to popular media narrative, the Hindus and Muslims are not a separate nation, and each person, irrespective of religious inclination, gender or economic status, is in the same precarious state as any other Kashmiri resident. The situation is even worse in the Southern region of the state.

Since the past week, all newspapers and mobile networks have been shut down in light of an immensely tense situation. Tourists had to find a ‘jugaad’ way out of the state to safety, while places with a higher degree of violence are being forced to live without electricity since days. This long-standing political turmoil and civil unrest that began on Jul 8th, with the assassination of Burhan Wani, the young Mujahideen leader.

When a situation like this happens, it doesn’t attack any particular sect or person or group. The young and old, wise and dumb, radicals and liberals – all suffer alike. Here are a few major situations that occur in a crisis situation like this:

The issue of pellet guns

The accounted number of people injured in these is quite confusing, although a rough estimate of around 600 people has been made. Though non-lethal, pellet guns easily penetrate soft tissue in the body, making permanent and irreversible damage. Hospitals have performed 135 eye surgeries in the past week, and still so many more remain. Most of these people will never be able to see again, mainly because they cannot afford the expensive transplant treatment. Neither are these people aware or have the energy to fight with the government for a compensation. Even if they do and are successfully able to get their rightful chunk, they would have lived a lot of days in darkness before that actually happens. In individual capacity, you might be able to help accelerate this process by raising funds from friends and social networks through crowdfunding with Ketto. Know more about it here.

The death toll

As many as 45 people have lost their lives so far, and the count doesn’t seem to cease anytime soon. With more than 2000 injured, there is urgent need of medical attention to people caught in attacks and crossfire. Ambulances are being burnt down, and people are unable to conduct peaceful last rites for their loved ones. Civilians who deserve free medical attention, must wait until the military personnel who shot at them have justified the same. Perhaps they can, but their wounds can’t. They need money and immediate expert attention, which you might be able to help with.

How? Simple. Start a crowdfunding campaign with Ketto and find support from similar like-minded people. Your support might not be able to change the situation in Kashmir, but it is sure to relieve a lot of lives from a lot of pain.

Food- a basic need

Kashmir is in a state of emergency. The streets are deserted, and there is no guarantee that anyone who goes out will come back home safely. People have been living on stored supplies, and they might not last them for long. We do not know how much more time the strife would last, though we are sure that their stores wouldn’t.While parliamentarians like Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia are calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir, we are not too sure if a starved population would be thinking much about a referendum. Agony has become a way of life for them.

The problem with Kashmir is not that people don’t consider themselves a part of this country, rather the real problem is that the rest of India doesn’t treat them like they were their own. Like they say in Kashmiri, “Yeli pyeyi chhanas panas peth” (When it is your responsibility, you will be more serious about it).

Take responsibility. Stand up for any of the above mentioned issues, or anything else that you feel needs collaborative human effort. Crowdfunding India is the greatest form of collaborative support in our times, and what better than starting with Ketto?

Citations:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kashmir-india-protests-killed-clashes-police-pakistan/

http://www.thebetterindia.com/62012/srinagar-kashmiri-pandit-last-rites/

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