(By Muhammad Faraz)
Aware and vibrant nations give utmost importance to their national goals which include individual freedom, the right of free speech, expression and actions to strengthen the foundation of their country. Indian occupied Kashmir unfortunately is one sad story of a people who are undoubtly a great nation but forcibly stopped by an aggressor from being free of its subjugation. India hasn’t only deployed its armed forces to silence the pro freedom voice of the Kashmiris, the state has sponsored terrorism through its military, paramilitary forces, police and other LEA’s to damage the Kashmiri freedom cause. The human rights abuse in Kashmir by Indian security forces includes mass killings, force disappearances, torture and rape / sexual abuse. To this injustice which is a norm in the occupied valley since 1947, the state of Pakistan has taken a just stance to support the Kashmir freedom struggle by showing solidarity with the Kashmiris on every 5th February by celebrating Kashmir Day. Kashmir Day is not just a day off from work; it is a manifestation of solidarity with and recognition of sacrifices offered by Kashmiris. It is also to show India that it cannot break the will of Kashmiris through atrocities. 5th February will always be celebrated to pay tribute and show solidarity with the Kashmiris till they get their birth right. India claims to be society free from biases, secular, forward looking and democratic, unfortunately this portrayal is a big lie. The real India is intolerant to minorities, it forces them to become Hindu (Hindutva ideology), Hindus are primitive in their approach, they are in direct contradiction to the democratic norms and finally they are extremely biased and against gender equality.
The recent visit of US President Obama exposed India as a nation. When the Indian PM was emphasizing the importance of peace in the region, the country’s army was attacking the LoC and working boundary unprovoked. President Obama also tried to persuade the Indians to respect and value their women, keeping in mind the rape rate of India which touched its peak in 2012 to a record number of 24923 rapes per year. It is interesting to note that rape is the 4th common crime in India and the statistics show that only 1.8% rape cases are reported in the country i.e. only one out of ten rape is reported, still in 2012 the reported cases were almost 25000. These facts are only presented to show that if Hindu women in India are generally treated like this, how would Muslim women in Kashmir who demand freedom are being treated by a vindictive Hindu army?
The two faces of India are no more a secret. Rising, shining, democratic and forward looking face for the world and the real one with biases, intolerance (Religious and gender) injustice (Kashmiri subjugation) and permittivity for the minorities and women.
The world must not be deceived any more with the Indian game. The international community must play its role to support the Kashmiri people for their right of self determination and make 5th February an international day for Kashmir, acknowledging their sacrifice.
February 05, 2015