An alleged journalist and a “defense analyst” on Indian prime time television, debated why Kashmiris despite the conflict are not dying of hunger. The analyst made his point by saying that Kashmiris are healthy and are not malnutritioned enough, and not enough farmers are committing suicide in Kashmir.
The alleged journalist suggested that a Guantanamo Bay style prison should be made, ignoring the fact that many such facilities have existed in Kashmir, the people should be left to scream and shout.
Watch the video here
And here is how scholars of Kashmirology have responded
Inshah Malik, Research Scholar.
Kashmiris should stop responding to the inherent racism and exoticism that sets the tone of this debate. What should rather make you angry, is that this is an Indian national news channel that asks for the creation of a Guantanamo style prison for Kashmiris, who happen to be rich.
The tactics of apathy leaves 70% of Indians poor and destitute, and hence unable to question their government on large scale deprivation that plagues the country. The speakers instead of finding fault with their society (farmer suicides, malnutrition) are normalizing it, by seeking the same in Kashmir. Why? only to stop Kashmiris from raising questions on their political status.
The only way to respond to this terrible video, is to ask, why are there farmer suicides and why is malnutrition still rampant in India?
The only question that is worth answering is “how these problems exist,” and not how they don’t exist.
This is the internalized racism, and the main source of this racism has been the upper caste/class Brahmin bourgeoisie that routinely purports the ideas of fairness, beauty and wealth as a source of power, among ordinary folks. This is the reason that ordinary people (like Arya high on nationalism drug) equates these three things to power and not to geography, history and economy.
Gowhar Fazili, Research Scholar.
The reason why Kashmiris have red cheeks and India has farmer suicides and malnutrition is because despite political uncertainty, Kashmiri society is far more egalitarian. They don’t let the poor among them starve.
If India redistributes its wealth, it too will stop having malnutrition and farmer suicides and develop red cheeks. But instead of seeking public welfare, it wants to become a military super power, a Hindu Rashtra that can dominate, occupy and oppress its neighbours.
South Indians are dark, that is why they are deemed inferior. North-easterners look different, that is why are ill-treated. Kashmiris are fair with red cheeks, that is why they are subjugated. So with Tribals, lower castes, women. Domination always finds an excuse to legitimise itself.
When we make fun of Goras, we do so not because there is something inherently ugly about the white skin. We do so because of the way race has been used to maintain a power relationship. The same goes for the Indian upper caste establishment that legitimizes occupation in Kashmir, because of its sense of entitlement, though skin pigmentation may be reversed in this case.
Dibyesh Anand, Professor of International Relations.
While a most (in)famous TV anchor says excitedly how an Indian version of Guantanamo Bay prison should be created, some Major on his programme rues why Kashmiri farmers don’t commit suicide and why do all Kashmiris have “pink pink cheeks” and the anchor calls it a deep argument.
Well, apart from the fact that these jingoists adopt a certain casteist/chromatist/class discriminatory notion where “white/fair/red/pink cheeks” are associated with the privileged and not with the subaltern, what it indicates are:
1. They cannot digest why the colonised, dehumanised, occupied Kashmiris don’t “look like subalterns”
2. They want Kashmiris to starve, suffer from malnutrition, be imprisoned without human rights (which already happens) and “look” the part of subaltern.
3. A contempt for majority of Indians who would be starving/suffering from malnutrition/have no rights de facto and cannot have “red cheeks”.
In any decent society, such anchors and commentators will see their public career destroyed for such making statements. In India, they flourish.
Ather Zia, Research Scholar.
Killed over 100,000 Kashmiris, maimed as many, blinded, jailed, tortured, traumatized, and disappeared – now they want Kashmiri farmers to commit suicides.
As if general suicide rates are not already increasing – they want scourging naked poverty, which is as rampant, but looks different than it appears in their country [maybe because we have got red cheeks]. India is so vile, so deeply vile; you are digging yourself deeper each second.