MRF, Delhi engages Kashmir issue


From Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Oct 12: Manipur Research Forum (MRF) organized a discussion on current issues of Jammu and Kashmir in its monthly seminar last weekend at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Monisa Qadir, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Jammu and Kashmir was the speaker and she presented a paper on the theme “Jis Din Gillani or Masrat Alam Hartal Bullayenge Usdin Hartal Hoga: Secrets of Kashmir Resistant Movement.”
Qadir presented the talk from the vantage of a journalist and a common individual, faced with the troubles in the region both professionally and personally.
She began by drawing a historical trajectory on the contention of Kashmir’s accession, and the evolution of the secessionist movement – the aspiration and the solidarity of the people in their movement for Azadi.
Monisha elaborated the contention on the instrument of accession, and stated that it was illegitimate and lacked the consent of the people. She opined that half a century of  â€œcolonization by India” has instigated the people to support the demand for an Azad Kashmir by the revolutionary movement in its “Quit Kashmir Movement.”
She said the deep mistrust of the ruling state government in Kashmir as well as the other political parties is seen in the way people have developed faith in the calendar protest issued by Gilani, the secessionist leader. She further highlighted the double standard of the Indian state where at one level they talk of bringing peace and respecting life of the people, but on the other hand upholds the draconian law like AFSPA.
She also narrated the new form of protest engineered through internet, with all other avenues of social mobilization like newspapers and mobile phones (SMS) being banned for the last six months.
The discussant of the paper Shreema Ningombam highlighted the parallel between the problems in Manipur and J&K drawing some parallels. She stated that mainstream media attention given to the Kashmir issue is far ahead of the attention given to Manipur. This is in spite of the fact that ratio of killings vis-à-vis the population is much higher in Manipur than J&K. The women’s involvement in the movement in Kashmir was also compared with the Ema Movement in Manipur.
During discussion time, the nature of collective consciousness between majority Meiteis in Manipur and Kashmiri muslims in J&K came up, relating those with mass secessionist movement and armed movement. Highlight was also on the relationship between Dogras in the Jammu valley and the Kashmiris, as well as between Nagas and Manipuris in Manipur.  The socio-economic roots of the rise of the movement were also highlighted.
The talk highlighted the need for the people in both the states to forge ahead in identifying, understanding common problems and charting out a collaborative struggle and setting some common agenda to protect people’s rights and dignity.


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