By : Reema-
On 8th of July, 2017 Burhan Wani’s first death anniversary will be expressed throughout Kashmir as a symbol of youth gallantry and protest against Indian oppression.
Over the last year Burhan Wani’s name has become a symbol of Kashmiri passion and struggle for freedom.
Wani passed away but left a strong missive to the adversaries and a vigil for Kashmiri youth to follow path for freedom.
His ruthless killing by the hands of Indian forces have shaken the Kashmir valley and the people, particularly Kashmiri youth, and started a new revolution.
This Kashmir uprising after the death of Burhan Wani is termed as the new intifada in Kashmir.
The Arabic word inmtifada translates literally to ‘shake’, ‘shaking’ or ‘shake off’.
In the context of Arab-Israel conflict this term was used for Palestinian efforts to shake off Israeli control and gain independence.
Indian forces never knew that after killing a young leader they are inviting a immeasurable trouble for themselves.
After Wani’s martyrdom, Indian occupied Kashimir (IOK) was turned into a gorge through prolonged curfews for months, electricity and communications cut-off, closing of all kinds of businesses and schools- yet they were still unable to deter Kashmiri youth who are following the legacy which Burhan Wani left behind.
The martyrdom of Wani, who was the face of the freedom struggle to a new generation, completely changed the dynamics of the uprising of 2016.
The brutality of the armed forces, great number of people in protests, widespread demonstrations, and the difficulties imposed by long curfews, brought a more organised struggle to the front.
Pro-Pakistan and anti-India jingles are on the lips of every Kashmiri while chanting slogans of freedom for Kashmir.
22 year old Burhan Wani’s extrajudicial killing flared up public rebellions as the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen along with other freedom fighter groups have seen an astounding upsurge in popularity among Kashmiris in recent years.
Kashmir, a piece of land claimed by India as part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, has a long history of pro-independence movements that India claims are provoked by Pakistani militants.
Though two wars have been fought between Indian and Pakistan over the Kashmir region but still no peace agreement could be sketched.
In 1948, UN stressed for a plebiscite or referendum allowing Kashmiris to determine their fortune, but it has never been held.
The Kashmir movement took violent approach where different separatist groups started popping out against Indians in late 1980s.
Though thousands of Indian troops are deployed in Kashmir yet protests for freedom are largely non-violent.
This Kashmir uprising started in 2016 and entered into 2017 with more passion for freedom as those areas of Kashmir which have often remained dormant are becoming more proactive in street protests.
Unfortunately this uprising was dealt with pellet guns by Indian forces against that youth which was carrying stones for its self-defence.
The response from the Indian armed forces has been called the world’s first mass blinding, getting widespread disparagement not only across the globe but within India too.
Indian troops after Wani’s death just in few months have killed hundreds of Kashmiris mostly youth and injured more than 17,000 people mostly children and young girls.
Many of them have turned partially or completely blind by the use of metal pellets.
Indian authorities with the use of black laws are trying to crush the Kashmiri freedom spirit.
Under the Public Safety Act (PSA), persons can be detained for up to two years without any accusation and for past three decades this law has number of unrevealed Kashmiris to its list.
With the introduction of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) conditions worsened as more than 200,000 Kashmiris have been killed and 7,000 were found in mass graves.
Recently, news is coming up that Indian forces have started to use chemical weapons after killing young children and men and so that they remain unidentifiable they burn the bodies.
According to Amnesty International, more than 10,000 people are missing, around 22,826 Kashmiri women have been widowed, 10,717 Kashmiri women have been gang raped and about 107,591 children have been orphaned.
Besides, there are an estimated 1500 half-widow wives whose husbands have disappeared but not yet declared as dead.
The Indian forces have blinded hundreds of Kashmiris, including children, and injured over 16,000 protesters with live ammunition, pellet guns and gas shells.
That is why the New York Times labelled the year 2016 as a “Year of dead eyes” in Kashmir.
Resistance hero Burhan Wani’s funeral was attended by many and now it has become customary that thousands gather for the funeral of any youth far across from Kashmir.
From Wani to Sabzar Bhat’s funeral Kashmiris make sure to raise their voice against Indian ruthlessness in Kashmir.
Wani became popular as during traveling he stayed with people in their houses, had food with them and shared tales for struggle and freedom.
He was in everybody’s phone and everyone knew him by face.
India is frustrated with the new uprising in Kashmir and its every attempt to crush freedom movement is entangling India more.
With Modi’s inhumane policies in practice, Kashmir cause can be bottled-up but not crumpled.
Pakistan on every forum has urged for dialogue and peaceful solution to Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council’s relevant Resolutions on Kashmir.
India must remember that passion begets strength and Kashmir will keep on giving birth to more Bhats and Burhans.