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Kashmir: Modern People Dispute Ancient Lands: Documents C

Start by considering that at a recent US Congressional hearing on Kashmir, call to end lockdown (Aljazeera, Nov 15, 2019) Yousra Fazili, a human rights lawyer, told news reporters at Al Jazeera that she hoped her testimony before U.S. Congress represented a narrative of Kashmiris to the world, told by the Kashmiris themselves.

"So much of today is being able to say, yes we are people with our own agency, and we can speak for ourselves and we can demand human rights and human dignity for ourselves and it's not ... it's not coordinated by anybody else but ourselves," she said."

Document Analysis

Directions: Select at least one resource from each of the religious groups presented below. Analyze these documents/documentaries by answering the questions below.

1. What are some of the issues faced by the Hindi people living in the Kashmir Valley? How are these issues causing conflict in the region?

2. What are some of the issues faced by the Muslim people living in the Kashmir Valley? How are these issues causing conflict in the region?

3. What are some of the issues faced by the Sikh people living in the Kashmir Valley? How are these issues causing conflict in the region?

Additional Directions: Select at least one cultural artifact (resource) below that expresses the people's frustration with the situation in the Kashmir Valley. Consider the potential impact of the piece you select.

4. List the artifact you studied and the perspective it presented.

5. How do artists provide a "voice" to the people involved in the conflict?

Hindi

OPTION 1: Read about the testimony of Sudershana Kumari, a Hindi girl living in an area that would become Muslim-dominated Pakistan in 70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition, Washington Post, adapted by Newsela staff, Sep 11, 2017

OPTION 2: Watch how these Kashmiri Pandits chose to stay in the Kashmir valley despite persecution at the hands of Muslim militants.

Muslim

OPTION  1: Read about the testimony of Hashim Zaidi or Mohammad Naeem, Muslim children who rode a train out of Kashmir to Pakistan  where abuse of passengers was common in 70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition, Washington Post, adapted by Newsela staff, Sep 11, 2017.

OPTION 2: Watch Kashmiri Muslims and their allies explain why Indian rule over the region is concerning to them.

OPTION 3: Read about The Tibetan Muslims who have made Kashmir their home (BBC News, Dec 2, 2017.)  You can learn more about this little known refugee group here.

Sikh

OPTION 1:  Read  about the testimony of Sarjit Singh Chowdhary, a Sikh soldier who helped Muslim refugees reach Pakistan safely in 70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition, Washington Post, adapted by Newsela staff, Sep 11, 2017.

OPTION 2:  Watch how Sikh residents of the Kashmir Valley have been impacted by Pakistan and India's struggles over the lands.


​This is the last episode of the podcast "Kashmir and Me," presented "before the Internet is gone."  

You can also choose:     Listen       Read      Watch        Music     Poetry

A Country Without a Post Office by Agha Shahid Ali  (VIDEO w/subtitles). Find more by this poet in  A Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems of Agha Shahid Ali

The golden voice of Kashmir's indie musicians echoes with politics and folklore by Rayan Naqash, Mar 19, 2017

Kashmir: How conflict changed the Music, BBC News, Jun 12, 2017.  

A Nightmare by Qaiser Bashir

On Becoming a Poet by Inshah Malik (found in "In Four Poems of Love, War and Exile," Wande Magazine, Oct 17, 2017).  Learn more about this inspirational young poet:

The poet who introduced language of resistance to Kashmir, New Frame, Nov 19, 2019.
This piece highlights the life of Kashmiri poet Allama Iqbal whose poems and political idealism in the 1920s and 1930s would later fuel the armed resistance of Kashmir against Indian rule.  

The Politically Charged Sounds of Five Independent Kashmiri Musicians by Devyani Nighoskar, Homegrown, Feb 22, 2018 (includes names of artists and songs to look up). 

The Stolen Childhoods of Kashmir in Pencil and Crayon by Soutik Biswas (BBC News, Srinagar, May 29, 2017)

We are born in crackdowns, we die in curfews The measured resistance of Kashmiri rapper Ahmer by Akhil Sood, Caravan Magazine August 24, 2019.  In reading, identify a track of Ahmer's music and listen to it. 

Write -- A Poem by Omair Bhat (a Kashmiri Muslim)

Below is a gallery of other works of art produced by the Kashmiri people.
Use the 
arrows to move right or left,  through the gallery.

This political cartoon highlights the different ways in which the

Vidal, Marta. Kashmiris Turn to Art to Challenge Indian Rule, Al Jazeera, Mar 20, 2018.  

Photo of Avani Rai shows children at a site in conflict torn Kashmir.

Pundir, Pallavi and Avani Rai, This Photographer Captures the People Caught Between Violence and Politics in Kashmir. Vice,  Aug 21, 2019. 

Screen shot of an instagram post  made by poet Hina Aarif with artwork depicting a person blinded by pellet guns.

Mahajan, Nidhi. A Kashmiri Instagrammer Draws What it Means to "Live Conflict." The Quint, Aug 5, 2018.

Video examines the response of artists in Kashmir.

Artists in Kashmir, the World's Most Militarized Zone. The Atlantic, Oct 25, 2019. (VIDEO)

Screen shot from the movie A Ballad of Maladies

Madhav, Tushar and Sarvnik Kaur. SOZ A Ballad of Maladies OFFICIAL TRAILER, 2016. (VIDEO)

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